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    Reporters Without Borders said in it’s 2005 special report titled “Xinhua: the world’s biggest propaganda agency”, that “Xinhua remains the voice of the sole party”, “particularly during the SARS epidemic, Xinhua has for last few months been putting out news reports embarrassing to the government, but they are designed to fool the international community, since they are not published in Chinese.”
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China: Laid-off Teachers, Workers Protest

Posted by Author on November 10, 2009

Radio Free Asia, 2009-11-10 –

HONG KONG— More than 100 laid-off elementary school teachers in central China petitioned the local government Tuesday over retirement pensions, members of the group said.

The teachers, who work for the education system in Dawu county of central China’s Hubei province, said they were angered over back premiums they would have to pay to be eligible to receive their pensions.

One protesting teacher surnamed Liu said the group had gathered in front of the county government’s Letter and Visit Office early Tuesday morning.

“Around 100 teachers have come, and we are petitioning over retirement pensions,” Liu said.

“The government asked us to pay 20,000 yuan (U.S. $2,928), but we’ve never had so much money in our whole life. How can we afford that?” he asked.

The teachers said that before they were laid off, their salaries were very low……. (more details)

Machine workers protest

In a separate development on Monday, around 100 laid-off workers in China’s southwestern Sichuan province also petitioned the local government over retirement pension, leading to a scuffle with police.

The workers, from the Changjiang No. 2 Hydraulic Machinery Factory in Luzhou city, had been laid off in 1990s, but had been informed that their benefits would end after the factory was recently sold to a real estate developer.

A protester who asked to remain anonymous said the workers had been forced to petition the government for assistance at the Luzhou city hall.

“Workers are now extremely anxious because the new owner will no longer take care of us. This is why we have to petition the government to pay attention to our benefits,” the worker said.

But rather than hear the concerns of the protesting workers, the Luzhou city government dispatched about 100 police officers to confront the workers, leading to a scuffle between the two groups.

The anonymous worker said the confrontation between elderly workers and young policemen left several protesters injured.

“Our workers are all in their 70s or 80s, but the police are all in their 20s and 30s, so you can imagine what happened when the two groups began to push and pull at each other,” the worker said.

“Three old workers were injured and sent to the hospital in ambulances. According to other protesters, the three remained in hospital at least through Monday night.”

Attempts to contact local officials by telephone went unanswered……. (more details from Radio Free Asia)

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