China Labor Watch
worker and activist outreach projects
CLW engaged with workers in their workplace and communities, distributed pamphlets detailing basic rights and local legal resources and provided targeted training on labor laws and local labor issues. The community training not only provided legal knowledge to workers, but also expanded workers’ network and support system, and facilitated peer communications among workers. CLW has trained thousands of workers through its community training projects. CLW has temporarily paused its training programs in China due to the changing domestic situations.
Train the Trainer (Activist Training)
CLW partnered with legal experts in human rights and labor law to conduct legal training sessions to cultivate local labor activists in China on the most effective strategies for providing labor law training to workers. The program has provided free training on labor law and collective bargaining strategies to hundreds of labor activists. CLW has also worked to expand the network of Chinese NGOs engaging in labor issues by helping to establish four worker legal centers.
Collective Bargaining Training
Collective bargaining is a process of voluntary negotiation between employers and workers aimed at reaching agreements to adjust working conditions. Collective agreements usually set out wage scales, working hours, training, health and safety, overtime, grievance mechanisms, and rights to participate in workplace or company affairs.
The right to collectively bargain is recognized through international human rights conventions. Article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights identifies the ability to organize trade unions as a fundamental human right. Item 2(a) of the International Labour Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work defines the “freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining” as an essential right of workers.
Despite the recognition of collective bargaining as a fundamental human right, real collective bargaining is seldom an option for the majority of Chinese workers.
China Labor Watch is working to change this. CLW has engaged in educating workers and labor activists about collective bargaining rights and approaches that workers should consider when engaging with employers to demand a fair wage and acceptable working conditions.