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Several hundred workers at Ansteel Lianzhong in Guangzhou have been on strike for six days, protesting wage cuts and moves by the company to force them to resign. The strikers have now effectively closed down the factory, which has a total workforce of around 2,000.
Nurses in at least eight hospitals across China have gone out on strike in the last six months over low pay and benefits and demands for equal pay for equal work. Photo: Huaibei Today
The Xing Ang closure shows that it is not China’s economic slowdown  that gives rise to worker protests, it is the response of employers to that slowdown and the way they treat their employees that determines worker actions.
Thousands of taxi drivers in at least 13 cities have staged strikes and protests over excessive fees and unfair competition from ride-hailing app services since the beginning of the year.
China Labour Bulletin Director Han Dongfang responds to the arrest of labour activists in Guangdong and the state media’s smear campaign against them.
The number of strikes and worker protests in China escalated dramatically towards the end of 2015 as the economy continued to stutter, with manufacturing, construction and mining all seeing a massive upsurge in disputes.
A group of labour activists held in detention for more than a month have been subjected to a vicious smear campaign in China’s state-run media. Many workers have now spoken out in their defence and they present a completely different picture from that in the official media.
Lawsuits filed by sanitation workers in the central province of Hunan have reportedly forced the provincial government to issue a directive calling on administrative and trade union officials to step up their efforts to improve pay, working conditions and job security for street cleaners.
Two prominent labour activists have been formally detained by the Guangzhou authorities for “gathering a crowd to disturb social order,” in what appears to be a coordinated crackdown on labour groups in the city. Photo: Zeng Feiyang,  Zhu Xiaomei and He Xiaobo.
The continued slowdown in China’s manufacturing heartland has led to a marked increase in worker protests as factories close down and bosses run off without paying their employees’ wages.


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