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Deng Xiaoping announced in 1992 that ‘to get rich is glorious’, opening up the floodgates of economic expansion but also exploitation, inequality and corruption
While China has been the world's factory for some years now , it is also fast becoming a big exporter of cheap labour. By 2009, there were almost 800,000 Chinese workers in more than 190 countries
The 200,000 migrants from China working in Singapore suffer abuse, discrimination and violations of their rights but few can obtain legal redress because they are under the control of their employers, according to a report by the China Labour Bulletin.
Foreign workers in Singapore—some 200,000 of them Chinese migrants, work long hours for low pay in frequently hazardous conditions and are often abused by employers and labor contractors, according to a new research report published by the China Labour Bulletin, a Hong Kong-based NGO.
How Chinese workers are recruited to work in Singapore, the working conditions and discrimination they endure, and how, when no longer needed, they are sent back to China. Photo of workers in Singapore by dominiqueb available at flickr.com.
There are well over a million work-related injuries in China every year, yet many of the government’s newly established rehabilitation centres lie empty because poorly-paid migrant workers, who are the main victims of accidents, are either unaware of their existence or simply cannot get in.
At least six people died and 22 were injured during a massive explosion at a firecracker factory in rural Henan, the official Chinese media reported today. All of the dead and injured were local villagers employed at the factory in Luohe’s Yancheng district. The explosion, which occurred late afternoon on 19 January, lit up the evening sky for about four hours and completely razed the football field-sized factory to the ground, local officials said.
In many ways, Lan Yimin represents the new generation of Chinese factory workers. She wants fair working conditions. Time off to socialize. And a job that pays enough so she can open a milk tea business one day.
Concerned about rebalancing of the world economy? Then set aside the G-20 and all the complicated wrangling over exchange rates and ponder instead the story of a one-handed former Chinese factory worker.
A 21-year-old migrant worker from Hunan, who lost a hand in a work-related accident last year, is challenging legal provisions that limit the amount of compensation workers can receive, irrespective of the employer’s culpability in the accident. In July 2009, Ruan Libing, a newly recruited employee at Elec-Tech in Zhuhai, had his left hand crushed whist operating machinery at the plant. His hand was amputated in a subsequent hospital operation. Even though his working life was effectively over, Ruan received just the statutory compensation payment of approximately 90,000 yuan.

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