The Workers’ Movement in China 2009-2011 and Presentation of the China Perspectives Nº2011/2

 10/21/2011

 7pm-9pm
 Room Segalen, 25/F, Admiralty Centre, Tower 2, 18 Harcourt Road, Hong Kong

“Unity is Strength: The Workers’ Movement in China 2009-2011”

by Han Dongfang, Founder and Director of China Labour Bulletin and Geoffrey Crothall, Communications director of China Labour Bulletin.

and

“The Changing World of Chinese Labour: Presentation of China Perspectives Nº2011/2”

with Chloé Froissart, Assistant Professor of Rennes-2 University

Reservation & Contact: Heipo Leung

cefc@cefc.com.hk / tel: 2876 6910

Abstract:

Unity is Strength, the new 50 page report from China Labour Bulletin is an in-depth analysis and overview of developments and trends in the workers’ movement in China, focusing on the role of the new generation of migrant workers but also looking at the continuing struggle of workers in state-owned industries. It identifies some encouraging trends in the ability of workers to organize strikes and negotiate pay increases with employers; it also notes a shift in attitude from some government and trade union officials, although this stops short of whole-hearted support for workers. However, CLB also notes that the movement is still fragmented, strikes tend to be spontaneous and very often strike leaders are sacked, making it very difficult to build on the experiences and lessons learnt by labour and management and create a more stable system of negotiation and bargaining over pay and conditions.

The Changing World of Chinese Labour, a special feature in issue no. 2011/2 of China Perspectives, is edited by Jean-François Huchet, former director of the CEFC. More than a year after the wave of strikes in Guangdong Province, the issue seeks to investigate the social, economic and political implications of this new form of social action by workers. The issue contains articles dedicated to an analysis of the strikes as a new type of social conflict (Jean-Philippe Béja), a case study of the legal and social organization of the construction industry in several cities in China (Pun Ngai and Xu Yi), a study of NGOs dedicated to the defense of migrant workers (Chloé Froissart), a demographic approach to the tension on the labor market (Michel Cartier) and an analysis of the emerging social security system in China (William Hurst).

Speakers:

Han Dongfang has been a leading advocate for workers’ rights in China for more than two decades. He first came to international prominence during the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 but the bulk of his work has been with China Labour Bulletin, a labour rights group he established in Hong Kong in 1994. In addition, Han is on the board of Human Rights in China, and conducts regular interviews with Chinese workers on Radio Free Asia.

Geoffrey Crothall has been reporting on China since 1985 and spent five years in the 1990s as the Beijing correspondent for the South China Morning Post. After writing a book in 2006 on the continuing legacy of colonialism, he joined China Labour Bulletin in 2007. He oversees CLB’s websites and acts as the organizations’ spokesman.

Chloé Froissart is Assistant Professor in Chinese Studies at Rennes-2 University and Associate Researcher at CNRS-CRAPE. She is also a former research fellow of the CEFC. Her research is devoted to the question of citizenship and the condition of migrant workers in China.

ALL INTERESTED ARE WELCOME!

This seminar will be held in English.
Sebastian Veg, Director of the CEFC, will chair the session.
Snacks and drinks will be served after the seminar.
Please confirm your attendance.

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