As the Lunar New Year approaches and wage arrears protests reach their climax, there has been a noticeable shift away from construction workers towards new industries such as information technology, finance and data services which, according to one government official in Guangdong, are fast becoming the “new wage arrears industries.”
Construction workers have typically made up the vast majority of pre-New Year protests, accounting for 70 percent of all wage arrears protests in January 2017. This month, however, the proportion of construction workers was just over half.
New technology companies employ large numbers of young workers and routinely fail to pay staff on time and in full. Management styles can be extremely harsh, and sometimes violent conflicts erupt, as the cases on CLB’s Strike Map below illustrate.