Migrant workers pushed to the limit. Can you blame them?
So the situation that I came across today is one that I heard about but never really got to see first hand. Here is the deal. Migrant workers typically come in from the country to the city looking for work. This is a trend that has been taking place in China for years. They come into the city looking for work–how? Most likely they have connections and relationships with someone already in the city who can set them up with a job on a construction site. And so they find work and this economy moves forward. Sounds easy. But in reality many times the following takes place…
After finding a job the employer/builder/developer/whoever tells them that he will pay them at the end of the year. Now to most of us in the west this is completely unreasonable. Most of us could never live only getting paid once a year. However this apparently is a common practice in esp among the construction industry. Almost always the migrant workers will be provided temp housing while in the city, usually on the construction site itself.
Here they are building the temp housing.
However, at the end of the year (before Spring Festival) what happens if the employer does not have all the money he has promised? well, I suspect that most of the time injustice takes place and migrant workers are shorted and sometimes not even paid. But today…the migrant workers made a statement. While I don’t know the specific details of the exact events of the following photos, I do know that I can form a pretty good explanation as to what is happening by observation and (asking one of the hundreds of people standing by on looking) –waiting in suspense as to the end result.
In the first photo you can see people (migrant workers) forming a line across a large intersection. They are simply blocking the cars from going through. You can one person standing in front of each car. Does this remind you of something from the past? Yes, there were horns, but that does not matter. This was two blocks from our house. But this action causes a chain reaction on different levels. One is obviously the police need to come. You can see them standing in the center of the intersection deciding on what to do next. What I don’t know is if they are actually negotiating with the employer as to wether he has the money pay his migrant workers or not.
In the picture below you can see the construction site where the migrant workers were working.
I have heard of this happening in other areas but now it is here in our town/city or 8+ million. It is unfair and it is injustice. I truly hope and pray that this was resolved with workers getting paid a fair wage. I will keep asking around and maybe post again on this sometime. Again, I say, no one can predict how the economic crisis will affect this country in years to come.