World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


US trade action puts pressure on China over rights

International Confederation Of Free Trade Unions

US trade action puts pressure on China to stop violating workers' rights

Brussels: Today in Washington DC, the ICFTU-affiliated AFL-CIO filed a petition under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 demanding that President Bush and the U.S. Trade Representative take action against the Chinese government for engaging in unfair trade practices through their violations of workers' rights.

The AFL-CIO initiative complements other trade union efforts to end the repression of hundreds of millions of Chinese workers, and to curtail the impact of that repression on workers throughout the global economy. According to the ICFTU, millions of jobs from countries including Cambodia, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Mexico are being lost to China.

John Sweeney, President of the ICFTU-affiliated AFL-CIO, said at a press conference today that "workers in China are being forced to work for wages 47 to 86 percent below what they should be, often as bonded laborers, with few workplace health and safety protections and no right to join or form free trade unions."

According to ICFTU General Secretary Guy Ryder, "The violations of workers' rights in China, and the knock-on effects of this can no longer be ignored by the international community. Such national efforts to prevent unfair trading practices by China underline the lack of effective multilateral mechanisms to handle this problem."

This is the first time the workers' rights provisions of the US Trade Act of 1974 have ever been used as a basis for a filing under section 301. According to the AFL-CIO, President Bush and the US Trade Representative can only refuse to take action if they find that the Chinese government does not persistently deny workers' rights, or that the denial of those rights imposes no burden on US workers.

See report in China from the ICFTU's annual survey of trade union rights violations:

See the AFL-CIO's website:

Section 301 of the 1974 US Trade Act

The ICFTU represents over 150 million workers in 233 affiliated organisations in 152 countries and territories. ICFTU is also a member of Global Unions:

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news