Working Conditions and Worker Rights in China: Recent Developments
Representative Christopher Smith, Chairman and Senator Sherrod Brown, Cochairman of the
Congressional-Executive Commission on China
announce a hearing on
"Working Conditions and Worker Rights in China: Recent Developments"
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Rayburn House Office Building, Room TBA
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 will discuss the prevalence of harsh working conditions in Chinese factories in places like Shenzhen and Shanghai, assess implementation of China's labor laws, and examine 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 will also provide recommendations for U.S. policy on worker rights in China.
This hearing will be webcast.
Charles Kernaghan, Executive Director, Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights
Li Qiang, Executive Director and Founder, China Labor Watch
Harry Wu, Founder and Executive Director, Laogai Research Foundation and Laogai Museum
Thea Lee, Deputy Chief of Staff, AFL-CIO
Mary Gallagher, Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for Chinese Studies, University of Michigan
Earl Brown, Labor and Employment Law Counsel and China Program Director, Solidarity Center, AFL-CIO