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China Daily Website

Workers' rights deserve more protection

Updated: 2013-12-17 21:40
By Xiao Lixin (

The findings of two recent surveys seem contradictory: Chinese employees, the most diligent in the world, are considered the least dedicated to work. However, according to another report, such findings are quite reasonable because many Chinese workers are not paid extra although have always worked overtime, says an article in Yangtze Evening News. Excerpts:

It is a top priority of most employees to work to make a living. Under such circumstances, a worker is very much prone to having a negative attitude toward work if he is not rewarded for working extra hours. When employees are treated as machines, they won’t feel connected to their employers.

Statistics show that the proportion of Chinese residents’ labor rewards in GDP had dropped to 36.7 percent in 2005 from a peak of 56.5 percent in 1983, while the proportion of capital return had increased by 20 percent from 1978 to 2005. This means owners of capital have taken too much of the value created by laborers, and the fact that employees are not paid for overtime has just again proved the statistics.

That more than one-third of employees frequently work overtime and half of them receive no compensation means we have failed to provide enough protection for their due rights and interests. If a company could not even guarantee their employees the most basic right to rest and pay according to amount of work, it would never last long and prosper.