DOL News Release USDL [02-584]
Mine Safety and Health Administration
Contact: Bob Zachariasiewicz
Phone: (202) 693-4686
Released Thursday, October 10, 2002
U.S. Labor Department to Provide Technical Assistance to China on Labor Law, Worker Rights and Mine Safety
WASHINGTON - U. S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao released two grants today totaling $6.4 million to help worker protection and mine safety and health in China.
Deputy Secretary of Labor Cameron Findlay said, "The Administration is committed to improving workers rights globally, and we look forward to working with our partners in China to enhance the rule of law and improve compliance with internationally recognized workers' rights and labor standards." Findlay serves as the Department of Labor's appointee to the joint Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC).
Through a competitive grant application and review process, the department awarded a four-year, $4.1 million grant to a consortium of Worldwide Strategies, Inc., the Asia Foundation, and the National Committee on United States-China Relations. The consortium will conduct a series of education, training and technical assistance activities to strengthen the Chinese government's capacity to develop laws and regulations to implement internationally recognized workers rights, promote greater awareness of labor law among Chinese workers and employers, strengthen industrial relations, and improve legal aid services to women and migrant workers. The department also awarded a four-year, $2.3 million grant to the National Safety Council to improve safety and health conditions in Chinese coal mines, which have one of the highest accident rates in the world.
Key members of Congress expressed their support for the projects. U.S. Representative Doug Bereuter (R-Neb.), chairman of the House Subcommittees on International Monetary Policy and Trade and co-chair of the CECC, emphasized, "The Commission welcomes the news that the Department of Labor has launched a forward-looking program that will go far toward implementing the technical cooperation provisions on labor rights that the 106th Congress passed in the PNTR legislation."
These two grants are funded and managed through the International Cooperation Program of the department's Bureau of International Labor Affairs.