Migrant Workers Forced to Cash in Pensions

China Labor News Translations has translated the full text of “Migrant Workers Leaving Shenzen Queue All Night to Cash in Their Pensions” (Southern Metropolitan Daily, 15 January 2008).  In addition, CNLT has excerpted a number of other articles covering the pension woes of migrant laborers.  From the Southern Metropolitan Daily:

With the approach of spring, every year there is a flood of migrant workers returning home.
At the same time, a large number of them, before they return home, go to the social security
department of Shenzhen to cash in their pension. Unlike those migrant workers who return
home only to celebrate the New Year, these people won’t be coming back to the city.

At about 11 pm on 7 January, there is a slight chill in the night air. A dozen or so young people
form a queue in front of the door of the Buji Social Security Office. From now until the early
hours of the morning there is a constant stream of people joining the line.

‘This is the second time I’ve queued up here’, Mr. Xiang tells this reporter. It’s 6 a.m., and his
eyes are bloodshot. ‘They only issue 300 or so numbers a day, so we have to come in the early
hours of the morning or queue up all night to cash in our pensions’. In recent days, large
numbers of severance pay claimants have been showing up at the various social security offices
in Shenzhen City. This reporter visited three such places in and around the Shenzhen Special

China Labor Bulletin also carries some labor rights news from Shenzen on collective bargaining and an increase in the minimum wage.


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