Friday, June 29, 2007

But Will They Enforce It?

The NY Times reports that "China Passes a Sweeping Labor Law:"
China’s legislature passed a sweeping new labor law today that strengthens protections for workers across its booming economy, rejecting pleas from foreign investors who argued that the measure would reduce China’s appeal as a low-wage, business-friendly industrial base....
Its almost as if China's legislature has been taken over by a bunch of Communists or something. Why the sudden interest looking out for the working man?
....Passage of the measure came shortly after officials and state media unearthed the widespread use of slave labor in as many as 8,000 brick kilns and small coal mines in Shanxi and Henan provinces, one of the most glaring labor scandals since China began adopting market-style economic policies a quarter century ago.

Police have freed nearly 600 workers, many of them children, held against their will in factories owned or operated by well-connected businessmen and local officials.

Abuses of migrant laborers have been endemic in boom-time China, where millions of temporary workers have faced unsafe working conditions, collusion between factory owners and local officials and unpaid wages. Party-run courts often fail to enforce their legal rights.


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