CLW Labor News Brief for January 2019

Activists in southern China demonstrated in support of workers’ rights in August. Dozens were detained, and the government has since released video of four confessions. Credit: Jasic Workers Solidarity, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Image

An American Sportswear Company Cut Links to a Chinese Factory Using Internment Camp Labor LINK

(TIME, 01/10/2019) Badger Sportswear, a supplier of t-shirts and other team apparel to college bookstores cut its ties with a Chinese company that drew workers from an internment camp holding targeted members of ethnic minority groups. Asked about the case, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said that while the ministry doesn’t generally comment on individual business decisions, Badger appeared to have been acting on “misinformation.”

At least five labour rights activists arrested across China LINK

(South China Morning Post, 01/22/2019) At least five Chinese activists have been arrested by police for allegedly “disturbing public order” in what appears to be a coordinated crackdown on labour activism.。

Hong Kong Trade Unions Call For Release of Jasic Activists LINK

(Radio Free Asia, 02/18/2019) The Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU) staged a protest outside the ruling Chinese Communist Party’s liaison office in the city, demanding the release of 34 people detained for campaigning for a labor union at Jasic Technology’s factory in Shenzhen.

China Using Taped Confessions to Intimidate Young Communists, Students Say LINK

(The New York Times, 01/22/2019) For months, a group of outspoken young communists has put China’s leaders on edge, organizing a fiery campaign for workers’ rights that has evaded the government’s tight political control. Now the authorities appear to be deploying a new weapon in their efforts to crush the movement: forcing students to watch videotaped confessions in which detained activists say they spread false information and violated the law. Student activists detailed the existence of the videos. They said that more than 20 students at elite Chinese universities had been forced to watch the videos in recent weeks as a way to pressure them to abandon their activism.

Births to Decline More, Affecting Labor Force LINK

(China Daily, 01/25/2019) Births in China are forecast to decrease further in the years ahead, as is the number of workers, a top official with the National Bureau of Statistics said.The estimate was published two days after official figures on last year’s population showed a steep decline of 2 million births and fueled concerns about a future labor shortage and its potential negative impact on economic growth.

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