Lambasting Chinese Companies Could Imperil African Workers, Analysts Say

Author: Michael Martin, International Business Times, Published on: 4 July 2011

[T]he Zimbabwe Allied Trade Workers Union Secretary-General Muchapiwa Mazarura reportedly said that strong ties between Beijing and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's administration have enabled Chinese companies in Zimbabwe to operate above the law. Mazarura explained that when Zimbabwean authorities were alerted to numerous accounts of the Chinese companies' physical abuse and underpayment, labor laws were not enforced…"The Chinese companies are exploiting us," said Douglas, a Zimbabwean construction worker…"We are working without safety clothes,"…Douglas also said physical abuse and arbitrary dismissals are a daily fear for workers at his construction compan...[However] [s]ome analysts say attacking Chinese enterprises as a collective unit may worsen the situation of workers…James Shikwati, renowned expert on African economies...[said] one must still note that India, the US and South Africa have all had histories of exploiting labor in the region.

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