Global Solidarity Demands Release of Detained Chinese Labour Activists
On Dec 21th, 2015, trade unions and labour NGOs from around the globe demonstrated their solidarity in support the detained Chinese labour activists. Global trade unions including the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), IndustriALL, International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Association (IUF), and national unions from France, Italy, Sweden, Belarus, New Zealand, Cape Verde, the Philippines and Sri Lanka have respectively expressed their concerns to the Chinese government and demanded the release of the detained labour activists.
Update as of the 5th December 2015 on the Chinese detained labor NGO activists
According to reliable sources obtained by Red Balloon, as of the 5th December 2015, altogether 21 labor activists were arrested by the police. Three of them are right now under criminal detention. 14 of them were released after inquisition. Another four labor activists cannot be reached. In addition, 6 family members of the labor activists have been approached and questioned by the police.
Directors went missing: NGOs under attack due to assisting workers affected by factory closures
Many labour rights NGOs in Guangdong Province have suddenly been “raided” by police recently. Some of the directors of these NGOs went missing and at the time of writing, their whereabouts remain unknown. Director of Haige Workers’ Services Centre, Chen Huihai had told the media that these abductions meant to suppress the labour NGOs and were led by the municipal police, before he lost contacts with the media.
Breaking news: Artigas Workers’ representative Wu Weifa was released
Artigas Workers’ representatives Wu Weifa was released and had a re-union with her family on 8 Oct 2015. Since 9 June this year, she was caught by the police during strike and in prison for 4 months because of “obstructing official business”.
Latest development of the artigas workers strike
Starting from 20 July, workers gradually signed the agreement, even it was against their own will. The employer-drafted agreement states that workers resign voluntarily and Lever Style Inc. offers them a “relief fund”, calculated by their years of services. Workers would receive 500 yuan per year of services if they work shorter than 10 years in the factory.
Workers leaders from Hong Kong solidarity makes us strong we support Shenzhen Artigas II
Bagen is a committee member of the Construction Site Workers General Union. He participated in the protest as well. Despite his job duties on that day, he still take leave to join this protest. Bagen said, ‘If this is the right thing to do, I would be glad to do it even if I have to take leave for it; if this is not the right thing to do, I would not do it even if I can take money from doing it.’ When asked whether this protest action can really improve the situations for Artigas workers, Bagen said that our group in Hong Kong along might not be able to make any difference, but when we joined our force with that from Taiwan, Japan, Cambodia, the US, and other labor groups in the world, we would be able to touch UNIQLO and make change possible. Bagen said, ‘No matter what the outcome is, if you feel that this is the right thing to do, you should do it.’