Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC)
Working Conditions And Worker Rights In China: Recent Developments [31 July 2013]
[full-text, 143 pages]
In recent months, several reports have been released regarding working conditions in Chinese factories that manufacture products popular in the United States—laptops, iPhones, iPads, cordless phones. These reports document excessive overtime, crowded and unsafe working and living conditions, underage workers, and unpaid wages. They note that Chinese workers do not have the right to organize into independent unions, and that the state-controlled union does little to represent them. Meanwhile, China has enacted laws in recent years intended to address worker issues, and the state-controlled union has pledged to better represent workers.
The hearing's witnesses discussed the prevalence of harsh working conditions in Chinese factories in places like Shenzhen and Shanghai, assessed implementation of China's labor laws, and examined the roles the Chinese government, China's state-controlled union, Chinese NGOs, and private companies, including multinationals, play in addressing worker rights and labor reforms. Witnesses also provided recommendations for U.S. policy on worker rights in China.