Borderless Editorial notes: Today (24th August) at 5 am over 50 students from the Jasic concern group were arrested by the police at their rented place. More than a dozen of workers and supporters had already been detained earlier. Solidarity is much needed. Please forward the news to your friends and colleagues.
(This article first posted in https://en.labournet.tv/jasic-factory-workers-imprisoned-china )
Jasic factory workers are facing extreme repression after their attempt to form a representative union in a Jasic welding machine factory in Shenzen, southeastern China. A solidarity movement has spread in support the Jasic workers, resulting in the abduction and forced disappearance of several students and activists.
In this video protestors outside the Jasic machinery factory in Shenzhen are demanding to be reinstated, after seven workers were fired for trying to form a union. On July 20th, 2018 several workers were beaten by the police and arrested, but released that same night. Protests carried on throughout July, and on 27th July, 29 workers, family members and supporters were violently arrested by police and detained.
Since these arrests crowds of supporters have bravely protested outside the police station, demanding their colleagues’ release. Thousands of university students have signed an open letter in support of the Jasic workers’ struggle.
One of the key labour activists supporting the workers is Shen Mengyu, who we see in the video making a speech outside of the factory. She was previously an elected worker representative in a factory which made car parts for Honda in Guangzhou, but was fired for her union activity. She then became a key advocate for the Jasic workers.
On Saturday 11th August Mengyu was forced into a car and abducted by three unidentified men. Two student activists who witnessed the abduction went to the police, but they ignored important parts of their statement. Her whereabouts are still unknown. Several other activists and students supporting the Jasic workers have also been abducted.
Of the 29 people detained, 15 were released on Sunday 12th August, who reported that they were abused and threatened during detention. The struggle for the remaining 14 to be freed continues, as well as the campaign for workers to be able to organise a real and representative union in their workplace
The All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) is in the process of setting up a yellow union in the Jasic factory, and has refused the workers’ demands to form their own union. The struggle at the Jasic factory is therefore facing particularly strong repression because workers are making political and not just economic demands, as they are asking to be represented by a union which is invalid in the eyes of the ACFTU.
The support of for the Jasic factory workers continues to grow, and increasing number of students are travelling to Shenzhen to show their solidarity.