China: Stop the crackdown on labour NGOs
More than 10 independent labour organizations have been forced to close down their worker centres and offices in Shenzhen, China. Unlike social work and community based service organizations, none of the labour organizations have succeeded in securing registration with the Ministry of Civil Affairs by now in Guangdong province and Shenzhen municipality. The following are some examples:
Little Grass Workers’ Home - Was forced by the landlord to move out from its spaces by July, received a penalty of RMB50,000 issued by the local fire department claiming that its operation was not compliant with the fire safety control standard. It was followed by an investigation from the tax department for suspected tax evasion, claiming that the organisation, registered under the Ministry of Industry and Commerce had never paid taxes to the government. On 30 Aug, Little Grass Workers’ Home was forced to move out violently by unidentified people.
Dagongzhe Centre - Suffering from government harassment since 2007, had closed down its centre in mid June after a two-month fight with the landlord and government. The Centre has moved to a new place in the nearby district two weeks ago. Re-opened for less than a week, the centre at the new location was raided by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce , threatening to close it down again.
They wish to have more international coverage and support from the international trade unions in helping them to bargain with the government for official recognition and legal protection of their work, and relocation of their centres within the community where they have been serving.