As Foxconn proposes to introduce non-union low wage paying jobs with excecssive overtime demands to SE Wisconsin workers, General Electric moves high paying union jobs to a foreign country and out of WI Governor Scott Walker's stronghold of Waukesha, WI!!
Despite the rapid growth of the Chinese economy in the last decade,
more than 482 million people in China – 36% of the population – live on
less than $2 a day.
In total 85% of China’s poor live in rural areas and extreme poverty
forces many of them to leave the countryside in search of employment in
urban areas. Often referred to as the factory of the world, China’s
industry-oriented economy relies on these migrant workers who make up
the majority of the workforce.
There are approximately 150 million internal migrant workers in China
who, because of their status, do not receive any state benefits or
protection. They have to endure poor working conditions such as
excessive and forced overtime, denial of social security rights and
failure to provide employment contracts, as well as severe health risks.
Before opening up its economy in 1978, China had stringent controls
on the movement of people between rural and urban areas, preventing
migration to cities. These controls were part of the permit (hukou) system, in which welfare entitlements such as pensions, housing, health and education were tied to a person's place of birth.
As China moved towards a market economy, cheap rural labour helped
fuel the country's growth and constraints on migration were reduced,
however the restrictions on household registration of the hukou have
remained in place, so migrant workers become outcasts without access to
any state benefits or protection, despite Chinese laws enshrining
"equal rights” for all.
Trying to escape from extreme poverty, rural migrant workers find
themselves trapped in appalling working conditions. Most of these
workers are women earning extremely low wages – the average monthly
salary including overtime is CNY 1,690 (£150).Migrant workers endure
long working days, work seven days a week, many without an employment
contract and face constant discrimination.
Living conditions are poor
with up to six people sharing small cramped dormitories. Women migrant
workers, who are primarily employed in factories, rarely get maternity
leave, and with no childcare facilities and working weeks of more than
70 hours many are forced to send their children to live with family in
There is no freedom of association to form trade unions and
non-governmental labour organisations are closely monitored by the
Government who carry out regular crackdowns. Multinational corporations
and national factory owners take advantage of the anti-union climate,
the workers’ lack of awareness of their own rights and the Chinese
government’s unwillingness to address the abuse of migrant workers’
In addition the level of occupational disease and injuries is
alarmingly high. In 2009 alone, approximately one million workers were
injured at work and about 20,000 suffered from diseases due to their
occupation. One of the biggest risks to the health of textile workers is sandblasting,
a technique used to treat denim so that the fabric has a worn look.
Sandblasting exposes workers to silica dust particles which severely
damage their respiratory passages causing silicosis, a serious disease
which, if left untreated, eventually leads to death. Although
sandblasting was banned in the EC in 1966, it continues to be practised
in China despite the serious health hazards it poses. Corporations are
able to avoid accountability for occupational diseases like silicosis by
exploiting legal loopholes. Moreover, the official state trade union
has failed to take action on behalf of workers who fall ill and
corporations are rarely compelled to pay sickness compensation.
Read more: https://waronwant.org/sweatshops-china