A shameful practice

Updated: 2013-06-07 08:18

(China Daily)

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After failing 41 job interviews, a resident of Wuhan, Hubei province, guessed that she was being discriminated against by potential employers because of her marital status - married but without any child - so she decided to conceal the fact to get a job. Many netizens have narrated similar tales, says an article in Chongqing Morning Post. Excerpts:

The Wuhan resident couldn't find favor with any of the potential employers not because she is not qualified enough but because she is married but doesn't yet have a child. That she is married but doesn't have a child means she is eligible for a three-month maternity leave after being recruited, during which the employer has to pay her salary and welfare benefits.

Since companies without a sense of social responsibility see this as a financial loss and, therefore, are reluctant to recruit women like the Wuhan resident, many women have had to choose between a job and a child.

Many woman workers in a condition similar to the Wuhan resident's find it difficult to land a job. To protect women's reproductive rights, laws such as the Labor Law and the Law on the Protection of Rights and Interests of Women advocate "fair employment" and make discrimination in recruitment a punishable offense. For example, employers should not discriminate against woman employees, irrespective of their marital, social or ethnic status.

We can understand that employers want to lower personnel cost and increase productivity. But they should not infringe on the legitimate rights of women to get a job. Through enhanced annual supervision and inspection, the authorities should make sure that employers stop using unreasonable rules to recruit employees and that qualified candidates get jobs.

Workers' safety comes first

A fire in a slaughterhouse in Dehui, Jilin province, killed 120 people and injured 77. And although relevant authorities have conducted specific safety inspections in densely populated places, they have come at a huge cost, says an article in Changjiang Daily. Excerpts:

Tragedies like mine accidents, fires and explosions have been reported one after another in recent times. Investigations into such accidents show that grassroots workers are more prone to getting injured or dying in such accidents.

Even the healthiest workers could become the victim of an occupational disease or industrial accident after working to exhaustion under harsh and dangerous conditions. And we know how difficult it is for workers to protect their legitimate rights and interests in case of accidents.

A report on the condition of new-generation industrial workers' spiritual and cultural life shows the three main problems they face: A monotonous cultural life because of lack of entertainment channels, a narrow dating circle, and increasing pressure of work. In fact, not only the new generation, but almost every worker suffers from mental discomfort and limited exposure to spirituality. Most workers still have to strive to make a decent living instead of being content with the arrangements.

The problem lies in the daily situation of workers. Whether or not the production environment of a factory is safe and comfortable is closely related to workers' labor rights and interests. If it is hard for the authorities to guarantee the safety of workers, it would be impossible to discuss their higher interests.