Re­form pay sys­tem to save work­ers

China Daily (Canada) - - COMMENT -

An in­creas­ing num­ber of young work­ers are dy­ing from over­work, be­cause the “un­rea­son­able pay­ment sys­tem” in many sec­tors forces them to work over­time to make enough money to make ends meet. This has given rise to many ques­tions, says an ar­ti­cle in Xi’an Evening News. Ex­cerpts:

Ac­cord­ing to a re­search con­ducted by Sun Yat-sen Univer­sity, 697 young work­ers in Dong­guan, the man­u­fac­tur­ing hub in Guangzhou, died in their sleep be­tween 2004 and 2013. Ac­cord­ing to the Epi­demi­o­log­i­cal Study of Sud­den Un­ex­plained Noc­tur­nal Death Syn­drome, more than 90 per­cent of the vic­tims were pro­duc­tion line work­ers.

Young peo­ple mi­grate from ru­ral ar­eas to cities in search of bet­ter liveli­hood and their pri­or­ity is to earn enough money to change their fate. Sadly, they end up work­ing ex­tra hours year af­ter year just to make ends meet.

Their man­agers shirk their re­spon­si­bil­ity by say­ing that such work­ers seek over­time work. What they never ad­mit is that the “un­rea­son­able pay­ment sys­tem” leaves work­ers with no choice but to work over­time to earn a de­cent amount. Worse, some­times work­ers even have to bribe the man­agers to get ex­tra work.

These cases re­flect the para­dox of work­ers “seek­ing ex­tra work vol­un­tar­ily”. The sit­u­a­tion can be cor­rected only by re­form­ing the pay­ment sys­tem and rais­ing the min­i­mum wage to en­able work­ers to earn enough in reg­u­la­tion time to sup­port their fam­i­lies.

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