Shenzhen warns workers against rallies during Universiade games

PUBLISHED : Monday, 09 May, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 09 May, 2011, 12:00am


Authorities in Shenzhen have warned workers that any petition or rallies over unpaid wages during a five-month period including the upcoming Universiade games could be regarded as criminal acts.

The warning was issued by the Shenzhen Housing and Construction Bureau, which posted a notice advising workers not to petition, hold rallies or use any 'abnormal methods' to get unpaid salaries between May 1 and September 30.

'Anyone who organises or takes part in a group petition will be punished severely, and those who have brought about serious consequences or bad results will be the subject of a legal responsibilities inquiry,' the notice said.

The bureau also warned construction companies that they would be banned for at least three months if their failure to pay migrant workers on time triggered a group petition or protests. Construction companies' projects will also be suspended if their managers fail to stop migrant workers' protests and authorities cannot reach them by phone.

However, legal experts nationwide have questioned whether the Shenzhen Housing and Construction Bureau, as an administrative department, has the right to impose such legal responsibilities.

On Friday, Shenzhen Communist Party boss Wang Rong told the city's policemen at a rally to promote public safety for the Universiade and that he would not allow any mistakes or carelessness involving security during the games, which will run from August 12-23.

Among anti-crime measures, Shenzhen authorities are also considering requiring people to present their identity cards when buying knives in July and August, the Southern Metropolis News reported. It said anyone who carried an unsheathed knife in the street could face a fine of 100 yuan (HK$119).

In February this year, Shenzhen issued a controversial draft regulation to outlaw 14 acts as 'illegal petitioning' - ranging from causing injuries to one's self, including committing suicide; creating public disturbances such as stopping work or protesting; damaging public facilities; or wearing clothes that express a grievance or threaten authorities.

Former Shenzhen mayor Xu Zongheng and at least three senior officials have been removed from office because of alleged corruption linked to construction projects for the Summer Universiade - the world university games.