这一看似微妙的差别，实际上显示了官方“维稳”心理和中国工人权益的冲突。在“五一”期间，中国工人不仅无法获得批准，举行维护自己权利的游行，国内的记者随机调查还发现：近半数受访者已经不知道，“五一”节，源于 1886年美国芝加哥城的工人“维权”运动，也就是为争取 8小时工作制而举行的大罢工。“五一”在中国已经成了休闲购物节，而失去了其抗争的意义。
China’s May Day Conflicts
On May 1st, workers around the world held activities
to commemorate the International Labor Day.
But there were not many activities in China.
The Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) official
People’s Daily published an editorial celebrating
Labor Day. However, Chinese labor rights activists
say that the Chinese workers are still fighting
for better rights and working conditions,
therefore there is not much to celebrate about.
On May 1st, there were parades all over the world
to commemorate the Labor Day,
with the most prominent requirements being
to improve labor conditions and raise wages.
In the Philippines, thousands of people rallied
to protest the government’s immigration policy
and ask for higher wages. In South Korea,
fifty thousand people gathered in the capital
to call for improved employment and higher wages.
But in China, the May Day celebration is basically
in the media and the leaders’ congratulations notes.
Ordinary people just use the holiday for vacation.
This seemingly subtle difference shows the conflict
between official’s intention to “maintain stability"
and the interests of Chinese workers. In the
May Day period, Chinese workers cannot get
approval to hold a procession to protect their rights.
According to a random survey by Chinese reporters,
nearly half of respondents had no idea May Day
originated from the 1886 Chicago City workers
movement to win the 8-hour working day.
May Day in China has become a time of leisure
for shopping, and lost its significance.
In the May Day occasion, People’s Daily published
an editorial celebrating the Labor Day, calling
for party committees and governments officials
at all levels to “always stand in the position
of the working class and the working masses,
and effectively solve their most direct
and practical concern of interests."
However Li Qiang, CEO of China Labor Watch,
the organizations following China’s labor issues,
said this is not the case. Local governments’ first
consideration during disputes between an employer
and workers is to maintain stability, in fear
of migrant workers strikes. There is even less chance
for more migrant workers to defend their rights.
Li Qiang said workers in China have nothing
to celebrate about. The country is led
by the working class only on words.
Workers have the least power.
In the last 30 years, workers’ wage in China cannot
catch up with price increases. The economic benefit
of Chinese workers is actually decreasing.
Although by the provisions of Chinese law,
workers can set up their own union
as long as there are 25 union members in a plant,
but without corresponding legislative protection,
workers in union may also be subjected to retaliation,
which caused their unwillingness
to establish or join union or union activities.
China Labor Watch concluded from a public survey,
that a total of 66 strikes happened in 2010.
According to an independent organization,
China Labor Bulletin’s 2011 Map of Mass Incidents
of Chinese Workers, there were 47 incidents
involving workers’ protest until the end of April.
Li Qiang expects there can only be further conflicts
provided there is no fundamental resolution
to the existing labor problems.
NTD reporters Shang Yan and Guo Jing