Position and Analysis
Turning a blind eye to Hong Kong employers’ violation of social security obligation
On 28 October 2015, the HKCTU and other labour organizations launched a protest at United Centre in Admiralty, to condemn the four major business associations in Hong Kong, which had been connived its members at owing Chinese migrant workers’ pension insurance premiums and forcing the Guangdong Provincial Government to revise its Regulations on Collective Contracts (2015).
Global Solidarity from Trade Unions and Labour Organizations
Since 3 December, the authorities in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong have carried out a coordinated and wide-ranging crackdown on labour rights activists and labour organizations in the province. More than 25 people from at least four labour organizations have been taken away and questioned by the police.
China Labour Series: The Tragedies of Occupational Disease Victims
It is frequently reported that workers suffer from occupational diseases as they have worked in vile working conditions without adequate protective measures. Occupational leukaemia, caused by exposure to toxic chemicals is the second leading killer among occupational diseases. For example, Zou Xiuhua suffers from leukaemia after working less than two years in Johnson Electric’s plant in Shenzhen City. Chen (not his real name), another worker at Qilitian Golf Articles (Shenzhen) Co. shares the same fate, as he has worked with toxic chemicals over a long time.
Global campaign to support Chinese workers’ freedom of association and fight against violence
On the eve of the anniversary of the June Fourth Massacre, the HKCTU launched a series of campaigns calling on the Chinese Government to release detained labour activists and stop brutally repressing workers who are defending their rights.
Automobile workers’ collective actions and development of grassroots unions: a case study of ST Auto Parts Factory
ST Auto Parts Factory (hereafter: ST Factory) is jointly-owned by Japanese and Taiwanese investors and is one of the very few Chinese factories where direct elections of its enterprise union have successfully been conducted. ST Factory employs 536 workers, producing auto springs and shake absorbers for Toyota, Honda and Nissan. Since 2010, two strikes have broken out in ST Factory, with workers demanding to increase their wages and receive their annual bonuses.
70% rise of industrial actions in Hong Kong invested enterprises in China Missing social security insurance and severance compensation as major causes
“Missing social security funds initiating a new wave of labour movement: Violent suppression intensified” is the theme of the “Investigative Report on Labour Rights in Hong Kong Enterprises in China 2014-2015”. On 11 August 2015, the HKCTU released this report, exposing the common labour violations of Hong Kong suppliers in China, which produce for internationally known brands, such as Marks & Spencer, Disney, UNIQLO and etc.
Why is being a “rights lawyer” a high-risk job?
Between 9 and 20 July 2015 alone, at least 235 lawyers in China were taken away by the police from their homes or offices. This wave of detention led to an international outcry and some 200 Chinese lawyers and citizens started a joint petition. They demanded that some one hundred policemen be held accountable for criminal offences such as “abuse of power, neglect of duty, defamation, disciplinary violations”.
UNIQLO’s neglect of its supplier’s labour exploitation
In recent years, Lever Style Inc., the Hong Kong-based parent company of Artigas Clothing & Leatherwear Factory and its Japanese buyer UNIQLO have been enjoying a rapid rise in their turnover. Their workers, who have been treated as disposable and have been left with nothing, have not benefit from this prosperity however. During the process of factory relocation and merger, senior workers at Artigas, who had worked for decades at the factory and made garments for UNIQLO and other brands, were told that they would not be entitled to pension and severance compensation.
Unions from Asian countries show support to independent union movement in China and Hong Kong
The HKCTU attended the International Trade Union Confederation’s Asia Pacific (hereafter: ITUC-AP) Regional General Council and proposed a resolution on China. The resolution urged the international unions to support Chinese workers’ struggles in improving labour conditions and trade union rights, to demand the Chinese Government release detained labour activists immediately and to genuinely implement all core labour standards as stated in the ILO conventions.
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.