30 July, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile






mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 04/03/2009
CHINA
Migrant worker blows himself up because he was not paid
Han, 42, worked in 2007 but said he had not received 4,500 yuan (450 euros). The company denies the debt. Labor rights have little protection in China, and workers often take to the streets to protest or perform extreme actions.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) - In Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, a migrant worker has blown himself up because his boss did not pay him. In the China of the economic miracle, workers have little protection, and injustices often lead to protests, some of them serious.

Yesterday afternoon, Han Wushun, a 42-year-old ethnic Chinese migrant worker from Sichuan, asked his bosses at Xinjiang Beixin Road and Bridge Construction Company for back pay of 4,500 yuan (about 450 euros). When he found out that he would not receive this, he blew himself up with a homemade bomb he was carrying in his backpack. The explosion killed him and injured the two managers, who were trying to get away.

Han had worked for the company in 2007, for three months. He sued for the back pay in 2008, but last July the court rejected his request.

Company sources say that he received what was due to him.

In the country, it is not unusual for companies to fail to pay their workers, and the phenomenon has increased because of the current economic crisis: according to official data, in Shenzhen alone in 2008, about 370 companies did not pay 102 million yuan in wages to 39,200 workers. The problem is so bad that in this city, the municipal office for social security and labor has put under observation all of the companies that are in trouble and have not paid salaries for at least a month.

The phenomenon is so widespread that in recent years, the government has preferred to reimburse back pay of hundreds of millions of yuan, in order to prevent unrest. In 2008, official sources admitted that at least 87,000 mass protests took place for economic reasons, often connected to injustices suffered by workers.

Recent official data are not available. At the end of 2006, 1.63 billion yuan in back pay was said to be owed to about 800,000 migrants in Beijing, 1.84 billion to more than one million migrants in Guangdong alone, and 130 million to 130,000 migrants in Gansu. The numbers are high if one considers that at the time, the monthly salary was 1,000 yuan. Those who do not receive their salaries face long and costly civil suits, with the risk that in the meantime the employer could drop out of sight: for this reason, most migrants are ultimately willing to settle for a portion of what they are owed. Protection for migrants is also difficult because less than two thirds of them sign a regular contract, according to a study by the ministry for labor and social security. During the Asian financial crisis at the end of the 1990's, there were many suicides by unemployed workers.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
03/03/2009 CHINA
Jia Qinling: Maintaining order and social stability in Tibet
by Wang Zhicheng
04/14/2009 CHINA
Contradictions in China’s society: industrial workers and farmers at the bottom of the wage scale
01/20/2011 CHINA
Chinese Communist Party bans media from reporting social problems
07/21/2006 CHINA
Migrant worker sets himself ablaze in Tiananmen Square
06/25/2005 CHINA
China must re-evaluate wages, not currency

Editor's choices
ASIA
PIME in China: new men in new facilities
by Piero GheddoThe mission in China is possible. It should focus more on educational facilities. Old and new martyrs offer a role model. Here is a commented review of a letter the PIME superior general sent out to his confreres after a trip to China.
ISLAM - MIDDLE EAST
Al Azhar and Vatican against terrorism. The ambiguity of the international community
by Bernardo CervelleraThe influential Sunni university denounces " heinous" violence of the Islamic state and demands the world defeat this group “through every possible means". Vatican: terrorism is a threat to all humanity. France claims to fight terrorism, but then sells weapons, aircraft, helicopter gunships to Saudi Arabia, which supports Islamic fundamentalism. Kuwait tolerates Salafis who support the Nusra Front and the Islamic state. Turkey against the Kurds; the United States against Iran, Russia and China.
VATICAN – ITALY
Pope in Turin tells young people to be chaste in love, go against the flow and not retire at 20In his last meeting on the first day of his visit to Turin, Francis met young people in Vittorio Square. In a Question and Answer exchange, he talked about love, friendship and loss of trust towards life. "I understand you. How many hypocrites speak of peace and sell weapons. How can one trust? By following Christ, whose act of extreme love, i.e. the Cross, saved humanity." The pontiff also looked at the horrors of the 20th century as evidence of the loss of trust towards world powers. He urged young people “not to retire at 20,” but “live, don’t just exist.”

Dossier

Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.