Migrant Workers

Hong Kong doesn't need Morlocks from the Delta to fix labour woes

Pearl River Delta residents won't solve Hong Kong's 'labour gap'. Photo: David Wong

I have another way of looking at it. The English author H.G. Wells, in his science fiction classic, The Time Machine, postulated a race far in the future of subhumans, the Morlocks, who lived underground in the dark to serve their master race, the Eloi.

Tuesday, 25 February, 2014, 5:16am 5 comments

'Pickle index’ measures changing tide of Chinese migrant workers

A vendor waits for customers at a outdoor food market in Beijing, China, 04 February 2009. Photo: EPA

Sceptical of often unreliable provincial statistical data, China’s chief economic engineers have turned to a large, radish-like mustard tuber to measure the country’s urbanisation rate.

14 Aug 2013 - 4:43am

Tragic accidents just part of a hard life for China's 60 million 'left-behind children'

Students have a morning reading at the school in Gaojie Village, Shaanxi Province on Nov. 28, 2012. Photo: Xinhua

When Du Juan, who is now 18, was abandoned by her solo father at the age of nine, she could scarcely imagine she would one day attend high school. After 18 months studying at Shangdong Tancheng Datang School, Du was selected as one of 10 national “role model abandoned children” by the Care for Abandoned Children Fund in Beijing last year.

15 Jul 2013 - 1:38pm 1 comment

Rising costs in China are not an excuse to exploit workers

Illustration: Craig Stephens

Consider this statistic: the wealth of China's 1,000 richest people is equal to that of all 263 million migrant workers combined. According to the 2012 Hurun Rich List, the combined wealth of China's 1,000 richest men and women equalled about US$860 billion, a 9 per cent drop from the previous year. Despite this, their combined wealth is still almost double that of 2008.

21 Jun 2013 - 1:44am 1 comment

Police footage of Beijing migrant worker moments before 'suicide' sparks cover-up claims

Yuan Liya is seen in video footage shared by police (left) and photos shared online (right). Photo: Screenshots from CCTV, Sina Weibo

Police surveillance footage said to show a young migrant worker moments before she fell to her death has sparked accusations of a cover-up after she appeared to be wearing different clothing to that photographed by witnesses at the scene.

29 Aug 2013 - 4:13am

Two arrested in Greece over attack on Bangladeshi migrant labourers

Migrant workers receive first aid treatment after being shot on Wednesday in Varda. Photo: AFP

Two men have been arrested in Greece after foremen for strawberry growers allegedly shot and wounded 27 migrant labourers who were demanding to be paid, police said on Thursday.

18 Apr 2013 - 9:13pm

China's left-behind kids cloud the country's dream

China's left-behind kids cloud the country's dream

China can dream about grandeur and resurgence, but here are some new statistics that will pull her down. In her own backyard, among her vast rural poor in the countryside, many young children have no internet service, extra-curricular books and basic child-support services. Many have to trek for hours every day to attend poorly equipped schools with classes of up to 70 pupils.

24 Mar 2013 - 4:49am

Li Keqiang warns of urbanisation risks in first speech as premier

Urbanisation could case new poverty, said Li. Photo: Reuters

Premier Li Keqiang has warned of the hidden risks of an "unprecedented" urbanisation push in the world's most populous nation, saying the relocation of millions of rural residents to cities would take a long time.

18 Mar 2013 - 5:28am

Spirit of adventure can guide hukou reform

Urbanisation featured prominently in Wen Jiabao's government work report. Photo: AP

In Wen Jiabao's government work report, the theme of urbanisation again featured prominently. China has achieved an urbanisation rate of above 51 per cent. However, as at least 16 per cent (more than 200 million people) of the total population, such as migrant workers, are not registered in their city of abode, they lack full access to key public services including health care and education.

9 Mar 2013 - 2:31am

Migrant workers feel like outsiders in mainland cities, says survey

Despite spending years working in mainland cities, migrant workers still feel like outsiders. Photo: Xinhua

Despite spending years working in mainland cities, migrant workers still feel like outsiders and say their only sense of happiness comes from their families, a Renmin University survey has found.

3 Mar 2013 - 5:35am

Book review: China's Silent Army, by Juan Pablo Cardenal and Heriberto Araujo

Migrant workers from the mainland, such as these construction workers in Senegal, are willing to make sacrifices to escape poverty at home. Photo: AFP

In a four-room apartment in a Cairo suburb rented by a Chinese businessman, five Egyptians sew women's clothes then pack them for delivery.

24 Feb 2013 - 6:17pm

Police disperse protesters over death of migrant worker Zhang Derong

Workers protest over unpaid wages in Hebei. Photo: ImagineChina

Authorities in Sichuan's provincial capital, Chengdu, sent about 1,000 riot police to disperse a protest by a group of migrant workers and hundreds of supporters in Wenjiang district on Monday after Zhang Derong, a 20-year-old migrant worker involved in a back-pay dispute, was beaten to death allegedly by thugs hired by a local company.

6 Feb 2013 - 5:40am

Migrant worker's family savings rain down on Shanghai pedestrians

The photo of Yu posted on Weibo user Xuankejiong's account. Photo: Sina Weibo

It took more than a year for 83-year-old migrant worker Yu to save up nearly 18,000 yuan (HK$22,400) of hard-earned wages, which he planned to use to celebrate the Lunar New Year.

4 Feb 2013 - 5:36pm

Motorbikes best option for migrants on Lunar New Year trek

A migrant family preparing for their motorcycle journey home from Wuzhou, Guangxi, for the Lunar New Year holiday. Photo: Xinhua

Increasingly more migrant workers are riding motorbikes home from Guangdong for the annual holiday. In 2010, 100,000 people rode home for the Lunar New Year holiday, local media reported. The figure doubled to 200,000 in 2011 and doubled again to 400,000 last year.

4 Feb 2013 - 8:24am

City migrants help boost rural incomes

The rise in migrant labourers and their wages has helped push up rural per capita income faster than urban incomes. Photo: NYT

Rural per capita net income rose 10.7 per cent, against a 9.6 per cent increase for urban dwellers, partly because of the rise in migrant labourers and their wages, the National Bureau of Statistics said. Rural residents' income from benefits payments rose 21.9 per cent, almost double the urban pace, as the government boosted its budget for health-care handouts.

31 Jan 2013 - 5:20am