Protecting labor rights is urgent

Updated: 2013-06-07 20:21


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After the fire in Jilin province claimed 120 lives, both the local governor and mayor apologized but the government should do more to protect labor rights, says an editorial in Beijing News (excerpts below).

Exit doors were locked, no insurance was available and there was no safety training. The workers were not even allowed to go to the toilet during working hours because it "cost time".

Compared with its speedy economic development, China lags far behind in protecting workers' rights. The fire revealed how serious the problems are.

After Jiang Zhiying, mayor of Changchun city, apologized, the governor of Jilin province also apologized. But more measures need to be taken. Responsible departments need to strengthen factory supervision, and, more importantly, truly protect the workers, who are in a vulnerable position.