Picture of the day: Migrant worker climbs on crane, strips off pants to get wages

May 13, 2011Jing GaoNo Comments, , , , , , , , , , ,

The problem of wage arrears is endemic in construction sites and factories across China. A report from the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics reveals that by the end of 2008, there was a total of 225.42 million migrant workers in China, and about 5.8% of them did not get all due wages before the Chinese New Year.

At about 1:00 p.m. on April 26, a woman climbed on top of a 30-meter-high tower crane on the construction site of Diamond Commercial Center in Ningbo, Zhejiang province, took off her pants and threatened to commit a suicide unless the contractor pays her husband all wage arrears.  She did not descend the tower crane until a construction company worker brought 210,000 yuan (US$32,000) at 3:00 p.m. (Picked from Web.)

In the mean time, Shenzhen, as the host city for the 2011 Summer Universiade, pulls out all the stops to ensure social stability before and during the mega-event lasting from August 12 to 23. A directive from Shenzhen’s Commission of Housing and Urban-Rural Development stipulates that from May 1 to September 30, migrant workers are forbidden to demand back wages through such ‘unusual’ methods such as petitioning and appealing to the complaints offices. Violators who have brought serious consequences to or terrible impressions on the society will be investigated for criminal responsibility. Pressured by the media and public attention surrounding the directive, the commission retracted the statement and pleaded “bad phrasing.”

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