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Arbeitsplätze | Inselstreit
Aug 28th, 2016 by Gao

Michael Schuman: Is China Stealing Jobs? It May Be Losing Them, Instead / 中国抢走美国人的工作?如今情况或已逆转 (New York Times)

As its economy has expanded, creating opportunities in many sectors, assembly line jobs are not as attractive as they once were. That has caused managers to raise wages to attract workers. At the same time, local governments in Shenzhen, a coastal trading hub that abuts Hong Kong, and other industrial centers have steadily increased the mandated minimum wage to improve the welfare of working families and pressure companies to produce more expensive, high-value products.
That combination has pushed wages for Chinese factory workers higher. Their monthly pay now averages $424, 29 percent more than just three years ago, the Japan External Trade Organization has estimated. Labor costs in China are now significantly higher than in many other emerging economies. Factory workers in Vietnam earn less than half the salary of a Chinese worker, while those in Bangladesh get paid under a quarter as much.

Below the Winds: What Do the Island Disputes Really Mean to Vietnamese & Chinese Workers? (chuang)
Christian Vits: Chinas langer Arm ins Meer (Standard)

Militärisches Säbelrasseln und Kriegsrhetorik – kaum ein Tag vergeht, an dem der Konflikt um Gebietsansprüche im Südchinesischen Meer in Asien ohne Schlagzeilen bleibt. Der Streit drohe zu einer „Wiege des Krieges“ zu werden, warnte etwa der chinesische Vizeaußenminister Liu Zhenmin Mitte Juli.

Protest in Taibei | Walmart | Foxconn | Konjunkturpaket
Apr 11th, 2014 by Gao

Zachary Fillingham: Taiwan’s Sunflower Protests Explained (Geopolitical Monitor)

It’s a headline that shocks: Students occupy the national legislature, issue an ultimatum to the ruling government. And for a little while the local Taiwanese media ran with this sense of shock, portraying the occupying students as a motley and misguided crew of beer-swigging firebrands. But it’s clear to anyone present that this initial act of civil disobedience has blossomed into a wider political movement, complete with its very own sentimental branding.
This is Taiwan’s Sunflower Revolution – at least that’s what the protesters will tell you.
It all began in the early hours of March 18, when roughly 250 students stormed the Legislative Yuan in central Taipei. They were quickly joined by 1,000 other students, and since then the number of supporters surrounding the building has grown to over ten thousand, with many staying through the night despite unseasonably cold weather and bouts of torrential rain.
The demands of the main student group in the legislature are simple. They want Taiwan to pull out of a cross-strait service pact that was signed in July of last year; the establishment of an oversight mechanism to monitor future cross-strait negotiations; and for President Ma Ying-jeou to personally respond to their demands.

Chinese Walmart Workers Write to AFL-CIO for Help (China Labour Net)

Liu Jiayi: Workers at samsung supplier win a pay rise following a strike (ZDNet)

More than a thousand workers at the Dongguan-based Shanmukang Technology managed to not only win a better overtime rate on weekdays and weekends, but also double their monthly pay, after a simultaneous strike staged by workers from different depts.

Jennifer Cheung: Criminal Prosecution of Wu Guijun: the China State versus a worker (Union Solidarity International)

It has been nearly 11 months since the workers’ representative, Wu Guijun, was illegally detained by china’s government on the charge of illegal gathering of crowd to disturb transport order, he potentially faces a maximum sentence of a three year imprisonment. The prosecutor believes he planned, organised and instructed the workers’ march that disrupted transport order on May 23 last year in Shenzhen.

Eric Lee: Welcome China’s unions back into the family (Workers’ Liberty)

At the end of March, the International Labour Organisation’s Bureau for Workers Activities (known as ILO-ACTRAV) and the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) signed a Memorandum of Understanding “to promote Trade unions South-South Cooperation in the Asia- Pacific region”.

Pun Ngai, Shen Yuan, Guo Yuhua, Lu Huilin, Jenny Chan, Mark Selden: Worker-Intellectual Unity: Suicide, trans-border sociological intervention, and the Foxconn-Apple connection (Japan Focus)

What are the implications for global public sociology and labor studies when more than a score of Foxconn workers jump to their death and when a wave of protests, riots and strikes occur in their wake? This article documents the formation of a cross-border sociological intervention project and illustrates how sociological research fueled regional campaigns that gradually developed into a global campaign. This experience confirms the important political contribution that social science can make when linked with grassroots politics. The authors shed light on how social and economic injustice was creatively challenged by combining the strengths of workers, researchers and transnational movement activists. The study uses both quantitative (semi-structured questionnaires) and qualitative (in-depth interviews and participation observation) methods to gain insights concerning the experiences, world views and collective agency of Chinese workers who are struggling to make sense of the global production regime they inhabit and to contest the forces that shape their working and social lives.

Xu Lin: Top 10 Chinese provinces for the well-heeled (China.org.cn)

The latest GroupM Knowledge-Hurun Wealth Report has revealed that Beijing is home to the largest number of wealthy people in China, followed by Guangdong and Shanghai.
By the end of last year, the number of people on the Chinese mainland possessing a wealth in excess of 10 million yuan (US$1.62 million) rose by 3 percent from one year earlier, to 1.05 million. The number of those super-rich, defined as individuals with a personal wealth of 100 million yuan (US$16.2 million) or above, increased by 2 percent—to 64,500, 1,000 more than in 2011.

AP: China puts railways and houses at heart of new stimulus measures (Guardian)

Apple
Mrz 2nd, 2014 by Gao

Well-polished Apple’s CSR report is just another fairytale for workers (SACOM)

Despite respectable quarterly revenues of US$57.6 billion and a net quarterly profit of US$13.1 billion in the first quarter of its fiscal year of 2014, the company is unwilling to share its success with frontline workers – those who turn its ideas into real products. Apple’s newly published Corporate Supplier Responsibility (CSR) Progress Report projects an ideal workplace at Apple suppliers, yet we doubt workers are enjoying any benefit at all.

Proteste in Yúyáo | „PraktikantInnen“
Okt 16th, 2013 by Gao

Christopher Bodeen: Thousands Protest Flood Response in Chinese City (AP/ABC)

An unspecified number of people at Tuesday’s protest in the Zhejiang province city of Yuyao were arrested for „radical acts“ including throwing bricks at police and flipping over government vehicles, the official English-language Global Times reported.

Eric Crouch: Photos and video from mass protest in Yuyao: 1500 police on the streets (Shanghaiist)
浙江镇干部视察水灾因穿高档鞋让村支书背(大洋新闻 / 信息时报)
Zhang Yiwei, Yang Hui: Yuyao faces continued flood woes (Global Times)
Jiang Yabin: Flood victims still facing food shortage (Global Times)
Yuan Kaiyu, Liu Dong: Official calls for restraint in Yuyao (Global Times)

Cai Qi, head of the Organization Department of the Communist Party of China Zhejiang Provincial Committee, called for residents in Yuyao to restrain from radical acts on his Tencent Weibo account Tuesday, saying that local government officials have been trying their best in disaster relief.
Many residents in Yuyao also called for rational reflection on the city’s disaster warning and emergency response system instead of blind protest on Tuesday, while thousands of people gathered to criticize the government’s ineffectiveness in the disaster relief work following Typhoon Fitow brought severe flood to the city.

Eine als Reportage getarnte Inhaltsangabe zu einem neuen Buch von Jenny Chan, Pun Ngai und Mark Selden:
Aditya Chakrabortty: Forced student labour is central to the Chinese economic miracle (Guardian)

China has an army of student labour making Apple products, Playstation consoles and other gadgets for the west. The teenagers‘ stories make upsetting reading.

Wirtschaftspolitik | Foxconn
Aug 19th, 2013 by Gao

Die Renmin ribao kritisiert das Konjunkturpaket von Wen Jiabao als „verschwenderisch“; es gibt Indizien für einen Konflikt über die Wirtschaftspolitik:
罗兰:新增投资不搞新版四万亿 专家称不会造成浪费(人民日报)

不搞新版四万亿 明确重点补短板
新增投资不会“撒胡椒面”(热点聚焦)

Jenny Chan: A Suicide Survivor: the life of a Chinese migrant worker at Foxconn (Japan Focus)

In 2010, 18 employees working for Foxconn in China attempted suicide. These shocking events focused world attention on the manufacturing supply chains of China’s export industry and the experience of working within them. What had driven these young migrant assembly line workers to commit such a desperate act? This article provides a first-hand account of the experiences of one of those who survived a suicide attempt, 17-year-old Tian Yu. Her personal narrative is embedded within the broader context of labour process, work organisation and managerial practice at Foxconn, the Taiwanese-owned multinational whose 1.4 million Chinese workers provide products and components for Apple and others. Factory conditions are further shaped by the company trade union and Chinese government policies. The paper concludes with additional contextualisation indicating the emergence of an alliance of workers, students, scholars and transnational labour movement activists who are campaigning for Chinese workers‘ rights.

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