16 people threaten to jump off the bridge together for wages

| November 4th, 2009



[Daqi] Because of labor disputes with the factory, more than 30 Hunan province contractors from a (beer) brewery in Guangzhou went to the Haizhu bridge (海珠桥) together performed a “jumping off the bridge show”. Police yesterday said, after the investigation 16 people involved in climbing the bridge were punished accordingly. Two organizers were held in criminal custody, 14 others were held for civil detention.

The afternoon of November 2, Guangzhou Haizhu bridge was paralyzed. 16 workers climbed on top of the steel frame of the bridge and stayed on top over 3 hours before they were persuaded to come down, resulting in roads from both side of the bridge to be blocked, and the road congestion of the nearby streets.

Workers said, they were not satisfied with the company’s labor contracts, health insurance, overtime pay, firing without reasons and so on. They negotiated with the company several times but without any results. They felt powerless, thus the action.

It is reported that Haizhu bridge often had people “performing this kind of suicide act” now is watched by security guard 24 hour a day to prevent people from climbing. Late August this year, relevant department also smeared grease (or butter? 黄油) on the steel frame, but because the structure of the bridge was scattered, there were many places you can step your feet and climb it. Plus this time too many people were climbing, it was too hard to prevent the suicide show.















6 Comments | Leave a comment | Comment feed

  1. I sympathise with the exploited migrant workers. Little hope of escaping their destiny and then sometimes squeezed for the cash they are supposed to earn.

  2. jesushelps says:

    And they are the ones made your city beautiful . Pay cash & respect to them!

  3. Joanne says:

    smeared BUTTER?!

    • Xiao Wang says:

      “Stopping people from jumping off the bridge you say? hm,, not really my area of expertice but let’s try buttering the whole thing up,, are we all agreed? good. Mr Ma, you go to WalMart and remember to get a good price. 5 tons of butter should do the trick. Mr. Hong. You’ll go hire some migrant workers, preferably some with baking experience. Boy are we clever or what?!”

    • Key says:

      Yes Butter, I swear thats what they said in the article. 黄油… well, I guess it can also mean “grease” which makes more sense. I will change that. thanks

  4. Xiao Wang says:

    Agree 100 percent. The bosses and factories treat their workers like shaite sometimes here. The labour laws need to be updated and enforced. It is almost every day now we hear about people having to take desperate measures to state their case and it’d foolish to think that isn’t just a tiny tip of the iceberg. We don’t forget that in China not getting paid could mean starvation for a whole extended family of the migrant worker, not like in Europe where the guy will be backed up and cared for by his union and/or the wellfare system.

    I know most middleclass Chinese tend to look down on workers and especially migrant workers these days but don’t forget that they do hard and dangerous work and are lucky to be able to see their family once a year. And don’t forget that the majority of them do not even get paid untill a building project is completed, making it even easier to cheat them since they haven’t got many bargaining chips. Migrant workers built this country.

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