Text Version
RSS Feeds
Home Forum Photos Features Newsletter Archive Employment
About US Help Site Map
SEARCH   About US FAQ Site Map Site News
  -Text Version
  -RSS Feeds
  -News Archive
  -Give us feedback
  -Voices of Readers
  -Online community
  -China Biz info
  What's new
Steel company executives' death reflects workers' insecurities
+ -
08:16, August 06, 2009

Click the "PLAY" button and listen. Do you like the online audio service here?
Good, I like it
Just so so
I don't like it
No interest
 Related News
 Tibet launches lecture of public security
 Feature: Struggle for certainty and security
 Senior Chinese official: Security "most important" for successful Shanghai Expo
 Global security challenges need networked solutions: British official
 No extra security forces in Tibet on March 10 "as far as I know", says advisor
 Comment  Tell A Friend
 Print Format  Save Article
A steel company executive's death from a beating during a riot at state-owned Tonghua Iron & Steel Co. Ltd. in China's northeastern Jilin Province resulted from workers' fears and anxieties, observers said Wednesday.

The workers were facing wage cuts and layoffs as a result of the company's looming makeover ensuing from a merger in which Beijing-based Jianlong Heavy Machinery Group would buy a majority stake in Tonghua.

General manager, Chen Guojun, installed by Jianlong according to the merger plan, was beaten to death during a 1,000 strong workers' protest on July 24.


Jianlong, one of the China's largest private steelmakers, has made attempts to invest in Tonghua from as early as 2005, but suspended a buy-out deal early this year because of financial losses ensuing from the global recession. It resumed the takeover bid in July, triggering broad dissatisfaction among the State steel giant's workers as downsizing and salary reduction rumors swirled.

"We prefer working for the state-owned company.

It makes us feel more secure," said a Tonghua worker.

Anxieties stemming from worker hardship and uncertain prospects finally turned into rage because Chen Guojun was receiving a hefty income.

Domestic media reported the average workers' monthly salary had been slashed to a top limit of

1,000 yuan (146 U.S. dollars) from 2005 while Chen earned about 3 million yuan a year. In addition, workers were worried about downsizing following Jianlong's takeover of Tonghua.


The underlying reason for the protest and death was the insecurity of the State mill workers, who

not only faced a transformation of identity in working for private enterprise, but were also deprived of their right to information about the reconstruction, said economist Liang Xiaomin, a professor at Tsinghua University.

Workers in State-owned enterprises usually reject overtures from private companies, which are regarded as pursuing "overwhelmingly" business interests but neglecting social responsibilities, said Liu Qingbo, a professor at the Jilin Business and Technology College.

"Insecurity is prone to lead to social unrest, triggering mass incidents," Liang said.


China's government has stressed the importance of safeguarding employees' interests and rights since nationwide reforms in state-owned enterprises started during the 1990s.

It specified a range of compensation measures for laid-off workers in a document regulating SOE reconstruction in 2006.

But the prescription was often put aside by groups with vested interests. "In practice, the interests of employees are taken lightly," Liang said.

He said besides the payment of monetary compensation to employees whose interests had been impeded, reconstruction talks should include representatives defending workers' interests.

Government, private enterprises, society at large and individuals should make efforts to ease the worries of workers who suffered losses in company makeovers, he said.

There was a need for multiple channels to be introduced to soften the impact on workers resulting from reconstruction as well as to improve the social security environment, said Wang Xiaolu, a researcher from the Chinese Economic Institution Reform Committee.

Source: Xinhua

  Your Message:   Most Commented:
Unveiled Rebiya Kadeer: a Uighur Dalai Lama
80 pct of netizens agree China should punish Facebook
LA police: Michael Jackson death may have been 'homicide'
Chinese netizens call for punishing Turkey
Al-Qaida threatens Chinese abroad

|About Peopledaily.com.cn | Advertise on site | Contact us | Site map | Job offer|
Copyright by People's Daily Online, All Rights Reserved