Chinese workers perform Gangnam Style to demand unpaid wages

HRM 25 Jan 2013

A group of construction workers in Wuhan launched an unusual type of protest against unpaid wages by performing a Gangnam Style dance outside the nightclub that they had built.

Doing the viral dance was “...the only way to draw attention to their problems,” they were quoted as saying in The Guardian.

Younger workers are more media-savvy and know that they are more likely to succeed if they turned to such forms of publicity, said Geoff Crothall of the Hong-Kong-based China Labour Bulletin, in the report.

Workers who protest normally turn to Chinese microblogging site Weibo and make sure people are aware of the fact they are going to do this performance and get the local media on board,” Crothwall was quoted as saying in the report.

Unpaid labour is a common and growing occurrence in the construction industry, Crothall elaborated in the article. A single lump sum payment of a year’s wages is given only at the end of the year. The wages have to pass through layers of subcontractors before it even reaches them, if any at all.

In some cases, bosses run away due to financial problems and leave workers with zero pay, the article said. 

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