VIDEO: Chinese Students and Labor Activists on Battling the Crackdown at Jasic

In the past six months, over 50 workers, students, and labor activists in China have been arrested or disappeared by the government. Their crime? Supporting workers at the Jasic welding equipment factory in their legal efforts to form a union.

The Jasic struggle has received tremendous support from student and labor activists across China—one of the few labor struggles marked by a strong student presence during the past 40 years of the country’s economic reforms. Publicity through Chinese social media platforms has overcome the mainstream media blackout on strikes and labor disputes in the increasingly repressive political environment under President Xi Jinping.

Yet the Jasic campaign has also faced the most severe political repression of any labor action in the past decade, as the Xi administration cracks down on labor NGOs, feminist activists, and human rights lawyers.

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Ellen David Friedman, Labor Notes board member, led a panel discussion about the Jasic struggle, the conditions facing labor activists in China, and the importance of solidarity actions in support of Chinese workers and students. This event was held on Thursday, February 21, at 8 p.m. EST.

Participants:

  • Eli Friedman, Associate Professor, Cornell University and author of The Insurgency Trap: Labor Politics in Postsocialist China. Cornell’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations ended its partnership with China’s Renmin University after the school punished students involved in the Jasic protests.
  • Michael Ma, students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior. SACOM is a Hong Kong-based workers’ rights organization.

For background information, see: