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左翼21聲明:
 
聯署網址:http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/wuguizun/
 

罷工無罪,釋放吳貴軍

 
近年來,中國政府推動製造業產業升級,鼓勵沿海以勞動密集生產模式的工廠往內陸轉移,意圖在內陸地區延續“血汗工廠”的發展模式。南中國的企業主們趁搬遷跑路而躲避經濟補償金已是一股潮流,工人權利受損,導致了一系列新的工潮。中國工人的權益意識近來逐漸提高,越來越醒覺的工人們以行動來爭取自己的合法權益,但在資強勞弱和缺乏相關法律保障的情形下,罷工工人難於迫使老闆談判,最終無奈向政府上訪,反被以擾亂社會秩序來抓捕、定罪。無視勞動權利的老闆們毫髮無損,依法維權的工人卻風險連連。
 
深圳迪威信工人代表吳貴軍被捕超過130天
今年5月,先有廣州的廣州中醫藥大學第一附屬醫院100多名工人因社保、勞動報酬和經濟賠償金與用人單位產生勞資糾紛,在醫院外發起靜坐,12名職工因集體行動被白雲區公安局全部刑拘。近日,深圳石岩迪威信傢俱用品公司亦成為一宗備受注目的打壓工人領袖案件。工廠在4月開始往外轉移機器到惠州新廠,工人們獲知公司擬搬遷後,要求公司依法給予搬遷補償。公司不同意,工人們于5月7日開始罷工,並要求集體談判。廠方一直無視工人的訴求,談判一開始就陷入僵局,因為老闆並不願意支付工人要求的經濟補償,甚至不願意出面處理問題,在罷工兩星期期間,工人多次要求政府部門和工會介入事件,協助工人爭取賠償,但結果讓人失望。工人也曾兩次集體到該區政府部門上訪,可惜最後得到的,只是老闆賠償每名工人每工作一年補償人民幣400元的決定,這一標準遠遠低於法律的賠償標準(法律是一年一個月工資,而當時工人的月工資有2700元左右)。最後於5月23日,近二百工人徒步去深圳市政府,卻在途中被特警和防暴隊抓進派出所。大部分工人在24小時後被放出,近20名工友被行政拘留,3名工友被刑事拘留。工廠於5月25日發出針對被捕罷工工友的解雇通知書,許多工友領取了低額補償而後離廠。被拘留的工友其後陸續被釋放,而另一名工人代表吳貴軍一直被關押,超過130天(截止至9月30日)。
 
我們瞭解到,吳貴軍作為工人代表,一直深得工人信任,堅持維護工人合法權益。被捕後,工友們擔心、想念吳貴軍,用拍照和留言來表示支持;關於罷工無罪、釋放吳貴軍的呼籲在網上獲得上萬次的轉發,牽動無數網民的心。9月中旬,迪威信工人集體簽名要求工會保護工人,釋放吳貴軍。信發出後,深圳市工會從未就此事表態。其家屬發出給深圳市領導的公開信,信中表明吳貴軍至今生死未明,沒有收到任何判決通知,亦不獲與吳見面,擔心不已。此後律師授權代理,才獲知吳貴軍被以“聚眾擾亂社會秩序”的罪名刑拘,9月28日案件移交檢察院。儘管如此,律師看望吳貴軍時,他仍希望工友堅定應當權利和信心,並表示“為了工友的權利,如果一定要有人坐牢,他願意承擔”。
 
新政上臺打壓成風,勞工抗爭形勢嚴峻
 
習李新政以來,推出對言論和思想的多項控制,社會的改革空間明顯收窄,情況令人擔憂。防民之口,甚於防川,一句微博玩笑話能使歌手被拘留,而後連初中生在網路發帖都同樣毫不留情被抓捕。據統計,今年來因聲張公民權利而被抓捕的異議人士已經超過過去十年的所有。而在政治權利之外,直接被打壓的,是一向弱勢無依的勞工群體。此前廣州中醫院12名職工被公安局全部刑拘,而此次深圳市工人吳貴軍亦未能倖免,關押一百多天來毫無音訊,都屬於是新政之下對勞工權利赤裸裸的無視與打壓。
 
為世界矚目的中國經濟付出辛勞的中國工人,在這三十年的改革開放裏從沒有獲得應有的地位及與企業主談判的平等權利。工會的有名無實,對勞工組織的控制打壓,及對罷工工人的刑事處罰,都令工人的自我組織成為一個遙遠的夢。而罷工作為不被法律認可的灰色地帶,更是令工人領袖隨時處於被抓捕被刑拘的風險之中,剝奪了工人應有的公民權利。為此,我們呼籲中國政府:
 
一、立即釋放被拘捕的工人代表吳貴軍及一切被捕的工人領袖;
二、 賦予工人勞動三權的法律保障,即結社權,罷工權和集體談判權,體現工人的勞動價值與尊嚴。
 

Statement of Left21

To strike is not a crime! Release Worker Wu Guizun!

 
Petition Link: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/wuguizun/
 
In recent years, the Chinese government has been promoting industrial upgrading, which has led to relocation of labour-intensive industries in coastal cities to more inland areas, extending the sweatshop model of development across the country. It has become a trend that factory owners in South China evade financial compensation to workers after the termination of their labour contracts due to factory moves, and the violations of workers’ rights like these have been resulting in a series of industrial actions. With higher awareness of labour rights, Chinese migrant workers have been more willing to take action to fight for them. However, workers face difficulty demanding collective negotiation with employers in the context of an increased power of capital over labour as well as insufficient legal protection. Workers have no alternative but to protest to the government as their last resort. Regrettably, they end up being arrested and charged by public security officials for disturbing social order. Employers who neglect labour rights do not get penalized, while workers who claim their legal rights take high risks.
 
Illegal detention of worker representative Wu Guizun for more than 130 days
 
In May of this year, approximately 100 workers from First Hospital of Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine had had labour disputes with their employer due to failure to provide social insurance, unequal remuneration and one-month long severance compensation, and they staged sit-in protests outside the hospital. 12 workers were arrested and detained for the criminal offence of disturbing public order on 20 August 2013.
 
Another case of suppression of a worker leader from Diweixin Homeware Factory in Shenzhen also became a hot issue recently. The workers suspected the employer of relocating the production from the Shenzhen factory to a new plant in Huizhou city, without informing the workforce. Since April, machines and materials had been moved to the new plant in Huizhou. After receiving notification of the factory relocation, the workers asked the employer for termination of the employment contract, their back wages and compensation. The employer refused the demands of the workers, so the workers staged a strike starting on 7 May, to demand collective bargaining. Negotiation quickly came to a deadlock since the factory management disregarded the workers’ demands for long severance compensation, and they even refused to address the problems in person.
 
During the two-week strike, the workers requested intervention from the authorities concerned and the trade union many times, but the response was very disappointing. The workers also petitioned to the district government twice, but it turned out the employer only decided to give compensation of RMB 400 per working year, which is far below the legal standard (according to the labour law, the compensation should be one month average salary per working year, i.e. around RMB 2700 for each worker). In the end, around 200 workers were arrested by the anti-riot police while on the way to petition the district government on 23 May. Most of the protest workers were released after 24 hours, but 20 of them remained under administrative detention while three were under criminal detention. Many workers accepted very low compensation after the factory issued redundancy notices to those under arrest on 25 May. While other workers under detention were gradually released, Wu Guizun has become the last and only one, detained for more than 130 days (until 30 September).
 
We reckon that the reason for his being targeted is that Wu, as a respectable worker representative, has been persistent in claiming labour rights. His co-workers were very worried about Wu after the arrest, continuously showing support by taking pictures and leaving messages to him. The appeals to release Wu and objecting to criminalization of workers on strike drew a high degree of attention from the public on the Internet with over ten thousand re-posts. The co-workers of Wu sent a petition letter to the trade union to demand the release of Wu and express their worries. Regrettably, the municipal trade union showed no response. Meanwhile, Wu’s family also sent an open letter to the mayor of Shenzhen expressing their worries over his safety, as they did not have any notice of prosecution or chance to meet Wu. They were finally informed that Wu was charged with ‘assembling a crowd to disturb public order’ with the help of the appointed lawyer. But his resolution is not diminished: in a visit with the lawyer, Wu still hoped his co-workers would persist in the struggle, showing that ‘if someone must be jailed, I am willing to shoulder the responsibility for the sake of workers’ rights.’
 
 
 
Tightening control over workers’ struggles under the new leadership
 
Since the new leadership of Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang, the space for social reforms has been apparently tightened with new measures to limit freedom of expression and thoughts, which ironically may themselves jeopardize social stability. The recent detention of a singer and a junior-form student because of a joke or a harmless post in Weibo is good evidence of such suppression. According to the statistics, the number of dissidents fighting for civil rights who have been put under arrest this year is more than the sum of those arrested over the past decade. Apart from political rights, workers fighting for labour rights are another of the vulnerable and disadvantaged groups being directly oppressed. The 12 detained workers from First Hospital of Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine and worker Wu in Shenzhen are typical examples of the blatant disregard for rights and suppression of workers’ struggles under the new leadership.
 
Chinese workers have contributed to the miraculous economic growth of the country with their hard and often painful efforts, but they have never been able to gain their rightful social status and the right to collective bargaining with employers. The nominal trade union, the crackdown on labour groups and the criminalization of striking workers, all make freedom of association a remote dream for the working class in China. When strikes take place in what is yet a grey area in the legal system, worker leaders put themselves under high risk of criminal detention at any time, which deprives them of workers’ basic rights.
 
 We demand that the Chinese government immediately fulfill the following:
 
Immediately release Mr. Wu Gui-jun and all other worker leaders under arrest;
Grant workers legal protection of the three basic labour rights as a recognition of the value and dignity of labour – i.e. the right to organize, the right to strike and the right to collective bargaining.
http://left21.hk/wp/2013/10/wuguizun/
 

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