Prises de position - Prese di posizione - Toma de posición - Statements                        


China: retired proletarians demonstrate against health insurance reform that will cut their social benefits



In recent days demonstrations have been held in China to protest against drastic cuts in some social benefits for retirees; due to a strict social control, reinforced to the extreme by harsh measures of confinement adopted to stop the Covid epidemic, demonstrations are extremely rare.

These cuts include the monthly allowance for medical expenses, which has been cut by two-thirds since 1 February as part of the health insurance reform: from 260 yuan to 88 or 82  yuan respectively (i.e. from 35 to 12 or 11 euros). This premium is financed by employee contributions and employers’ levies, i.e. “indirect wage”: it is not a gift from the state, as the protesters who chanted “Give us back our health insurance money!” were well aware.

The centre of the protest was the great industrial metropolis of Wuhan where the pandemic originally emerged and which was the first to be subjected to long and rigorous confinement and the driving force was the retired workers of the Wuhan Iron and Steel Complex, part of the Baowu Steel group, the second largest steel producer in the world: in other words, this giant company has enough to pay for!

On 8 February, hundreds of pensioners gathered in front of the provincial government building, where a delegation of protesters presented their demands to the authorities. Since they did not receive a response, thousands of protesters gathered again on Wednesday 15 February in front of the entrance to a park in the centre of Wuhan and in the city of Dalian (north-east), chanting the Internationale. Despite strict censorship by the authorities, demonstrations by pensioners against the reform were also reported a few days earlier in Guangzhou in the south of the country.

After the Foxcom workers’ revolt in November and several strikes or protests in January against the non-payment of wages owed, these demonstrations, while undoubtedly still limited, are nevertheless a sign that Chinese proletarians are increasingly unwilling to suffer without responding to the attacks they are subjected to by capitalism, whose self-proclaimed communist label cannot conceal its nature as a particularly bestial exploiter. They will inevitably be forced to join the struggle en masse in the near future; it will then be up to them once they take up the class arms, to take their rightful place at the forefront of the struggle of the world proletariat against capitalism.


16 February 2022



International Communist Party

Il comunista - le prolétaire - el proletario - proletarian - programme communiste - el programa comunista - Communist Program


Top  -  Back to Statements  -  Back to Archives