Workers Leader Still in Detention Despite Progress in Changchun Volkswagen Dispatch Workers Struggle
After a year-long struggle, some progress was made in the dispatch workers' struggle at the Changchun FAW-Volkswagen. On December 21, the company ended its ties with the dispatch agencies and offered a five-year contract to the dispatched workers on conditions that they would forfeit their previous claims in remunerations for equal work equal pay.
In fact, as early as April 2017, Changchun FAW-Volkswagen has proposed an addition of 2,400 positions on long term basis nationwide, but only 500 of which were located in the Changchun plant. Thus, out of the 1,028 anti-dispatchment workers, about 100 workers accepted the proposal from the factory, leaving some 900 workers carried on with the struggle. But on December 21, the aforementioned offer was put on table and the workers were only given one day by the company to accept the offer. If the workers did not sign the contract, they will be returned to their respective dispatch agencies. However, when the workers studied the relevant provisions, they found that the contract required the workers to confirm that "all the remunerations and benefits have been settled with their previous dispatch agencies”, which means that they have to relinquish all their claims and demands that they have been struggling in the past year.
However, as their contracts with their respective dispatch agencies were due to expire at the end of December 201, and at the meantime, their case was repeatedly rejected by the Jilin Provincial Court, and the workers leader Fu Tianbo was still under detention since the May 2017 protest, the workers really had their hands tied under such circumstances. In the end, all but five workers including the detained Fu Tianbo and another worker leader Ai Zhenyu signed the new contract. The workers who did not sign the new contract were dismissed by the dispatch agencies subsequently. Regardless of the harsh treatment, worker leader Ai Zhenyu vowed to fight till the end and will not abandon the workers who have been forced to sign the contract.
The HKCTU agrees that the incident is far from over and the workers’ reasonable demands should be met immediately. Meanwhile, we would like to reiterate our demands as follows:
1. Release Fu Tianbo;
2. Remunerations for equal work equal pay;
3. Acknowledge workers seniority from their respective dispatched agencies.