Position and Analysis
How many Li Wangyangs are there in the prisons of China?
The theme of this special edition issue is the struggles of the labour movement under authoritarian regimes. In Hong Kong, we have been trying to gain the support of the larger society to demand the immediate release of all imprisoned labour activists in China. We also demand that the Chinese government stop the violent repression and arbitrary detention of workers who are fighting to safeguard their rights.
The Labour Movement and Dictatorial Regimes Can Never Coexist
According to the communist regimes of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, “the working class and the proletariat” were in charge in socialist societies.But in reality, the communist regimes had hijacked “democracy” in the name of the “People’s Republic”. After they had seized power, the leaders of the communist parties completely forgot their goal of liberating the oppressed.
Growing labour conflicts: more strikes due to Hong Kong enterprises’ labour violations
In the second year since the establishment of its database to monitor Hong Kong-owned enterprises’ conduct in China, the HKCTU collected documents and reports from media, social media and other labour organizations on various collective labour actions that took place between May 2014 and April 2015. At least 25 media reported cases of workers’ collective rights-defending actions involving Hong Kong capital (a 40% growth compared with the previous year, between May 2013 and April 2014) are identified.
Feminist activists detained ahead of International Women’s Day
On International Women’s Day, activists from both China and Hong Kong organized campaign programmes to fight against sexual harassment. The Women’s Committee of the HKCTU hosted a press conference and taught self-defence on the streets. However, five feminist activists in China, Wang Man, Li Tingting, Wei Tingting, Wu Rongrong and Zheng Churan, were detained by the Chinese police and sent to a detention centre in Beijing on the Eve of International Women’s Day.
One Year Anniversary of the Yue Yuen Workers’ Strike: Conditions and Voices of Workers
April 14, 2015 was the one-year anniversary of the mass strike by the workers at Yue Yuen,a footwear manufacturer. On April 14, 2014, all 50,000 workers from the Yue Yuen factories went on strike to demand that the management make up for the shortage in its contributions to their social insurance, which it had failed to pay in full. At the beginning, there were only 1,000 workers.
HKCTU June 4th Declaration on 2015
Under the one-party dictatorship, workers in China are still deprived of the three labour rights: freedom of association, the right to strike, and the right to collective bargaining. Their struggles for labour rights often lead to oppression from government officials and employers. Meanwhile, due to the undemocratic political system and collusion between government and enterprises, workers in Hong Kong are similarly deprived of standard working hours and the right to collective bargaining.
Labour Day Declaration on Ending Violence against Labour Activists
Since 2012, the Mainland labour NGOs has been politically oppressed by forcing them to move out from their offices. However, the oppression has been escalating to detaining and seriously assaulting labour NGOs’ staff by police recently. HKCTU is going to publish a Labour Day Declaration on ending violence against labour activists and calling for your support to condemn the abuse of police power against labour activists in China.
The crackdown on the labor movement escalates
On Dec 10th, 2014, nearly a thousand workers from the Artigas Clothing & Leatherwear Co. Ltd. in Longhua District, Shenzhen went on strike twice to protest the company’s non-payment of social security and housing provident fund. Artigas is the supplier of Japanese fashion brand Uniqlo, and Hong Kong brand G2000.
Violent assaults, lawful dismantling
In recent years, there have been repeated attacks of various forms on labour organizations, their organizers and workers. Since 2012, many organizations have found it difficult to operate, living under threats of violent assault. The office of Little Grass Workers’ Home in Shenzhen was violently vandalized by thugs and the organization was forced to relocate again and again. Jin Shichang of the Migrant Workers’ Centre in Zhongshan was beaten up by security guards paid by employers, and was forced to leave Guangdong.
The impact of the Umbrella Movement on the labour movement in China and Hong Kong
Between 28 September and 15 December 2014, the largest civil disobedience campaign in the history of Hong Kong took place in the form of an urban occupation, and drew global attention. Also known as the Umbrella Movement, this 79-day occupation set out to demand genuine universal suffrage for the election of the Chief Executive in 2017, and abolition of the functional constituency seats in the Legislative Council (hereafter: Legco).