The withholding of wages owed to migrant workers often sparks protest in China. In the lead-up to Spring Festival – the only time of the year that many migrant laborers have the chance to see their families – these protests tend to become more common as unpaid wages keep migrants from buying their tickets home. Many innovative methods of protest have been used in the past to demand long overdue compensation, and recently workers in Wuhan employed pop-culture to draw attention to their cause. The Guardian reports:
They have occupied factories and taken to the streets. But Chinese workers chose a more unusual form of protest when they highlighted their unpaid wages by dancing Gangnam Style outside the nightclub they had built.
The construction workers from Wuhan said they had concluded it was the only way to draw attention to their problems.
[...]The leader of the dancers, who gave his name only as Mr Lu, told the Wuhan Evening News that in total 40 workers were owed 233,000 yuan (£23,300).
“There have been many creative protests over the last few years. Younger workers in particular are very media-savvy and clued-in,” said Geoff Crothall of the Hong-Kong-based China Labour Bulletin.
For a picture of the PSY-inspired protest, see Chinese-language coverage.
As workers in Wuhan dance Gangnam Style, LinkAsia relays video footage from a CCTV broadcast showing more drastic methods of protest over unpaid wages, which in more than one case included suicide:
ChinaSMACK has translated Chinese news coverage and subsequent netizen commentary on the migrant worker in Guangzhou who detonated a suicide bomb while demanding his wages:
At 3:53pm this afternoon [January 18], an explosion happened in an apartment building in Guangzhou’s Tianhebei Road Dushi Huating Community. Upon report, Guangzhou Police quickly dispatched police officers and firefighters to the scene to
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