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Wednesday, October 27, 2004

 

Workers organise strikes, demos throughout China

The Peoples Republic of China is facing growing labor unrest over jobs and the government's failure to provide other support in the dismantling of its cradle-to-grave welfare system. According to the International Herald Tribune, major strikes are breaking out throughout the country:

-- About 6,800 workers at China Resources, a Hong Kong-listed retailer, on strike for a seventh week in northern China, complaining that the company is forcing them to sign "unfair" labor contracts.

-- In Anhui province, about 10,000 textile workers and retirees recently protested decreases in pension payments, the lack of medical insurance and compensation for injuries.

-- In Shaanxi 6,800 workers, the majority of them women, striking at the Tianwang Textile Factory. In one incident about 1,000 police positioned at the factory gates with water cannons were met by thousands of workers who surrounded them, forcing them to back down.

Communist officials are also targeting labor activists, according to China Labor Watch, which cites the arrests of Ding Xiulan and Liu Meifeng, leaders of a strike at the Zhongheng textile factory in the eastern province of Jiangsu.

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