4 March 2009
MacShane Urges Support for Worker and Social Rights in China
Labour MP Denis MacShane has urged ministers to use the International Labour Organisation to promote fair wage and social security systems in China as millions of workers there lose their jobs because of the global economic down-turn.
Speaking in the Commons, MacShane asked Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, to "bring into play the International Labour Organisation" so that the Chinse authorities could be urged to alter their system of paying workers and to bring in social security networks.
At the moment, Chinese workers have to save up to 70 per cent of their earnings in order to make provision for health care, pensions, unemployment and education. MacShane said the ILO should promote a new economic model in China "based on workers being able to earn enough to but what they produce and to have social and other networks of support."
MacShane’s intervention in the Commons (25 Feb) is below:
Mr. Denis MacShane (Rotherham) (Lab): As literally millions and millions of Chinese people lose their jobs with the Chinese economy going into even freer fall than the European and American economies, there are political consequences. In my right hon. Friend’s talks with the Chinese, will he gently suggest that the next economic paradigm has to be based on workers being able to earn enough to buy what they produce and to have social and other networks of support? Will he further bring into play the International Labour Organisation to urge the Chinese to develop a much fairer social and wage system in their country?