Even years after major legislation was passed to curb abuse of agency labour and guarantee equal pay, agency workers are still fighting for their basic legal rights across China, particularly at SOEs.
According to Chinese law, agency work is supposed to be a “supplementary” form of labour, though agency workers often find themselves working for years alongside full employees, performing the same work for significantly less pay and benefits.
Agency workers, however, are well aware of their rights, and their collective actions are not uncommon. For months, agency workers at China’s FAW-Volkswagen plant, a majority state-owned joint venture, in the northeast city of Changchun have made international headlines in their long campaign for equal pay. Below we highlight two other agency worker actions demanding equal pay at SOEs that occurred in July.