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AFL-CIO Battling “Misery” in China

March 22, 2004
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China’s “frequent violations of workers’ rights” give it an unfair trade advantage that has cost more than 727,000 U.S. jobs, according to a 103-page petition filed with the U.S. Trade Representative by the AFL-CIO and the Industrial Union Council.

The unions say that “China prevents workers from joining unions and bargaining collectively, denies its citizens safe working conditions, provides no minimum wage and uses forced labor.” The end result, according to the filing, is that Chinese workers’ wages are 47 percent to 86 percent lower than they should be, which reduces the price of Chinese goods.

Wei Jinsheng, a Chinese worker advocate and dissident, says, “The lives of the workers are miserable.”

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