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Migrant workers' high incomes not that rosy

People's Daily Online)  11:45, July 15, 2013  

Workers with Transmission and Distribution Engineering Company of Fujian Province make grid maintenance in Xiamen, southeast China's Fujian province, July 4, 2013. The thermometer showed that the temperature was close to 40 degrees Celsius. (Photo/Xinhua)

Recently, there are some rumors saying migrant workers' incomes are higher than white collar workers, with their wage slips posted on the Internet. It is said the highest monthly income of migrant workers reached 10,000 yuan, and even the lowest reached 5,000 yuan. According to a report of the National Bureau of Statistics, the average annual income of urban Chinese in 2012 was 24,565 yuan, so people naturally consider migrant work earn much now, and many netizens expressed their admiration for them.

The following story "a migrant worker's day" shows the working condition of migrant workers. Is that as enviable as their income?

Huang Dengyu, 38, has left his hometown to work in city since he was 14 and didn’t finish primary school study. Now he rents a 10 square-meter room as home, for which he pays 480 yuan monthly. His home was a factory building which is now rebuilt into a warehouse on the first floor and rooms for rental on the second floor.

At 5 a.m., Huang stepped up to his working place - the construction site of a subway line project, and arrived there at 6:15 a.m. And he quickly had some porridge and steamed bun as breakfast with other peers.

Huang is a leader of the third team of the subway construction; he assigned work tasks to the team members. They had to lean on the handrail of the ladder to get to the bottom of the well. The 20-meter-deep well was dark, wet, cold, dusty and smelly…They had to work under such a hard condition every day. They had already completed the first stage of excavation, now their responsibility was to set reinforcing steels in a 45-meter-tall arched passageway. There were beads of sweat on their foreheads although the temperature in the well was below 20 degree Celsius.

Huang and his team members only had half an hour for lunch, and they normally finished at 6:30 p.m. This is a day of a migrant work.

" My job is absolutely manual labor, so if you are above 45, you cannot stand the heavy workload, but now I am in good condition,” Huang said. If he works 12 hours every day, he can get 7,000 yuan a month. It sounds a good pay, but it is based on high-intensive labor, busy schedule, limited rest time and no holiday. Huang is an experienced worker; some new workers cannot earn that much.

Huang said honestly: “We take causal jobs and cannot be tied with a steady work. Sometimes it took us a few months to get a job and we did not have incomes in that period. So how can I compare with the people working in the office? ”

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(Editor:WangXin、Chen Lidan)


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