China Labor Watch
China Labor Watch (CLW) is an independent not-for-profit organization. In the past ten years, CLW has collaborated with unions, labor organizations, and the media to conduct hundreds of in-depth assessments of labor conditions in Chinese factories that produce toys, bikes, shoes, furniture, clothing, and electronics for some of the largest international brand corporations. Annual reports provide in-depth overview of CLW’s work and impact.
The Covid-19 pandemic has heavily impacted workers and their working conditions. China Labor Watch (CLW) has continued to investigate worksites, receive grievances in multiple channels, and provide training to workers in China. Meanwhile, we expanded the scope of our work beyond the domestic labor issues in China to include the large but often ignored community of Chinese short-term migrant workers working overseas in different countries.
2019 Annual Report
In 2019, China Labor Watch (CLW) conducted undercover investigations into a number of supplier factories. We found that rights abuses persist in these factories which mostly manufacture for some of the most profitable companies in the world including Apple, Samsung, Disney and Hasbro.
2016-2018 Annual Report
In December 2015, Chinese authorities arrested more than a dozen labor activists. Some of these activists had some connections with workers in China.
In 2017, three investigators of China Labor Watch were detained. Taking these factors into account, we delayed the release of the annual report.
This combined report focuses on our work from 2016 to 2018. Because of changes in Chinese politics, we have deleted some sensitive information that may pose risks to our partners in China.
2015 Annual Report
This year, CLW has conducted 4 factory investigations and entered 9 factories in toy and electronics industries. We sincerely hoped that we could witness improvement in labor conditions, but again we discovered violations in as many as 29 categories. As such, we argue the big companies including Apple, Samsung, Mattel, Hasbro, and Disney have failed to uphold their labor rights promises.
2014 Annual Report
In 2014, CLW has persisted in its independent watchdog role, conducting dozens of investigations into labor rights violations. Aiming to use public pressure as a tool of oversight, CLW frequently publishes results or shares information with the media. Resulting outcry from media, consumers, investors, and other stakeholders has led to company responses, and in some cases even remedy.
2013 Annual Report
China has continued to develop economically since the 1980s, but the rights of Chinese workers during this time have been limited. While the right of freedom of association and collective bargaining is missing from the Chinese legal framework, many legally enshrined individual labor rights are frequently violated. The rampant abuse of labor rights have led to skyrocketing labor conflicts. For example, the number of labor dispute cases accepted by China’s labor dispute arbitration committees (LDACs) and the number of employees involved in these disputes increased dramatically from 12,358 and 34,794 in 1993 to 589,244 and 779,490 in 2011, respectively.
2012 Annual Report
China Labor Watch (CLW) faced both challenges and successes in 2012. Last summer, Along with the 10 other labor organizations, CLW was made by the Shenzhen government to relocate to a business district in the city rather than operating in the worker-populated manufacturing districts. Despite continuing resistance to the growing influence of our organization in China, CLW did not give up the struggle to strengthen the respect for labor rights and fair treatment of workers.
2011 Annual Report
At the close of 2011, a wave of factory strikes swept China, from the Pearl River delta up to the Yangtze River delta. Demand slowed, raw materials’ prices rose, and factories cut labor costs to survive. Yet the major cause of the strikes was actually authoritative factory management–the constant alienation of workers from their employers as they work long hours for low wages in poor conditions. To support workers’ awareness of their rights, CLW staff in Shenzhen operated a legal inquiry hotline and held regular legal trainings.
2010 Annual Report
2010 was a year of transition for the workers and the labor situation in China, and a number of milestones mark the highs and lows of the past year. From tragic worker deaths to unprecedented international media attention and concessions granted to striking workers, the ever-evolving economic and civic backdrop created new opportunities and challenges for China Labor Watch to continue to press forward, promoting Chinese workers‟ rights while uncovering ongoing systemic issues and collaboratively seeking holistic supply chain improvements.
2009 Annual Report
2009 was a year of economic crisis and recovery. Governments across the world invested billions of dollars in revitalizing struggling economies. Corporate responsibility program budgets were cut and workers were laid off. Those whose jobs remained faced major challenges. CLW continued to stand up for these workers’ rights and believes in the importance of implementing China’s 2008 labor law in spite of economic difficulties.
2008 Annual Report
For China Labor Watch, 2008 was a challenging yet rewarding year. With a team of less than 20, we conducted investigations on 29 foreign-invested factories in China and helped improve the working conditions of approximately fifty thousand workers, including their wages, work hours, safety equipment standards, insurance, dormitory and food conditions and more.