Beijing: Chinese companies are exploiting workers overseas with multiple reports of violations pouring in from areas including Laos, where workers hired for construction projects undertaken six years ago are still waiting for their payments.
In its report, The HK Post said that workers in Laos have claimed that they are yet to receive any payment for the work done in 2015. A Chinese company hired these workers to build homes for villagers displaced by constructing a China-backed dam.
This is not the only case of Laos workers being exploited by Chinese companies. Just weeks before China's bullet train project in Laos was to be thrown open for the public, over a hundred workers who built this high-speed railway, which connects China with Laos, say they have not been paid for two months, The HK Post reported.
According to the report, disputes between Chinese companies and their hired local workers have become a constant theme in such China-backed projects.
The companies claim many workers are not serious, often don't finish the assigned tasks, and cannot be paid until all the work is completed. "They don't work hard. Some fall asleep on the job, some others are high on meth, and some steal. The HK Post reported that the employers cut off their wages and sometimes call the police on them," a Lao supervisor working for a Chinese subcontractor said.
"The workers, on the other hand, claim that they were promised pay at the end of each month and many have run out of money to buy even food. Meanwhile, a labour law expert said the workers will have to continue their fight for payment and legally have the option of suing these Chinese companies in court," the report said.
The HK Post further reported that similar reports have been coming in from other parts of the world where China is a major investor, Serbia. The first Chinese car tire factory in Europe, Shandong Linglong Tire Co., is based in this harsh, cold desert, and Vietnamese workers have been hired to set up this huge facility.
According to the report, many human rights groups in Serbia have warned that the company may be involved in heinous crimes like human trafficking and slavery.
According to The HK Post, Serbian activist Miso Zivanov earlier told the media, "Vietnamese (workers) are working in terrible conditions. Their passports and identification documents have been taken by their Chinese employers. They have been here since May and have received only one salary. They are trying to get back to Vietnam but first need to get back their documents."