Legal Right Violations: Demand for Better Pay and Living Conditions by China’s Migrant Workers
The conditions of migrant workers in China is terrible and heartrending.
The migrant workers in China form a massive workforce, which has contributed to half of China’s gross domestic product. However, the recent incidents of suicides among these workers at China’s Foxconn factories drew public attention, to their plight. These migrant workers in China are often deprived of their legal rights. They are forced to endure random dismissals, long working hours and unsafe working conditions. These workers who migrate in search of livelihood remain marginalized.
Legal Right Violations: Work-Related Injuries Increasing Annually
According to the China Labor Bulletin, every year 700, 000 workers get work-related injuries, in coal mines, construction and manufacturing jobs. Approximately, 130, 000 of these workers succumb to the injuries. Further, the migrant workers are paid an average of £75 per month, which is insufficient to sustain their livelihood. Also, they are not allowed to send their children to schools. In extreme cases, the migrant workers are subjected to corporate violence, for demanding their legal rights.
Legal Right Violations: Migrant Workers in China Decide to Strike
Finally, the new generation of migrant workers stood up to assert their legal rights. A wave of spontaneous strikes began to spread across China in the past few months in 2010. Recently about 5, 500 workers left their jobs at the Pingdingshan Cotton Textile Co. when their demand for better pay and working conditions were not met. Nearly, 3, 000 workers carried out demonstrations across the streets.
Further, workers at a Honda parts factory, in the southern Guangdong province, held strikes, to show their discontent. The strikes were carried out at Toyota suppliers and a branch of KFC restaurant. However, these strikes pressurized KFC to sign a labor contract that increases the minimum wage by 200 yuan ($29.27) per month.
While the Chinese government is keen to hush up these developments, the nation’s media and press are reporting it with considerable enthusiasm and interest. However, the government is trying to suppress the news so as to stop the contagion from spreading to other parts of the country. Further, on being confronted by the workers, the Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, Wen Jiabao stated that things have to change slowly.