The Daqing workers’ protest continues (2002-05-13)

13 May 2002
China Labour Bulletin
News Update

The Daqing retrenched workers’ demonstration on Tieren (Iron man) square has entered its 75th day.

A worker who works near the Daqing Tieren (Iron man) square told China Labour Bulletin (CLB) about the situation he had witnessed himself. He said, on 13 May “there were about ten to twenty thousand workers gathering at the entrance of the Daqing Petroleum Administration Bureau (PAB), demanding the head of PAB come forward and meet the workers.

Another retired female worker who lives near the Tieren (Iron man) square told CLB that, after the Labour Day, May 1, many retired dependent workers swell the protesters’ ranks, demanding a minimum pension pay to be set up.

An old Daqing official explained to CLB why these retired dependent workers participate in the demonstrations. He said that during the Great Oil War in the sixties, these workers made great contributions without any reward. Although life was very hard at the time, but at least they had enough to eat. Now they are old but they only get 30 or 40 yuan a month; even getting food is a problem. At the same time, many of their children had been forcibly laid off or retrenched. That is why these old workers gather every day with their little stools in front of the PAB to demonstrate and demand a reasonable pension payment.

One dependent employee explained her present work circumstances to CLB, saying, “Every month I work 30 days, there is no rest day at all, and we get 10 yuan per day”. Regarding the problem of what she was going to do later with out any pension, she said, "Now I have a job, that’s already not bad. I can’t worry about a pension now".
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