China: About 50 labour activists detained by authorities, 7 criminally detained among which 5 were charged & sentenced

"After detaining seven labor activists for more than a month, on January 8 the Chinese government formally arrested four of the activists. Their names are Zeng Feiyang, Zhu Xiaomei, and Meng Han (all of the Panyu Workers Center), and He Xiaobo (of the Nanfeiyan Social Worker Center). Zeng, Zhu, and Meng have been arrested for “gathering crowds to disturb public order”, while He was arrested on the grounds of “embezzlement”. The activists have continually been denied their right to meet their lawyers..."

"[M]ore than nine months after they were arrested amid a crackdown on civic organizations...Zeng Feiyang...was charged with “gathering a crowd to disturb social order” and sentenced to three years with a four-year suspension. The two other organizers, Tang Jian and Zhu Xiaomei, were sentenced to one and a half years in prison with two-year suspensions..."

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Author: 傅才德、储百亮, 纽约时报 (美国)

劳工团体和活动人士周六表示,中国南方的警方近日逮捕了至少三名工人维权领导者。中国南部是世界上最重要的制造业中心之一,那里的劳工抗议正在日益 增加,此时发生这样的事情,也令人担心中共对民间团体的最新一波打压活动扩展到了一个新的领域…广东番禺打工族服务部负责人曾飞洋上周五遭到刑事拘留,罪 名是“聚众扰乱社会秩序”。同样遭到拘留的还有劳工组织者朱小梅,以及佛山一个帮助受伤工人组织的负责人何晓波。

曾飞洋是一名律师,也是中国最著名的劳工活动组织者,他的非政府组织帮助工人从管理层那里争取更好的薪酬和福利待遇…中国劳工通讯…的资料显示,广东的罢工和抗议活动近几个月来已经增加逾 一倍,从今年7月的23起提高到了11月的56起。“很明显,抗议活动的增加和劳工运动的发展已经引起了当局担心,”郭展睿在电话采访中说。“他们不知道 如何应对,能想出的唯一解决办法就是打压那些真正想帮忙的人。”一位研究劳工问题的中国学者…说…拘留可能是一个信号,警告工人不要参与共产党控制的中华 全国总工会之外的劳工活动… [提及本田]

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Author: 傅才德、儲百亮, 紐約時報(美國)

勞工團體和活動人士周六表示,中國南方的警方近日逮捕了至少三名工人維權領導者。中國南部是世界上最重要的製造業中心之一,那裡的勞工抗議正在日益增加,此時發生這樣的事情,也令人擔心中共對民間團體的最新一波打壓活動擴展到了一個新的領域…廣東番禺打工族服務部負責人曾飛洋上週五遭到刑事拘留,罪名是“聚眾擾亂社會秩序”。同樣遭到拘留的還有勞工組織者朱小梅,以及佛山一個幫助受傷工人組織的負責人何曉波。

曾飛洋是一名律師,也是中國最著名的勞工活動組織者,他的非政府組織幫助工人從管理層那裡爭取更好的薪酬和福利待遇…中國勞工通訊…的資料顯示,廣東的罷工和抗議活動近幾個月來已經增加逾一倍,從今年7月的23起提高到了11月的56起。 “很明顯,抗議活動的增加和勞工運動的發展已經引起了當局擔心,”郭展睿在電話採訪中說。 “他們不知道如何應對,能想出的唯一解決辦法就是打壓那些真正想幫忙的人。”一位研究勞工問題的中國學者…說…拘留可能是一個信號,警告工人不要參與共產黨控制的中華全國總工會之外的勞工活動… [提及本田]

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8 December 2015

China Detains Labor Activists as Authorities Sweep Industrial Hub

Author: Chun Han Wong, Wall Street Journal (USA)

Chinese authorities detained or interrogated more than a dozen labor activists in a southern manufacturing hub this week, a sweep that underscores Beijing’s growing anxiety over worker unrest…The activists, mainly based in the cities of Guangzhou and Foshan, were rounded up by police for questioning Thursday, according to some of the activists and their associates. They said as many as 19 people were taken in…at least 10 people remained out of contact as of Saturday evening, including three activists who have been placed under criminal detention…

It wasn’t clear what prompted the sweep, though…have increasingly clamped down on industrial unrest that has swelled over the past year, amid an economic slowdown that has led to a rise in layoffs and wage disputes…Scholars say the crackdown appeared to target activists who focus on organizing workers involved in labor disputes and advising them on how to collectively negotiate over unpaid wages and other grievances.

…One of the activists under criminal detention is Zeng Feiyang, founder of the Guangdong Panyu Migrant Workers Center, which has been assisting workers in collective negotiations, including in a recent dispute between sanitation workers and their employment agency…

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Author: 张璁, 人民日报 (中国)

[人民日报 ]记者从广东警方获悉:据群众举报,警方12月3日破获一起涉嫌假借工人“免费维权”之名实施严重刑事犯罪的案件。以“打工族文书处理服务部”...为主要平台进行活动的曾飞洋、孟晗、彭家勇等7名犯罪嫌疑人,目前已经被警方依法采取刑事强制措施...

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Author: 張璁, 人民日報(中國)

[人民日報]記者從廣東警方獲悉:據群眾舉報,警方12月3日破獲一起涉嫌假借工人“免費維權”之名實施嚴重刑事犯罪的案件。以“打工族文書處理服務部”...為主要平台進行活動的曾飛洋、孟晗、彭家勇等7名犯罪嫌疑人,目前已經被警方依法採取刑事強制措施...

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28 December 2015

Chinese labor activists stand accused by state media

Author: Sui-Lee Wee, Reuters

“Chinese labor activists stand accused by state media”, 23 Dec 2015

Chinese state media have accused seven detained labor activists of "inciting workers to go on strike", accepting foreign funding and "disturbing social order", sparking criticism from rights groups…Earlier this month, police in Guangzhou detained Zeng Feiyang, the director of the Guangzhou-based Panyu Migrant Workers Centre, on a charge of "disturbing social order", said Zeng's lawyer, Cheng Zhunqiang. Six other activists have also been detained, according to rights group Amnesty International.

The more detailed accusations listed [later] by state news agency Xinhua…and state broadcaster CCTV…follow a string of "confessions" made by high-profile suspects on state television and articles used to discredit detained rights lawyers. Critics say these accounts deprive the accused of the right to a fair trial.

"Workers' representatives believe that the real motive of Zeng Feiyang et al is to incite workers to strike, create a social impact, interfere with factories' normal production and disturb social order," Xinhua said. Zeng and the other activists "forced factories' leaders into submission and incited workers to surround law enforcement agencies, causing a very bad impact on society", Xinhua said…

Geoffrey Crothall, communications director at China Labour Bulletin, said the activists were helping workers fight for their legal entitlements. "These groups are the ones that are actually upholding the law."

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Author: 梓鹏, BBC中文网 (英国)

“《人民日报》“起底”被捕广东工运人士曾飞洋”, 2015年12月23日

继中国官方新华社发文证实广东七名基层工运活动人士被捕后…《人民日报》…(12月23日)文章称“服务部”主任曾飞洋身份系“伪造”,其涉嫌“通奸”等犯罪行为,而该组织接受境外资金资助以及“导演”工人罢工等。

…《中国劳工通讯》(China Labour Bulletin)…杰里弗(Crothall Jeoffrey)指出,现在被捕的工运活动人士迄今未被允许接触律师...杰里弗介绍说,广东的劳工组织一直都有被中国当局“骚扰”,此次警方的刑事拘留使得情况更糟…杰里弗也反驳《人民日报》的叙述称:“服务部在幕后策划、组织、操纵工人罢工,激化劳资矛盾,严重扰乱社会秩序。” 他解释称,番禹中心只是帮工人争取合法权益,但当地政府、中华全国总工会和雇主们不作为,无法解决工人诉求。所以工人求助非政府组织(NGO)是“没办法的办法”。他说:“七个活动人士遭遇逮捕后,还有罢工发生。所以问题不在NGO身上。”

独立工运观察人士指出,由于中国政府支持的全国总工会长期被批评根本不代表工人利益,使得中国各地很多劳工自发的基层工运组织在劳动纠纷中日益广受工人欢迎。近年来,基层工运活动人士不断参与帮助工人组织基层工会,选举出与资方谈判的代表,并且为组织罢工和抗议提供帮助。

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Author: 梓鵬, BBC中文網(英國)

“《人民日報》“起底”被捕廣東工運人士曾飛洋”, 2015年12月23日

繼中國官方新華社發文證實廣東七名基層工運活動人士被捕後…《人民日報》…(12月23日)文章稱“服務部”主任曾飛洋身份系“偽造”,其涉嫌“通姦”等犯罪行為,而該組織接受境外資金資助以及“導演”工人罷工等。

…《中國勞工通訊》(China Labour Bulletin)…傑里弗(Crothall Jeoffrey)指出,現在被捕的工運活動人士迄今未被允許接觸律師...傑里弗介紹說,廣東的勞工組織一直都有被中國當局“騷擾”,此次警方的刑事拘留使得情況更糟…傑里弗也反駁《人民日報》的敘述稱:“服務部在幕後策劃、組織、操縱工人罷工,激化勞資矛盾,嚴重擾亂社會秩序。” 他解釋稱,番禹中心只是幫工人爭取合法權益,但當地政府、中華全國總工會和雇主們不作為,無法解決工人訴求。所以工人求助非政府組織(NGO)是“沒辦法的辦法”。他說:“七個活動人士遭遇逮捕後,還有罷工發生。所以問題不在NGO身上。”

獨立工運觀察人士指出,由於中國政府支持的全國總工會長期被批評根本不代表工人利益,使得中國各地很多勞工自發的基層工運組織在勞動糾紛中日益廣受工人歡迎。近年來,基層工運活動人士不斷參與幫助工人組織基層工會,選舉出與資方談判的代表,並且為組織罷工和抗議提供幫助。

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4 January 2016

China: Commentary on latest crackdown on labour activists and roles of labour NGOs & ACFTU

Author: Eli Friedman (Cornell Univ.), Aaron Halegua (New York Univ.) & Jerome A. Cohen (US-Asia Law Institute), in Washington Post (USA)

"Cruel irony: China’s Communists are stamping out labor activism", 3 Jan 2016

…China’s labor nongovernmental organizations have suffered regular rounds of repression and harassment…But this most recent repression is more serious. It seems that the Communist Party is intent on stamping out labor activism in civil society once and for all…

In fact, labor NGOs play a productive role in resolving such disputes…labor NGOs advise strikers on how to formulate their demands, elect representatives and engage in collective negotiations with employers to resolve the underlying violations, and sometimes even assist in reaching agreements governing future relations…Unfortunately…NGOs are viewed as threatening state power as well as the interests of employers…

Part of the problem is that the state-controlled All-China Federation of Trade Unions claims an absolute monopoly on representing and advocating for China’s workers, but in reality does little of either…If the government were serious about improving labor relations, it would require trade unions to learn from these NGO leaders…[refers to Honda & Lide Footware]

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10 January 2016

China: 4 detained labour activists formally charged amid "most sweeping clampdown in two decades"

Author: Sui-Lee Wee, Reuters

“China arrests four labour activists amid crackdown: lawyers”, 10 Jan 2016

China has formally arrested four labour activists who have helped workers fight for their rights, lawyers for two of them said on Sunday, as the government steps up a crackdown on activists pressing for change within the system.

Rights groups say the current clampdown on dissent is the most sweeping in two decades in China, where a slowing economy has led to a surge in labour disputes, particularly in the southern manufacturing powerhouse of Guangdong.

Zeng Feiyang…was charged with "disturbing social order", said Cheng Zhunqiang, his lawyer. Zeng is one of China's most prominent labour activists, many of whom have campaigned for the legal rights of workers, such as proper work contracts and social insurance contributions. Two other activists, Meng Han and Zhu Xiaomei, have also been arrested on the same charge, said Yan Xin, Meng's lawyer, and Cheng. He Xiaobo was arrested on a charge of embezzlement, according to New York-based rights group China Labor Watch…Both lawyers said they had been unable to meet their clients since their detentions, in contravention of Chinese law…

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