Wage arrears

Our 10 most recent articles.

China’s sanitation workers need more than just sympathy from the union

The tragic death of an elderly sanitation worker in Guangzhou highlights once again the urgent work China’s trade unions need to do in organizing, improving pay and working conditions, and countering exploitative management practices.
31 October 2019

Staff protests spread after sudden closure of English education centres

Hundreds of staff at English tuition company Web International English have staged collective protests demanding the payment of wages in arrears following the sudden closure of numerous training centres across China. CLB’s Strike Map has so far recorded protests by staff in Shanghai and Hangzhou on 10 October, Shenzhen on 23 October and most recently Zhengzhou on 24 October. Protests are likely to continue as the company struggles to pay staff salaries.
28 October 2019

Workers stage multiple protests over forced layoffs at YTO Express

Couriers with logistics giant YTO Express (圆通速递) have staged multiple protests in cities across China after the company announced the “reorganisation” of its high-end business service OTP Express (承诺达) earlier this month. Workers at several OTP Express stations were told that they would have to either resign or transfer to a position in YTO’s core business, also known as the A-network, a move that would almost certainly result in a lower income.
17 October 2019

How Guangdong missed the chance for genuine workplace collective bargaining

In the five years since the Guangdong collective contract regulations went into effect, there have been 1,279 collective worker protests in the province, accounting for 12.7 percent of all the incidents recorded on China Labour Bulletin’s Strike Map.
15 October 2019

White collar staff at Hanergy join the ranks of workers protesting wage arrears

Staff at one of China’s best known energy companies, Hanergy (汉能), staged protests in Beijing last month over months of unpaid wages and social insurance contributions. White collar staff at two Hanergy subsidiaries, the Mobile Energy Group and the Thin Film Power Group, said they had not been paid since July. The company has also been laying off personnel, they said: “There were more than one hundred staff in my department when I joined in June, but one third of them have now left.”
08 October 2019

I Swallowed an Iron Moon: The enduring legacy of worker poet Xu Lizhi

I swallowed an iron moon they called it a screw I swallowed industrial wastewater and unemployment forms bent over machines, our youth died young I swallowed labour, I swallowed poverty swallowed pedestrian bridges, swallowed this rusted-out life I can’t swallow any more everything I’ve swallowed roils up in my throat I spread across my country a poem of shame
30 September 2019

China’s minor league football players take collective action over wage arrears

Following their 2-0 victory over the Qingdao Red Lions last weekend, nine players from Jilin Baijia walked back on to the pitch to display a banner calling for the payment of wages in arrears and their promised bonus. Photo below from social media.
18 September 2019

Food delivery drivers forced to work in extreme weather shows absence of regulation

The dreadful working conditions of Chinese food delivery drivers returned to the spotlight in August, as many workers reported that they were forced to take orders during a tropical storm, when demand for food delivery surged.
06 September 2019

Enterprise trade union in Nanning powerless to prevent factory closure

In this case study from China Labour Bulletin's ongoing trade union reform and accountability program (工会改革观察与促进), we talk with a district trade union veteran frustrated with the inability of enterprise unions to stand up for their workers.
26 August 2019

China’s unemployment rate jumps in July as graduates enter the job market

China’s urban unemployment rate increased by 0.2 percentage points last month to stand at 5.3 percent at the end of July, according to a National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) bulletin issued today. This equalled the highest unemployment rate of year so far, previously recorded in February, a month when many workers look for new employment. See table below.
14 August 2019
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