Archive for the Labor Category

People’s Daily celebrates workers on May Day [Xinhua]

Posted in China, CPC, Employment, Holidays in China, Labor, Trade unions on May 1, 2015 by Zuo Shou / 左手

BEIJING, April 30 (Xinhua) — The People’s Daily will carry a long article on Friday, International Workers Day, detailing how the Communist Party of China cares for the working class.

The CPC Central Committee has always cared for the working class and attaches great importance to labor unions and workers’ lives, according to the article in the flagship newspaper of the Communist Party of China.

President Xi Jinping has stressed many times in his speeches that the entire country may rely wholeheartedly on the working class and uphold the idea that hard work is the most honorable, noblest, greatest and most beautiful virtue, the documentary said.

Xi said only through honest work can people realize their dreams and solve the difficulties that arise in the course of development, according to the commentary.

A total of 2,968 model workers were recognized at a ceremony attended by the nation’s top leaders on Tuesday, when Xi promised to protect workers’ interests, increase their wages and realize the Chinese Dream through the concrete results of their tireless endeavors.

The last time model workers were honored in this way was 36 years ago…after the Cultural Revolution.

At Tuesday’s ceremony, Xi described the working class and “the broadest masses of the people”, as the fundamental force behind economic growth and the basis of social stability.

Xi has often met and talked with workers during his inspections trips, highlighting their role in the country’s development and urging the government to improve their standard of living.

Xi learned from his work in the countryside at a young age that labor is an important key to tempering work style and keeping close relations with the mass, said the article in the People’ Daily.

Xi also highlighted the importance of labor unions, demanding stronger labor unions to better connect common workers and the CPC.

Editor: yan

Edited by Zuo Shou

Article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2015-05/01/c_134200733.htm

China unveils policies to revitalize northeast [Xinhua]

Posted in China, Economy, Employment, Heilongjiang Province, Housing, Jilin Province, Labor, Liaoning Province, Reform and opening up, State-owned Enterprise (SOE) on October 21, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

BEIJING, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) — The Chinese central government announced an action plan to assist the northeast region’s staggering economy with a list of new measures.

The plan aims to free up private businesses, deepen reforms of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), develop modern agriculture, renovate urban rundown areas and launch dozens of infrastructure projects in the provinces of Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang, according to the new measures announced Tuesday.

The 35 new measures, listed in a document by the State Council on its website, came as the northeastern regions saw the slowest economic growth among China’s provincial areas during the first half of this year.

China will speed up the construction of eight rail lines and build or expand 10 regional airports in the region, the document said.

SOEs are encouraged to sell part of their equities to private and foreign investors to build a mixed ownership system and pay for the reforms.

A new state-owned regional investment company will be established to hasten the reorganization of poorly run SOEs in the region, the document said.

The central government will support emerging industries including robotics, gas turbines, advanced marine engineering equipment and integrated circuits, as well as expanding the service industry of the region.

For traditional sectors such as agriculture, the document said the northeast provinces’ status as a core grain production base will be strengthened. Grain storage and logistical facilities will be improved.

The central government will fund the building of affordable housing and grain logistics facilities, included in a 60-billion-yuan (9.7 billion U.S. dollars) new credit reserve for shanty town renovation by the China Development Bank.

The document also named a few power transmission projects, nuclear power plant projects and heating projects to be initiated as part of a clean energy network in the region.

Once China’s industrial base, the northeast provinces relied heavily on SOEs to drive local economy but they fell short of the national economic growth of 7.4 percent in the first half of the year, with Heilongjiang’s GDP ranking at the bottom with an increase of just 4.8 percent during the period.

Editor: Luan

Article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2014-08/19/c_133568678.htm

Vietnam’s anti-China riots ‘hurt its image’ [People’s Daily]

Posted in Anti-China media bias, Anti-China propaganda exposure, China, China-bashing, Energy, Hong Kong, Japan, Labor, south Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam on May 15, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Li XIAOKUN and ZHANG YUNBI (China Daily)

May 15, 2014

Mobs chanting anti-Chinese slogans have set at least 15 foreign factories on fire in southern Vietnam.

An analyst said the incidents were among the country’s most serious riots and would tarnish its image as an investment and tourist destination.

The rioting started late on Tuesday when about 19,000 workers protested at a Singapore-run industrial park and others nearby in Binh Duong province, 1,120 km south of Hanoi, the capital.

Authorities said rioting and looting forced the closure of 1,000 factories, but no casualties were confirmed. About 500 people were arrested.

The incidents came after anti-China street protests over the weekend following Beijing’s recent deployment of an oil drilling rig in its territorial waters in the South China Sea, which are also claimed by Vietnam.

In a phone conversation with his Indonesian counterpart on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China wanted Vietnam to calm the situation.

“China’s stance of protecting its legal sovereign rights is firm, clear and will not change,” he said.

Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Beijing had lodged protests with the Vietnamese ambassador, asking the Vietnamese “to immediately take effective steps to stop and punish these crimes, and to ensure the safety of Chinese citizens and institutions in Vietnam.”

Hua said Hanoi had deliberately escalated tensions by allowing its vessels to ram Chinese boats around the rig on 169 occasions on Tuesday and by arranging for reporters to cover the process.

“This was all done for show in an attempt to present a false picture and deceive the public,” she said.

Li Jinming, a Xiamen University professor of maritime law and South China Sea studies, said, “Vietnam is provoking China on land and sea in a high-stakes gamble.”

Tran Van Nam, deputy head of the province’s people’s committee, was quoted by VnExpress as saying that the protests were initially peaceful but had been hijacked by extremists who incited people to break into the factories.

Hundreds of other factories were vandalized or looted, while some security guards and technicians were assaulted, the official said.

He said people attacked factories they believed were run by companies from the Chinese mainland, but some were run by people from Taiwan, Japan or South Korea.

On Wednesday morning, nearly all the factories in the area were closed and riot police had been deployed.

Global exporter Li & Fung, which supplies retailers such as Kohl’s Corp and Wal-Mart Stores with clothing, toys and other products, said it had suspended production in Vietnam.

Yue Yuen Industrial Holdings, a Taiwan manufacturer with headquarters in Hong Kong, also suspended production. It makes footwear for firms including Nike and Adidas.

Vietnamese Internet users have questioned the motivation and impact of the rioting.

“Young people should be more cautious and avoid being used by bad people. The (foreign) companies have brought jobs — what is wrong with them?” a netizen nicknamed muoihcm commented in the VnExpress report.

The Vietnamese government gave rare permission for the weekend protests, which were enthusiastically covered by state media.

Li Guoqiang, deputy director of the Research Center for Chinese Borderland History and Geography at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said, “It is high-profile propaganda for the Vietnamese authorities and media regarding the collision of ships in the South China Sea that enraged public opinion and resulted in the riots.

“The incident will not only harm relations with China but also endanger Vietnam’s international image, especially as an investment and tourist destination.”

Wang Jian and Xinhua contributed to this story.

Article link: http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90883/8627942.html

Xinhua Insight: China struggles to tame illegal foreign laborers [Xinhua]

Posted in China, Employment, Guangzhou, Labor, Law enforcement, Vietnam on March 28, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

NANNING, March 19 (Xinhua) — Braving the windchill [sic] by a highway in Baise City of south China’s Guangxi, 18-year-old Vietnamese Lau Mi Lenh and his family desperately tried to hitch a lift to their dreamland [sic] of neighboring Guangdong Province.

Hailing from a village in the Vietnamese province of Nghe An, Lau and his eight relatives had sneaked [sic] into China by themselves, hoping to find a job in Guangdong, as he had heard that the bustling coastal province could guarantee a handsome income for people like them.

It wasn’t to be, and the illegal immigrant told Xinhua his tale from a Chinese jail cell.

He is among booming numbers of people without valid entry and employment paperwork, particularly from southeast Asia, that are flooding into the country’s eastern seaboard, a part of China that is increasingly looking to the black market to fill gaps in affordable labor.

The issue is once again in the spotlight after two groups of Vietnamese stowaways, a total of eight people, were detained by local police in Baise on Friday.

Regional border control police of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region intercepted 4,500 illegal foreign laborers in 2012, and though the number dipped to a little over 3,500 in 2013, police say there are “definitely ones that are at large.”

The illegal laborers, taking advantage of the many trails that snake through the China-Vietnam border area, stick their necks out to bypass the checkpoints in Guangxi to reach the eastern paradise of their dreams.

Mi Lenh said that his family moved heaven and earth to get to Baise, eventually enduring an anxious 24-hour ride in a minivan to get there.

“I was prepared to labor in jobs planting eucalyptus or sugarcane even in the countryside of Guangdong,” he explained.

ILLEGAL CHAIN

China’s black market of foreign labor is booming on the back of a shift in the country’s own labor forces from east to west, driving human traffickers, or “traders” as they are dubbed, to transport cheap labor from abroad into the eastern areas like Guangdong, Fujian and Zhejiang.

Ah Xiang, a trader detained by police in Guangxi, said that they usually lure poverty-stricken foreigners willing to work in China with blandishments about the working opportunities, then charge “registration fees” before transporting them into Chinese factories.

“We would negotiate with the factory owners in advance to remove any possible stumbling blocks, and then the procedures would go smoothly,” she said.

According to Ah Xiang, foreign laborers are becoming increasingly popular in factories in the east, as domestic workers are thin on the ground, while foreigners tend to be cheaper, more “well-behaved” and “quiet.”

But the opportunities to make more money in China are often outweighed by terrible working and living conditions, Ah Xiang added, pointing out that it is hard to guarantee the rights of the illegal workers.

Experts attribute the phenomenon to a wide range of factors, including rising labor costs in China as well as loose supervision.

One of the underlying reasons for the rampant black market in foreign labor is that China’s coastal cities have come under pressure from a severe shortfall in labor resources, according to Yu Yimao, captain of Baise’s border control police.

In February, a survey by the Guangzhou Human Resource Market Service Center showed a shortfall of 123,300 workers in Guangzhou, capital city of Guangdong. A similar warning was issued later by the Fujian provincial government, cautioning that the province needs 80,000 laborers to fill the gap.

Meanwhile, the cost of domestic labor is on the rise.

Construction worker Li Deqin said that the daily salary for people like him used to be about 80 yuan (13 U.S. dollars), but now they command at least 180 yuan.

That is a huge contrast to many foreign workers like Mi Lenh, who barely makes 50 yuan each day in Vietnam.

“I heard that even stowaways can make more than 100 yuan a day in China,” the young Vietnamese said.

While his dreams have now become castles in the air, many others are still falling for the bait, and authorities have called for a taming of the black market with a spate of proposed legal measures.

Xu Ningning, deputy secretary-general of the China-ASEAN Business Council, said that China needs to ramp up supervision to tackle the problem, for that is in the interest of both foreign workers and domestic factories.

“I think that the government could work with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to figure out a mechanism to ease the labor pressure and guarantee the rights of workers,” Xu said.

He suggested that the problem could be solved by qualifying and legalizing more foreign laborers to work in China under government supervision.

Editor: Zhu Ningzhu

Full article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/indepth/2014-03/19/c_133197781.htm

Xinhua Insight: “Mao fans, minority worship?” – Deification, sober appreciation of Chairman Mao [Xinhua / Sweet & Sour Socialism Essential Archives]

Posted in Buddhism, China, Economy, Education, Employment, Labor, Mao Zedong, Mao Zedong, Myanmar, PLA, Sweet and Sour Socialism Essential Archives on January 24, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

by Xinhua writers Wang Jiaquan, Li Huaiyan

XISHUANGBANNA, Yunnan, Dec. 25 (Xinhua) — Chairman Mao is another God in the largely Buddhist hamlet of Man’en, where most ethnic Dai villagers enshrine the founding father of New China at home, though the “great helmsman” was de-deified after the end of the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976).

A large portrait of Mao Zedong hangs high in the living room of Ai Pa, with a smaller image of a senior Myanmar monk by its side. This arrangement was a suggestion from the Buddhist clergyman, who presided over a prayer service for Ai’s new house in 2000.

When Ai requested a portrait from the monk to be used as a “home guardian” after the ceremony, the monk insisted his image be placed in a subordinate position to that of Mao, saying that Mao was a real savior and guardian of the ethnic Dai people.

Loving almost all Mao things, from his quotations to the passionate red songs, Ai Pa remains a loyal Mao fan even though his family suffered during the Mao era.

Ai’s family was classified as a landlord during the land reform in the 1950s, and his father fled to neighboring Myanmar only a few days after Ai’s birth in 1957 in fear of penalties as denouncement campaigns against landlords swept Menghai County in Xishuangbanna, southwest China’s Yunnan Province.

As the descendant of a landlord, Ai Pa had to face discrimination when he grew up. He was rejected when he registered to join the People’s Liberation Army.

Indeed, Ai does think his family was wronged. “My ancestors were all poor peasants. It was not until my grandpa reclaimed some wasteland that our family began to own some paddy fields and hire a few laborers,” he says.

However, all the adversities have not resulted in a resentful Ai Pa. “A Buddhist should not return grudge for grievance,” says the 56-year-old man.

In addition, he says, he admires Chairman Mao because the late leader was a man who truly wanted to do good for the people, and he appreciates the value of equality that emerged in the Mao era.

Most villagers owned no land before the land reform in Xishuangbanna, where the feudal lord claimed ownership of all land and peasants had to shoulder the heavy and inescapable burden of taxation, according to He Ming, an ethnic studies professor at Yunnan University in Kunming.

Ai Pa recalls that when he was a child, old people in the village told him that Chairman Mao was like the Monkey King in the traditional Chinese fairy tale of the Pilgrimage to the West, who was invincible and was commissioned by the Heaven to bring fairness and equality to the world.

WHY NOT MAO?

Three decades into China’s reform and opening-up drive, Man’en, as well as many other remote villages, has witnessed drastic economic and social transformation.

Satellite television broadcasts, mobile phones, motorcycles, cars, highways and the Internet have shortened the distance between them and the outside world. And yet Mao has remained an icon in the hamlet that has more than 6,000 villagers.

A Mao portrait bought in Beijing is always regarded as a very precious souvenir for local villagers, while Mao’s mausoleum is usually a must-go for their maiden trips to the national capital, says Ai, who is also chief of Man’en village.

Like Ai Pa and his fellow villagers, the ethnic Blang people in Jiliang, another village with a population of over 2,000 in Menghai, are also Mao worshipers. They have his images printed on glazed bricks on the outside walls of their new homes.

However, these ethnic minority hamlets are not isolated cases. A survey by the Horizon Research Consultancy Group in 2008 in 40 Chinese cities and towns, including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, showed that 11.2 percent of respondents enshrine Mao Zedong at home, way ahead of those that worship the Buddha, God of Wealth, and other gods.

In the words of Huang Jisu, a sociologist, playwright and cultural critic, Mao worship is a quite complicated phenomenon and has a strong social background, and is also related to personal experiences.

However, Huang doesn’t believe there is a geographical, age or social class division in regard to people’s attitude toward Mao.

For example, Huang says, there are also Mao fans in big cities like Beijing and Shanghai, while some young people in universities also admire him. Huang also notes that it is not rare for entrepreneurs and millionaires to admire Mao.

However, Huang stresses that admiration for Mao does not necessarily mean the admirers want to go back to the Mao era.

“It’s quite natural for Mao, such a great man, to have admirers. Just as pop stars can have so many fans, why not Mao?” says 58-year-old Huang, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing.

As for Mao fans, Huang says, ordinary people psychologically need a great person to hold in high esteem, and Mao has filled – and fills – that need.

In Huang’s view, the greatest good that Mao did for the nation was the Chinese revolution he led, which ended the nation’s survival crisis that had lasted a century.

PASSION IN LENS

Both Sun Yat-Sen and Chiang Kai-shek failed to lead the nation out of that crisis, and Mao was an unrivaled great man of his century, Huang says.

Sun Dahong, a photographer who has published an album featuring ethnic Mao fans, argues that the modern passion for Mao has nothing to do with a personality cult.

“It’s never a political fervor that creates blind followers like those during the Cultural Revolution, but a kind of spontaneous affection or emotion that has sprouted at the grassroots and passed from generation to generation,” says Sun, a former provincial deputy police chief of Yunnan…

…”There have always been concerns that today’s society is one without belief, but I have rediscovered it among the ordinary people. Mao worship is an instinctive expression of their emotion and perhaps even reflects a higher level of spiritual need,” Sun says.

“To his worshipers, Chairman Mao stands for auspice and victory, represents social justice and is a man that leads them to common wealth. So they believe in, respect and love Chairman Mao,” Sun says.

Also a Mao fan, Sun actually shares some similarities with Ai Pa. Sun’s mother, a provincial cadre in Yunnan, was persecuted to death during the Cultural Revolution when Sun and his younger brother were both in Shanxi Province receiving reeducation from local peasants.

His mother’s death has been a lingering anguish but Sun has never blamed or hated Chairman Mao. After all, he says, blames for personal grievances should not all go to a policy maker.

As for Mao’s errors, a controversial topic, Sun would like to quote a man he met in Dehong, an autonomous prefecture of ethnic Dai and Jingpo, when shooting his album:

“Chairman Mao’s contributions and merits are like a majestic mountain, but his faults can be measured in just a handful of earth.”

Huang Jisu agrees that Mao’s mistakes should be put under critical analysis, but he argues that criticism should be based on facts instead of rumors or even slanders.

“For such an epoch-making man, he is always a giant, no matter what the comments are, be it praise or censure,” Huang says.

Excerpted by Zuo Shou

Full article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/indepth/2013-12/25/c_132994178.htm

Jilin officials, executives punished over deadly poultry plant fire, colliery blasts [Xinhua]

Posted in Changchun, China, Corruption, Employment, Energy, Jilin Province, Labor, Law enforcement on July 10, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

BEIJING, July 6 (Xinhua) — More than 100 Chinese officials and enterprise executives found to be responsible for two deadly workplace accidents were prosecuted, sacked, demoted or given disciplinary punishment, the State Council said Saturday.

The State Council, or China’s cabinet, said in a statement it had approved an investigation report regarding the two deadly accidents in northeastern province of Jilin as well as a punishment proposal for those responsible for the accidents that left 174 people dead in total.

Thirty-five people including government officials and company executives would be transferred to the judicial authorities for prosecution, while 73 others, including Jilin’s deputy governor Gu Chunli, deputy governor and police chief Huang Guanchun, and former top work safety official Jin Hua, have been given disciplinary sanctions.

The Jilin provincial government was ordered by the State Council to conduct self-criticism.

A fire ripped through a poultry plant owned by the Jilin Baoyuanfeng Poultry Company in Dehui City on June 3 , leaving 121 dead and 76 injured.

The fire came months after two coal mine blasts that occurred on March 29 and April 1, respectively, at the Babao Coal Mine in Baishan City, Jilin Province, killed 53 people and injured 20 others.

Both cases are “extraordinarily significant liability accidents,” the report said, indicating human errors, particularly the lack of work safety supervision, are to blame.

In the Dehui fire accident, an electrical short has been identified as the direct cause, and the short ignited “combustible goods” nearby and the heat set off “physical explosions” of ammonia equipment and pipelines, according to the report.

Meanwhile, lack of safety measures within the workshop as well as lax supervision by fire-control, construction, and work safety supervision authorities are also to blame for the accident, the report said.

Nineteen people including the company’s board chairman Jia Yushan, general manager Zhang Yushen, and firefighting officials in Dehui and Changchun, capital of Jilin, as well as local government officials were subject to judicial punishment.

Apart from deputy governor Huang Guanchun, those who were given disciplinary punishment also include Changchun Mayor Jiang Qiaying, and Li Shutian, general director of the provincial firefighting brigade.

Dehui city’s Party chief Zhang Dexiang, mayor Liu Changchun, and police chief Wang Hua’an were dismissed from their posts.

Dereliction of duty was also reported in the Babao Coal Mine blasts, according to the investigation report.

Due to insufficient fire-preventing measures, self-ignition of coal led to gas blasts in the mine, the report said, referring to the direct cause of the blasts.

After the initial blasts and 36 fatalities on March 29, the company violated a production ban by sending workers into the pit again, where a gas blast on April 1 killed 17 people and injured 8, according to the investigation report.

Meanwhile, poor management at the mine and lax supervision from the Baishan municipal government and related authorities are also to blame for the accident, the report said.

Sixteen people, including Zhao Xianwen, board chairman and general manager of Tonghua Mining Company, which owns the mine, as well as his deputies, have been prosecuted.

Baishan Mayor Peng Yonglin and his deputy were also given disciplinary sanctions along with Jilin’s deputy governor Gu Chunli and former top work safety official Jin Hua.

Yuan Yuqing, board chairman of Jilin Provincial Coal Industry Group, the parent company of Tonghua Mining Company, was sacked while the general manager of the group Jia Liming was demoted.

The State Council has ordered the governments of all levels in Jilin and related authorities as well as enterprises to draw lessons from the accidents and carry out thorough safety checks so as to ensure work safety.

Editor: Chen Zhi

Article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2013-07/07/c_124968402.htm

Xinhua Insight: Fatal fire rings alarm for factory safety – At NE China’s Jilin, 120 dead in poultry plant fire

Posted in Changchun, China, Corruption, Jilin Province, Labor, Law enforcement on June 6, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

DEHUI, Jilin, June 5 (Xinhua) — Two days after a fire raged through a poultry plant in northeast China’s Jilin Province, leaving 120 people dead and 77 injured, the relatives of the deceased are participating in DNA testing in order to claim the bodies of their loved ones.

“We hope to see her one last time,” said Li Yanguo. His 20-year-old niece, Li Feng, went missing after the fire broke out early Monday morning at a poultry processing plant in the city of Dehui.

LOCKED DOORS

The State Council, or China’s cabinet, has dispatched a special work team to investigate the fire.

Although the investigation results have yet to come in, a question has been lingering among many survivors and the victims’ relatives: why were the doors of the workshop locked at the time of the fire, preventing many from escaping?

Lying on a bed at the Changchun Central Hospital in the provincial capital of Changchun, Wang Fengya said she feels sick when she recalls the accident.

Wang said she and her colleagues could not open a door that was used as an emergency exit when the fire broke out.

“People ahead shouted and tried to push the door open, but it wouldn’t budge,” she recalled. “Somebody opened the door with a key and we rushed out.” Wang was slightly burned and is receiving treatment at the hospital.

Of the 77 workers who were injured, many are suffering from skin and respiratory burns.

Some survivors said their workshop was windowless and that the main gate was usually locked, leaving only a few side doors for passage.

“Scores of people died just a few steps away from the locked main gate,” one survivor said.

Another survivor, Guan Zhiguo, also blamed the locked doors for the severe casualties.

Guan said he saw a few female workers screaming behind a locked door after he ran out of the building.

He said no one questioned why the doors were locked before the accident. “Now I am remorseful, but I don’t know who I should blame,” he said.

It is not the first time that locked doors have been reported in fatal fires. Emergency passages that were sealed with iron bars were found in an investigation that was conducted following a shopping mall blaze that killed 309 people in central China’s Henan Province in 2000.

INDIFFERENCE TO HAZARDS

The managers of the poultry plant, as well as local supervisory authorities, seem to have paid little attention to preventing and handling risks.

The Jilin Baoyuanfeng Poultry Company had over 50 tonnes of ammonia stored in the workshop where the fire occurred.

Ammonia, which both caustic and hazardous, must be stored under high pressure or at a low temperature. However, few people in the factory were aware of the dangers of the substance and the workers were never informed.

“I knew ammonia can be used as a refrigerant, but I had no idea that the tanks might explode,” said Chai Jinfeng, an employee who barely escaped the fire.

Employee “Qin Dalong” (alias) said he was on duty inside a warehouse refrigerator when he saw dark smoke pouring out of the workshop. He and dozens of his colleagues ran out of the warehouse, hearing loud explosions just minutes later.

Like Chai, nearly all survivors interviewed by Xinhua said they had never received any training on fire prevention. The company has 1,200 employees, but none of them have participated in evacuation drills since the company became operational in 2009, according to some survivors.

“It was a mess and I was totally stunned. All the lights went off and I fumbled along the wall and barely escaped using my instincts,” said an employee surnamed Yu.

“I had no survival skills and no one trained us,” she said.

LAX SUPERVISION

Lax supervision is also being blamed for the heavy casualties.

The company was not recognized by local authorities as a company that requires high-level fire prevention. In addition, flammable construction materials contributed to the spread of the fire and insufficient fire prevention equipment made the casualties worse, according to a local government official.

The poor design of the plant’s exits made escaping difficult, said Gao Guangbin, Communist Party of China (CPC) chief of the provincial capital of Changchun, at a meeting held on Tuesday.

“All construction materials used to build the workshop were flammable, creating an enormous fire hazard,” he said.

A worker at the company earns about 2,000 to 3,000 yuan (326 to 489 U.S. dollars) a month, an income that is quite attractive to locals who are used to earning a meager living by farming.

The blaze, however, has changed the opinions of many who had hoped to earn more by working at a factory.

Wang Huihua, 43, was lucky enough to survive the accident. But he said he has a hard time sleeping. “Every time I try to close my eyes, I see huge flames,” he said.

“I won’t do this kind of work any more after leaving the hospital,” he said. “I will stick to farming and I will treat my parents and kids better.”

Editor: Mu Xuequan

Article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/indepth/2013-06/05/c_124817999.htm