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It is an interesting step forward, but we must take this information with a grain of salt.

Fist of all, China has not ratified the ILO core Convention on the Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining, nor the Convention on Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise, nor the Convention on the Abolition of Forced Labour or the Convention on Forced Labour.

Workers are deprived the right to organise freely, to form independent trade unions or join the trade unions of their choice and to engage in collective bargaining. Only one organisation is recognised in law, the All China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) under the authority of the Communist Party. The right to strike is not recognised. The repression of industrial action is very hard and imprisonment of those fighting for workers' rights is frequent.

Finally, having a law is not enough: it must be enforced. According to a report from the National People Assembly of China in December 2005, 80% of the companies do not comply with the existing labour regulations. For example, the weekly working time is legally limited to 45 hours, but a lot of employees work 70 hours a week or more...

And the judicial authorities do not have the means to enforce the law on a large scale.

From the workers' point of view, China is not Europe yet!

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Sun Oct 15th, 2006 at 04:16:00 PM EST

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