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Free All Detained Workers & Activists in Liaoyang!

International campaign needed to get release of arrested workers' representatives in Liaoyang, China
International Appeal
Free All Detained Workers & Activists in Liaoyang!

In Liaoyang (north-east of China) over 10,000 workers laid off from the State enterprises of the city took to the street on March 11-12 to demand payment of their arrears. They denounced the conditions in which they were laid off and demanded that their unemployment allowances be paid. They also asked that the managers of a steel factory stand trial for corruption.

On March 12, a meeting took place between 13 workers representatives and the city authorities.

Other meetings were to take place, but on March 17, Yao Fuxin, one of the workers' delegates, was arrested.

On March 18, 40,000 laid-off workers of some 20 State firms in Liaoyang took to the streets to defend their demands and insisted that Yao Fuxin be released.

On March 19, in spite of the fact that the police took control of the city, 10,000 workers demonstrated again.

On March 20, the city government sent riot police and the army to smash the demonstration. Three more organisers were arrested.

On the morning of March 21, around 1,000 workers gathered in front of the city government offices to demand the release of the four arrested workers' representatives. Guo Suxiang, 56-year-old wife of arrested leader Pang Qingxiang, was also arrested by the police and released on March 22. Another worker from the Liaoyang Fibre Factory tried to intervene, shouting, "This arrest is wrong!" As a result the police also arrested him and took him away.

Six workers were arrested, including four workers' representatives, five are still detained:

* Yao Fuxin arrested March 17
* Pang Qingxiang arrested March 20
* Xiao Yunliang arrested March 20
* Wang Zhaoming arrested March 20
* A worker from Fibre Factory arrested March 21

The four workers' representatives are currently held at Tieling City Detention Centre for "illegal demonstration."

On or around March 25, Yao's wife was informed by the authorities that Yao was "in a very serious condition" in the hospital. It is strongly believed that Yao is in critical health conditions as a result of torture during detention.

(Information provided by China Labour Bulletin

The International Liaison Committee calls upon all organisations and activists associated with its activities -- and beyond them, to all organisations claiming to defend workers and democracy

We, the undersigned trade unionists and supporters of labour rights, say that by fighting for their legitimate demands, by denouncing the conditions in which they were laid off, by fighting against corruption, by demanding that their unemployment allowances be paid, by organising themselves, the Liaoyang workers are using the traditional means of the working class to pursue their grievances.

The defence of workers' rights cannot accept borders or exceptions. The duty of all organisations claiming to defend workers the world over is to support and protect the Chinese workers' fight to secure their legitimate demands.

An injury to one is an injury to all!

We demand the immediate release of the detained Liaoyang workers!

Chinese workers must have the rights that are enshrined in ILO Conventions 87 and 98
* the right to strike * * the right to organise.


? I endorse this appeal

Endorsements to be returned to

OWC e-mail: <ilcinfo (at)>
and China Labour Bulletin
e mail <clb (at)>

Union or Organisation:



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