Children of migrant workers protest wage arrears

August 17, 2012Jing Gao3 Comments, , , ,

From NetEase

On August 14, 13 children of rural migrant workers congregated at the entrance to a jade market in Dali, Yunnan province. Their ages range from 5 to 20. All of them held in their hands a hand-written sign demanding money to pay for their tuitions. Their parents worked for a construction project six years ago at South City, a shopping and recreation center for tourists coming to Dali, whose developer still owes more than 1,000 migrant workers a total sum of 20 million yuan (roughly US$ 3 million). Two months after the High Court of Yunnan province handed down the ruling in favor of the migrant workers, the developer still hasn’t paid them a cent yet.

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A sign held by a little boy drew most onlookers’ attention, “My name is Yu Xian. I am five. I came from the rural village of Qujing. My father has been working here for years and did not get the money. I am about to go to school soon. My father has been working out there away from home for long. I want to drink milk…”

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“My name is Gao Jia. I want to eat meals, go to school, drink milk and eat cookies.”

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It is learned that among the 13 kids who had come to demand delayed payment on behalf of their parents, five had been accepted into college and will enroll in the fall, and a few others will enter high school later this year. They agreed on meeting here to get money and pay for school.

On seeing these youngsters standing in the scorching sun and protesting with signs, many visitors to the jade market stopped, took out their cameras and cellphones and began snapping photos. Ms. Li, a visitor from Jiangsu province, said angrily, “These kids are so poor. How can the developer be so mean and wicked? Why did they hold up the wages that migrant workers made with sweat and blood for as long as six years?”

“Even though the High Court of Yunnan province has issued their ruling, the company that has taken over the construction project at South City has money for renovation and for building new structures, but they just won’t comply with the court ruling,” said Mr. Zhang, a contractor. Zhang said that he once led a crew of more than 100 rural migrants in the development project. That the wage payment has been delayed for too long has made him very worried, and yet migrant workers are also pushing him too hard. He is caught in the middle and has become afraid of going home.

Mr. Gao, the accountant at the 10th Construction Co.,Ltd of Yunnan Construction Engineering Group, the contractor for the project, said that his company started working on South City in April 2006 and completed it in June, 2007. The entire project cost nearly 100 million yuan. Nine subcontractors and over 1,000 migrant workers were involved. As per the court ruling, the developer should pay 20 million yuan of delayed wages.

Gao said that through the mediation of the local government, the new developer that takes over South City promised to square the accounts with his company before June 30. But until now, they still haven’t got a cent. They went to the developer and the answer they got was, “The court ruling is nothing but a wastepaper!” Gao said that his company has applied to the local court for compulsory enforcement.

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Top comments on NetEase

敏感的国 [网易四川省乐山市网友]:2012-08-16 22:19:14 发表
The “mosts” that wrench people’s hearts: The most dismal thing is the people’s well-being; the most despicable thing is the education of materialism/money worship; the most lamentable thing is the huge divide between the rich and the poor; the most fickle things are the ever-changing policies; the most incredible thing is the fact that the nation has progressed while the people’s life has degenerated; the most weird thing is that they report only the good news while concealing unpleasant information; the most depressing thing is the difficulty of surviving as a privately owned business; the most vicious thing is the existence of state monopolies; the most sensitive thing is the relations between officials and the people; the most pitiful thing is the lack of checks and balances; the most peculiar thing are the constant stock market crashes; the most worrying things are home prices and consumer prices; the most uncomfortable thing is that you have to accept all things aforementioned!

xilimaozhupapa [网易陕西省西安市网友]:2012-08-16 22:28:55 发表
Those who delay wage payment to migrant workers are even worse than animals. The most ridiculous part is, after a delay of several years, when the court ruled, they didn’t impose interests or award civil penalties. And many items in the contract say that migrant workers should not be compensated if their records are not clear enough. This is the main reason why wage payments to migrant workers are often delayed.

敏感的国 [网易四川省乐山市网友]:2012-08-16 22:06:09 发表
The resources have been drained; the environment has been polluted; the food has been poisoned; the moral ethics have degenerated. People are being harmonized while struggling with high home prices, high consumer prices, high medical costs, high income taxes, forced demolition, low income. The privileged class own immense wealth and has transferred all of it to outside the country. Have you ever in your spare time thought about the root problem of this dilapidated society?

网易广西柳州市手机网友 ip:182.89.*.*2012-08-16 22:10:48 发表
China, what can possibly make me love you?

qwp飞踹伍毛 [网易广东省广州市网友]:2012-08-17 00:15:13 发表
Even the glory of the 38 gold medals cannot obscure the national disgrace brought by the fact that the people are living in destitution!

网易浙江省温州市手机网友 ip:111.1.*.*2012-08-16 22:11:53 发表
Even the court ruling has lost its kudos and authority. The developer has never paid any regard to the ruling.

网易广东省深圳市手机网友 ip:111.222.*.*2012-08-16 22:19:12 发表
Kids start to participate in this type of thing at such an early age. What a pity! What a shame!

网易香港网友 [wyqin8021] 的原贴:1

Who caused hundreds of thousands of peasants to lose their land their ancestors had owned and wander from place to place to work and sell the scarce value of their labor? Who caused hundreds of thousands of workers to leave their factories in tears and peddle snacks to eke out a living after being laid off? Who caused countless pregnant women to stand on permanent guard against the ubiquitous One-child Policy enforcers in order to give birth to their children? Who caused young parents to beg and pray for a spot in the local school that their kids are entitled to? Who disillusioned countless patients who were critically ill and yet too poor to get themselves treated and caused them to go home and await death? Who subjected the noble blood of the Chinese nation to life worse than that of a dog? Who, while holding 3 trillion of U.S. debt, covets pension funds of the senior citizens and greedily gobble up their last suppers? Who signed the treaty that ceded over 1.5 million square kilometers of land? Who, while being friends with wolves and critical of Western values, happily sent their family to the West? Who tied our hands up, dallied with our fate and trampled us under their feet time and time again?
Who can answer these? Who dare answer these?

网易河北省邯郸市网友 [西西弗斯s坠落] 的原贴:2
Who, while hurling insults at American dogs, relocated all bastards in the family overseas?

网易辽宁省沈阳市网友 [生在天朝歹势啦] 的原贴:
The haves spare no effort in exploiting the have-nots!!  This is the current situation of our society.

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3 comments to “Children of migrant workers protest wage arrears”

  1. Gary | August 18, 2012 | Permalink Reply

    But if the construction company boss paid these peons his son in Canada would have to sell his Ferrari.

  2. Blacksoth | August 19, 2012 | Permalink Reply

    I’d be interested to know what labour laws are like when it come to the formation of unions in China. Clearly, a union is what the average person in China needs.

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