China: crackdown on steel workers

Submitted by Anon on 21 October, 2005 - 6:58

A police crackdown against workers from the Chongqing steel plant earlier this month resulted in the death of two women protestors, 24 workers injured and the detention of three of the workers’ leaders, according to the China Labour Bulletin.

The crackdown ended a two-month-long series of demonstrations by several thousand workers at the steel factory. Workers were laid off by the company without compensation in August, after the company went bankrupt. The clash on 7 October occurred while the workers were staging a sit-in protest outside the municipal government headquarters.

The protests began on 12 August when more than 2,000 laid-off workers occupied one of the main roads in the city, paralysing traffic. Workers allege that the company's economic failure was related to corrupt activities by factory managers, and they accuse the company of selling the land where the factory stands for less than the real market price.

The China Labour Bulletin wants the Chongqing municipal government to conduct a full investigation of the two women's deaths and to punish those found responsible. It also wants detained workers leaders released and laid-off workers to receive their severance payments.

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