Henan Workers Block the Main Road in Housing Dispute

03 January 2002
In the early hours of January 3, 2002, 30 to 40 workers of the Louyang Electromechanical Equipment Company, Henan Province, blocked up Luoyang’s Zhongzhou Road. A bystander called us from a public phone situated about 200 meters from the scene to explain why the workers were blocking the road.

He said that seven years ago the workers, with their own money, purchased the quarters they now live in. The company has since shut down due to poor management, auctioned off the housing that the workers have bought, and now someone turned up to claim the flats. The caller told CLB that the workers had no idea what to do and this was the only way they could force the government to come forward and solve the problem.

Our call was put through to quite a few people before finding the one handling the matter -- the Assistant General Manager of Luoyang Goods and Materials (Group) Company. He first said the workers had never bought the flats. Then he said the workers did buy the flats but the company later gave the money back to the workers. Then he said the company was taken to court by a couple of private companies and lost the case to them. Then he said these private companies have no reason to cause trouble. Finally, the Assistant General Manager said that all he could do for the moment was to persuade the workers not to demonstrate on the streets.

(China Labour Bulletin, 3/1/2002)
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