Around 7,000 workers at a Taiwan-owned shoe factory in Dongguan took to the streets today, 17 November, in protest at salary cuts and the earlier dismissal of 18 managerial staff, according to posts on Tianya and a Southern Daily reporter’s microblog.
In a potentially significant development in the fight against the occupational disease epidemic that is sweeping China, the State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS) is requiring employers to keep health records of all their employees who are exposed to health hazards.
It's no mystery why the Chinese hate the chengguan. Think of them as thuggish meter maids or health inspectors with batons. Hardly a week goes by without a new controversy involving the municipal officers, a rung below the police, beating an unlicensed hawker or smashing a street vendor's stand.
Chengguan, the low-level law-enforcement officers tasked with keeping order on city streets, are probably the most reviled group of workers in China today. But now many are now claiming they are more sinned against than sinners.
I started working as a chengguan when I left the army. About 70 percent of my co-workers are veterans like me. We so-called law-enforcers head out every day to clear the streets of illegal obstructions and all we get from the public and our managers are criticism and abuse. People call us assholes because we deprive street vendors of their source of income, but do you know how much my monthly salary is? It is just 1,200 yuan! I have nothing left after I buy powdered milk for my kid. I would say 90 percent of my co-workers can’t afford to buy a home. We also have to do unpaid overtime, even on holidays.
Chinese riot police brought a semblance of calm to the riot-torn southern Chinese city of Zengcheng on Tuesday, but the anger of migrant workers at being discriminated against by the authorities remained palpable in this key export hub.
Chinese authorities struggled to restore order Monday after migrant workers, angry over the manhandling of a pregnant vendor, overturned police cars, smashed windows and set fires near the southern manufacturing hub of Guangzhou.