Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Organised labour and the dangers of going on strike

For a country that describes itself as "socialism with Chinese characteristics" this story also from ChinaDaily highlights the "wild west" nature of the Chinese economy during this unprecedented period of growth.

Going on strike appears to be a very dangerous occupation. Even in a communist country the workers appear to be getting a rather raw deal in the face of the ruthless forces of capitalism.

The bits in bold are telling.

Migrant workers attacked by mob
One migrant worker is fighting for survival, two are missing, and six remain in serious situation in the hospital, after armed gangsters in Guangdong Province beat up about 300 migrant workers who had gone on strike to demand unpaid salaries on Friday, the Chongqing Morning Post reported .

The Beijing-based China News Service reported on Monday that four suspects were detained by police.

The migrants, most of whom are from Southwest China's Chongqing Municipality and Sichuan Province, were working at a construction site for a hydropower station on the Dongjiang River in Dongyuan county, in South China's Guangdong Province.

The workers, who have not been paid for four months, went on strike on Friday, which led to the descent by more than 200 thugs, according to the newspaper.

"The first batch of about 50 gangsters came with spades in their hands, and the second batch had axes, steel pipes and sabres, and there were more behind them," the newspaper quoted Liu Gangqing, one of the migrant workers, as saying.

"They didn't stop lashing out at us even when the police arrived," said another migrant worker Li Chuanbing.

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