Chinese workers warned against foreign-funded advocacy groups

By Zhao Yusha Source:Global Times Published: 2018/8/26 22:03:39

Shenzhen factory hit by illegal, violent action by former employees: police


Chinese workers should be wary of foreign-funded advocacy groups that attempt to instigate illegal labor action, experts said after media reports in Shenzhen showed violent action being taken by disgruntled factory workers.

Police recently issued a preliminary report on a series of worker-related incidents at the Jasic Technology Co Ltd in the South China city of Shenzhen, the Xinhua News Agency reported over the weekend.

The incidents, which caused a sensation on China's internet, began after a worker of the company surnamed Yu was fired in May for being absent from work and participating in fights.

Unhappy with the arbitration result of his appeal - the details of which are not known - Yu and six other people tried to break through the company's gate on July 20.

After police questioned five people in the group, the workers continued to gather additional people to enter the company and disrupted the normal operations of a police station.

On July 27, 29 people were arrested after 25 of them broke into the company, under the pretense of protecting workers' rights, said Xinhua.

Police investigators say that an unregistered, foreign-funded illegal organization named "dagongzhe zhongxin"(center for migrant workers) incited the workers and hyped the incident on the internet.

The organization has been involved in multiple worker-related incidents in Shenzhen and nearby regions and is responsible for coaxing some workers into taking radical action, according to police.

Police found some files at the migrant workers' center illustrating how to develop and organize a workers' movement and how to establish "independent unions" in China, said Xinhua.

Workers just want to protect their own rights, but the center, along with some other similar organizations, saw this as an opportunity to incite social conflict by blaming China's labor union system, a Beijing-based analyst, who requested anonymity, told the Global Times on Sunday.

Those who advocate "independent workers' unions" want to impact the Chinese society at its very core because a trade union without government involvement is not in accordance with Chinese characteristics, said the expert.

Chinese workers can better protect their rights by improving labor laws and the trade union system, Yu Shaoxiang, an expert on social security and poverty relief legislation at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.

The Shanghai Federation of Trade Unions told the Global Times in a previous interview that they used to emphasize assisting enterprises with labor unions, but in recent years they have shifted their focus to helping workers defend their rights.

At the end of 2014, All China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) had established 1.05 million labor dispute mediation committees, which focus on the resolving conflict between workers and employers, the Beijing-based Mirror reported.


Newspaper headline: Foreign-funded group ‘inciting’ workers


Posted in: SOCIETY

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