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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Steelworkers clash with police in central China

August 18, 2009

Tibetan Review
August 17, 2009

Hundreds of protesting steel workers in the
central Chinese city of Anyang in Henan province
trapped a government official in their factory's
office compound for four days, angry at his role
in the state-run plant's privatization, reported
the AP Aug 15, citing the local government. It
cited China’s state-run media as saying armed
police were dispatched to clear out the workers.

The report said as many as 400 workers for the
Linzhou Steel Corporation and their relatives
dispersed early Aug 15 after surrounding the
company's offices since Aug12. The official China
Daily newspaper said Aug 15 that police had
attempted to break through a human barricade set
up by protestors 'several times'.

The report said the Linzhou plant, which employed
5,122 employees, was sold on Jul 24 to an unnamed
private firm without consulting the workers.
Massive layoffs followed, and workers were
offered just 1,090 yuan ($159) for each year of
service, the report said. China’s official Xinhua
news agency said the workers were demanding
higher compensation and the resolution of issues
concerning benefits and unpaid wages during the plant's restructuring.

This was not the first protest over the
privatisation of the firm. China Daily noted that
in Mar’09, more than 1,000 workers tried to
resist the plans by blocking the streets and shutting off the factory for days.
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