Labor militancy unsettles China’s ruling party


It’s not only the Hong Kong protests that are giving China’s ruling Communist Party cause for concern. Growing labor militancy is another potential source of instability, analysts suggest. 

China’s delivery van drivers face huge pressures at the best of times but they are now being squeezed even further by the online platforms that dominate the transport and logistics sector. Many drivers cannot earn a living wage, and a lot have already quit the industry but still more are taking collective action, China Labour Bulletin reports:

Strikes and protests by transport workers accounted for 12 percent of incidents recorded on China Labour Bulletin’s Strike Map last month, about the same proportion as factory workers….One notable absentee from the transport workers’ struggle, once again, was China’s official trade union. Given that the working conditions of transport workers is expected to deteriorate even further in the long run, it is crucial that the trade union starts organizing workers to fight back as soon as possible and not just sit on the side-lines. 

China’s labor law and practice fall way below international standards, according to a report from the Solidarity Center, a core institute of the National Endowment for Democracy. In Justice for All: The Struggle for Worker Rights, a team of experts led by Cornell University’s Lance Compa outline the status of worker rights in China.

China Labor Bulletin

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