From Monthly Review. An important debate.
Rethinking ‘Capitalist Restoration’ in China
by Yiching Wu
China and neo-liberalism
by Martin Hart-Landsberg
China’s workers emboldened: Strikes escalate in March
Search form Search
8 April, 2012
By Jennifer Cheung
The number of strikes recorded by China Labour Bulletin in March 2012 reached its highest monthly total since we started monitoring worker protests on a day to day basis 15 months ago. A total of 38 strikes were logged across China, primarily in the manufacturing and transportation sectors. Half of the strikes, 19 in all, were related to pay demands, three concerned factory relocations, three strikes were in protest at merger or restructuring plans, and four were related to the payment of overtime.
Reports indicate that police were present at 13 of the protests and detained workers in two of them. Eleven protests led to collective bargaining or negotiations with management and in two of those cases the workers’ demands were fulfilled.
There were 17 strikes in the manufacturing sector, five more than in February. Quite a few of these factory strikes occurred in foreign or Hong Kong or Taiwan-owned manufacturers in the Pearl River Delta, and normally involved at least 1,000 workers blocking factory gates or public roads.
Taxi and bus drivers in at least ten cities went on strike in March, with a spate of strikes between 26 and 27 March primarily due to the government’s 19 March fuel price hike. Surveys estimate that taxi drivers will have to pay an extra 400 yuan every month and bus drivers an extra 1,000 yuan per month as a result of the price rise. The Chinese government has pledged to help transport workers cope with rising oil prices by providing subsidies, promoting collective bargaining in taxi companies and regulating the taxi leasing fees that usually take up nearly one half of drivers’ monthly income.
Read the article here from China Labour Bulletin:
Fall of Bo Xilai
March 18, 2012 — Chinaworker.info, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission — Dramatic events are unfolding as China’s once-in-a-decade leadership transition gets underway. A serious schism in the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) top ranks has come into full public view – something unprecedented since the mass anti-government protests of 1989. Bo Xilai, standard-bearer of the neo-Maoist “new left”, has been dismissed as provincial party chief of Chongqing.
While dramatic, these developments are not completely unexpected. As we explained last year on chinaworker.info, “Still, the [populist] campaign of Bo is an important development signifying that the relative cohesion of the ruling group – in public at least – since the 1989 Beijing massacre is beginning to unravel.” (“China: Repression or ‘reform’?”, chinaworker.info, July 11, 2011).
Bo’s exit follows a major scandal resulting in the arrest of his former right-hand man, Wang Lijun, who until six weeks ago was vice-mayor and police chief of Chongqing. Wang has been labelled a “traitor” by the regime after what was possibly a defection attempt at the US consulate in Chengdu on February 6. He is also widely suspected of corruption. “The Wang Lijun saga has evolved into one of the biggest political scandals over the past 60 years”, argues political commentator Chen Ziming. The fall of both men is part of a wider power struggle within the regime, rather than merely an anti-corruption “clean up”. Read more
From IMF: Apple fails to have workers a voice