When China’s Labour Contract Law was implemented in 2008, it created quite a bang. The newly revised Labour Contract Law, which will go into effect on 1 July this year, is creating little more than a whimper. Photograph by firstname.lastname@example.org available under a creative commons license.
To mark the International Labour Organization’s World Day against Child Labour on 12 June this year, CLB has translated the tragic story reported in the Southern Daily "Child worker in Dongguan started working age 12 dies suddenly after sending home 500 yuan." Photograph of factory recruiters in Dongguan by CLB.
Geoffrey Crothall says the lackadaisical attitude towards workplace safety in China can no longer be tolerated, and officials, managers and the public must all heed workers’ calls for better conditions
The cost of labour in China has risen significantly over the last few years, prompting many low cost, labour intensive manufacturers to relocate to cheaper production areas such as Bangladesh and Cambodia.But while wages for factory workers in China have certainly increased, the rate of increase has not kept pace with that of higher income earners.
At least 119 people have been killed in a fire that swept through a poultry processing plant in the north-eastern province of Jilin on Monday morning, 3 June, the local authorities have confirmed. The doors to the plant were reportedly locked at the time of the fire. Photograph from Sina Weibo.
Two explosions at coal mines in southwest China over the weekend have left 40 miners dead and dozens injured, official media reported.
As the supply of female factory-workers dwindles, blue-collar women gain clout
Jennifer Cheung attends an arbitration hearing held in Guangzhou on the sacking of five employees at the Fortune 500 company International Paper after they staged a work to rule in protest at the company’s bonus offer. Photo of sacked workers with their lawyer Duan Yi outside the arbitration court.
Geoffrey Crothall says the HIT port workers' strike can be resolved, if the company is willing to negotiate with the dockers' union representatives on behalf of its contractors
The suicide nets are still there. Foxconn, the giant electronics manufacturing subcontractor, installed them in 2010, a year when fourteen workers died after jumping from the ledges and windows of crowded dormitories. In addition to the wide mesh nets, stretched low over the streets of Foxconn’s company towns, the corporation has twenty-four-hour “care centers,” “no suicide agreements,” and a psychological test to screen out potentially suicidal workers, charged to the job applicant. It has raised wages significantly, but only in the face of runaway inflation, steep hikes in the minimum wage, and mounting worker unrest. Media attention and pressure from Apple, one of its main customers, backed up by a program of regular factory audits, seem to be driving incremental improvements in working conditions.