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Migrant Workers Can’t Get Paid, Walk Home for Chinese New Year

2015 February 14 afternoon, as a result of not having enough money to buy train tickets because their employers are behind in paying them, several dozen migrant workers in Yunnan province Dali prefecture prepared to walk home from Dali for Chinese New Year. Photo source: Zhang Hao/东方IC
This man spend his lunch time every day reading for an illiterate coworker.
2015 February 14 afternoon, as a result of not having enough money to buy train tickets because their employers are behind in paying them, several dozen migrant workers in Yunnan province Dali prefecture prepared to walk home from Dali for Chinese New Year. Photo source: Zhang Hao/东方IC

From NetEase:

Internet Reports Migrant Workers Walking Home for Chinese New Year Because Their Employer is Behind on Paying Wages and They Are Unable to Buy Train Tickets Home

2015 February 14 afternoon, Weibo netizen @苏辰的农民工 made a post claiming that several dozens of migrant workers have worked at a construction site for a year and with Chinese New Year approaching, have been unable to obtain their wages from the management of the engineering/construction project. Homesick and without money to buy train tickets, they’ve chosen to walk back to their hometowns from Yunnan province Dali prefecture. As it is understood, these migrant workers are variously originally from Sichuan province cities Mianyang, Yibin, Zigong, Neijiang, Luzhou, Guangyuan, Ziyang, Leshan, and Meishan; Yunnan province cities Lijiang, Dali, Chuxiong, and Lincang; Guizhou province cities Liupanshui and Zunyi; Henan cities Kaifeng and Luoyang; and Shaanxi province Hanzhong city, and Fujian.

According to workmate Chen Yumei, on February 10th, they organized some of their workmates to [collectively] demand their wages [from their employer], only to ultimately have over 100 of their workmates detained and beaten. Because Chinese New Year approaches, they in their yearning to return rush home for the holiday have no choice but to walk home, “even if the journey home is several hundred to even thousand kilometers, we know our families are waiting for us to go home to reunite for the holidays, so no matter how distant the destination is, we must rush back.”

Comments from NetEase:

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领导都是驴 [网易广东省深圳市手机网友]:

The Workers’ Union is a joke.

网易贵州省贵阳市手机网友 ip:1.204.*.*

Where’s the Yunnan provincial Party Committee?

美女放开那老头 [网易广东省广州市网友]:

Ah! If your wages were paid to you, then the [government/company] leaders would only be able to eat home cooking for the holiday!

网易云南省保山市手机网友 ip:183.224.*.*

Being detained is the key detail here, you know what I mean!

牛比亮亮 [网易北京市手机网友]:

Key detail is “migrant workers demanding their pay were detained by the Public Security Bureau [police]”.

人民萬歲萬歲萬萬歲 [网易湖北省咸宁市手机网友]:

Unbelievable that going home for Chinese New Year has become an impasse!

[email protected] [网易四川省手机网友]:

Such irony. Just the other day, CCTV-2 was reporting about Dali’s progressive status in not being in arrears on migrant workers’ pay! Now it has become a joke!

网易江西省南昌市手机网友 ip:182.85.*.*

Why doesn’t CCTV ask if you are happy?

管正 [网易陕西省西安市手机网友]:

People who are shameless do not need to be kept alive.

负枷行者 [网易广东省东莞市网友]:

There are no comments at present, you are not welcome to express your views.

[Note: This comment was posted soon after the article was published, mocking the “no comments at present” message in the comments section when no comments have yet been made, insinuating that critical comments are being censored.]

Chinese New Year is February 19th. It will become the Year of the Ram. If you support chinaSMACK’s mission to provide a glimpse of Chinese internet trends and culture through translation, please become a patron. Thank you!

Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.

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