China Labour Bulletin has two main programs - Collective bargaining and labour rights litigation. Both of these programs are specifically designed to empower, enable and further inspire the workers’ movement in China. Moreover, CLB endeavours to strengthen the solidarity between China’s workers and international labour through the exchange of ideas and information and shared experiences.
CLB works with about a dozen independent labour rights groups in mainland China to promote collective bargaining and, in the long-term, create a genuine, worker-led trade union movement. The program comprises:
Training: CLB and our project partners conduct regular collective bargaining training sessions for workers, worker representatives and civil society actors. These provide workers with the skills they need to initiate, engage in, and conclude collective bargaining, and eventually go on to become the trade union leaders of the future.
Practice: Given the current lack of proper trade unions in China, CLB and our project partners provide the advice, guidance and practical support workers need during collective disputes with management. This practical experience is then used to enhance our training and inform our advocacy work.
Advocacy: CLB promotes our workplace collective bargaining cases in China via traditional and social media, holds conferences for trade union officials, academics and policy makers, and generates public debate to broaden awareness of collective bargaining in China.
Labour Rights Litigation
CLB works with law firms and a comprehensive network of labour lawyers to defend workers’ rights, highlight social injustice, and promote the rule of law. Since 2004, CLB has provided practical legal advice and financial support in about 2,000 labour rights cases. The vast majority of these have been logged in what is now one of the most extensive databases for labour rights cases in China.
CLB and our project partners use social media and our connections with mainland journalists to publicise specific legal cases and highlight important labour rights issues such as workplace discrimination, occupational injury and disease compensation, unfair dismissal and equal pay for equal work.
In addition to promoting workers’ initiatives and our own project work in China, CLB informs workers in China of important developments in the international trade movement. We select stories of worker solidarity and courage that will inspire China’s workers and show them what real trade unions do. Our English-language website conversely gives international readers a comprehensive introduction to and analysis of the workers’ movement in China. Our website has been active since 1999 and is now recognised as the pre-eminent resource for contemporary labour issues in China. Key sections of the website include:
Strike map: An interactive geographical database of more than 1,000 strikes and collective worker protests dating back to February 2011.
Research reports: More than 20 in-depth reports covering the workers’ movement, migrant and overseas workers, health and safety, and trade unions in China.
Resource centre: The facts and figures related to wages, social security, employment discrimination and other key labour issues in China.
Workers’ Voices: Summaries of CLB Director Han Dongfang’s interviews with workers on Radio Free Asia.