CLW Labor News Brief for October 2018

Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Read this report in Chinese

Factory workers in a Pearl River Delta region factory (Photo credit: Industry Week)

Tesla is Closing in on $145 million Plot for China Factory LINK

(Bloomberg, 10/10/2018) Tesla’s first factory outside of the United States will likely be in Shanghai. The Shanghai government will decide by the end of the month whether or not to sell the land to Tesla

Yue Xin, labor & #MeToo student activist, still missing 6 weeks after arrest LINK

(Jezebel, 10/12/2018) A 22-year-old Peking University graduate, Yue Xin, was arrested 6 weeks ago when she participated in the protests for Jasic Technology workers. While most of those who were initially arrested during these protests have been released, Yue Xin, who is also a prominent voice in China’s #MeToo movement, has yet to be seen by anyone.

You buy a purse at Walmart. There’s a note inside from a “Chinese Prisoner.” Now what? LINK

CLW founder and executive director, Li Qiang, is quoted in this Vox piece explaining how corporations, perhaps unwittingly, use Chinese prisoners in their workforce.

Prison Letter Found in Walmart Handbag Highlights Manufacturing Problem LINK

(The Epoch Times, 10/12/2018) The Vox news report on the letter found in a Walmart purse reignited the debate on how Western companies are treating the workers in their Chinese factories.

Chew on This. China’s Cheap Food Deliveries Won’t Last. LINK

(Bloomberg, 10/15/2018) Big cities like Shanghai and Beijing have limited the number of migrant workers allowed to live in their cities. Many of these workers work for Meituan, making as little as 1 USD per delivery.

The Human Cost of “Made in China” LINK

(TVO, 10/16/2018) An Ontario TV station has covered a Hong Kong labor activist’s attempt to organize injured workers in Guangdong.

Your Clothing Could be Made in the USA Again LINK

(Bloomberg, 10/19/2018) Due to automation and an increased desire in many countries to have “locally-made” clothing, many jobs in Chinese clothing factories could be lost. Furthermore, some Chinese companies are choosing to move their factories to cheap labor countries such as Ethiopia.

'We are like robots': Apple investigates Chinese factory using forced student labour LINK

(The Guardian, 10/29/2018) Hong Kong-based NGO, SACOM (Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior) revealed that an Apple factory in Chongqing was forcing student workers to “work like robots.” This factory utilizes a common practice among Chinese factories looking to ramp up production - hiring student “interns” from vocational schools who are forced to work in order to earn their diploma.

Cornell University Suspends China Exchanges Over Labor Protests LINK

(New York Times, 10/29/2018) Cornell University, a top American college, has cut ties with one of their partner institutions, Renmin University. The reason given for this decision was the recent crackdown on labor rights activists and Renmin’s complicity in this crackdown. Cornell still has ties to other Chinese institutions.