Updates on Jasic labour dispute: ACFTU staff and co-workers of Shen Meng-yu arrested

Two grassroots union staff members of the ACFTU were arrested for assisting the Jasic workers in setting up a union according to the law. The event triggered the Jasic labour dispute. After the 17th General Assembly of the ACFTU, staff members of grassroots unions became one of the targets of crackdown.  

According to information from the Jasic Workers Solidarity Support Group and reports by the Reuters, the police arrested two staff members of the Shenzhen community union for “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” on 9 November. One of the staff members Zhou Li-ping was said to have handled Jasic workers’ application to set up a union. A former worker of the Jasic factory told the Reuters, “If she was not there, we might not able to do it…she told us how to set up a union according to the law.” 

According to the Jasic Workers Solidarity Support Group, Zhou Li-ping was one of the few union staff who was sympathetic to the workers and would patiently answer questions on labour rights. She has a good name among the workers. The other union staff arrested was Li Ao. The ACFTU has been claiming to undergo reform since 2015. While no achievement from the reform could the observed, its staff was put into prison for fulfilling their duties according to the law.  

On the other hand, the whereabouts of Shen Meng-yu is still unknown. Li Yuan-zhu, Dai Hui-fang and Wang Gui-xia, ex-workers of Shen Meng-yu in NSPG, were arrested on 9 November without any reason. During the detention, the police interrogated and pressured them to give testimony against Shen Meng-yu.  According to one of the “stories” prepared by the policy, there was “proof” that Shen Meng-yu accepted “overseas fund” to “stir up workers” in the factory. The purpose of arresting these three workers was to have them to “prove” this story. 

Dai Hui-fang claimed the police used grueling trial on her during detention. Li Yuan-zhu said the police did not allow him to go to sleep for over 30 hours, torn his clothes and kicked his legs. Eventually, Li Yuan-zhu was forced to write a “letter of guarantee” which was unfavourable to Shen Meng-yu. The abusive treatment on these three workers was reported by the Jasic Workers Solidarity Support Group after they were released.

Li Yuan-zhu shared how the police mistreated and extorted confession from him with torture on the social media on 13 November. He was then suppressed jointly by his employer, the police and the union. He was picked on after he returned to work, and was dismissed by the employer on 22 November. When he looked for assistance from the union of the factory but was denied, the employer later called for the police who forcefully took him to the police station. The union members and the management of the factory at the scene watched him being arrested unlawfully.