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Democracy and Worker Rights: A Discussion of Labor's Approach to China

Thursday, Apr 06, 2006 | 12:00am

On April 6-7, 2006, the Institute sponsored a lively discussion among representatives from nine AFL-CIO and Change to Win unions on the U.S.labor movement’s differing approaches to the increasing economic dominance of an ongoing worker rights repression in mainland China. After opening remarks by AFT and Shanker Institute President McElroy, participants heard from two prominent China experts, Andrew Nathan (Columbia University) and James Mann (School for Advanced International Studies).

The day-long meeting also included presentations by Han Dongfang, a Chinese labor and democracy activist arrested during the Tiananmen Square protests and founder of the China Labour Bulletin, and Lee Cheuk Yan, General Secretary of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU). Shanker Institute Board member Herb Magidson also led a discussion about the nature of U.S. labor’s response to ongoing abuse of worker rights in China.