China: Stop the crackdown on labour NGOsOct 15, 2012
More than 10 independent labour organisations have been forced to close down their worker centres and offices in Shenzhen, China. Unlike social work and community based service organizations, none of the labour organisations have succeeded in securing registration with the Ministry of Civil Affairs by now in Guangdong province and Shenzhen municipality. LabourStart and HKCTU have set up a petition in support of the labour groups.
More than 10 independent labour organizations have been forced to close down
their worker centres and offices in Shenzhen, China. Unlike social work and
community based service organizations, none of the labour organizations have
succeeded in securing registration with the Ministry of Civil Affairs by now in
Guangdong province and Shenzhen municipality. The following are some
- Little Grass Workers’ Home - Was forced by the landlord to move out from its spaces by July, received a penalty of RMB50,000 issued by the local fire department claiming that its operation was not compliant with the fire safety control standard. It was followed by an investigation from the tax department for suspected tax evasion, claiming that the organisation, registered under the Ministry of Industry and Commerce had never paid taxes to the government. On 30 Aug, Little Grass Workers’ Home was forced to move out violently by unidentified people.
- Dagongzhe Centre - Suffering from government harassment since 2007, had closed down its centre in mid June after a two-month fight with the landlord and government. The Centre has moved to a new place in the nearby district two weeks ago. Re-opened for less than a week, the centre at the new location was raided by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce , threatening to close it down again.
They wish to have more international coverage and support from the international trade unions in helping them to bargain with the government for official recognition and legal protection of their work, and relocation of their centres within the community where they have been serving.
LabourStart and the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU) started an on-line petition calling upon the local Chinese authorities to stop the harassment and the crackdown on labour NGOs in Shenzhen Municipality.
HKCTU is an independent and democratic union in Hong Kong, with more than 170,000 members in 90 affiliates.
The full text of the petition:
We are calling on you to stop the recent harassment and crackdown on the labour organizations or NGOs in Shenzhen Municipality. More than 10 labour organizations were pressed to close down and leave the communities they have been serving for years. The systematic harassment is disturbing to these organizations, which have been providing services such as paralegal aids, labour law training and labour policy advocacy to the local migrant communities for many years. They are supported and welcomed in the migrant communities, raising the legal rights consciousness of workers and monitoring the labour abuses of employers. We urge you ensure their rights and freedom to register and operate without discrimination and harassment of any form.
Click here to go to the petition.