May 28, 2006

On the Chinese factory beat

Filed under: China,Economy — ricecracker @ 10:46 pm

Fine a job as Isabel Hilton did a covering conditions in Chinese factories for Granta last year, The Onion appears to have one-upped her:

“Chinese Employers To Grant 15-Minute Maternity Break”

DONGGUAN, CHINA—In response to international criticism of Chinese workplace inequity and labor rights, China’s National Labor Committee agreed Monday to establish an unpaid 15-minute break during the regular 18-hour workday, to allow pregnant women to “expel the child from their body, adjust to being a new parent, wash their hands, and return to work.”

…Initial response among female workers has been positive, with most women preferring the new rule over the old one, which stipulated that the newborn child must remain where it lands on the floor until the woman’s shift ends.

“Even though this maternity break means I will lose three of my 12 cents for that hour, it will be worth it just to hold my baby in my arms for a few precious seconds,” said pregnant seamstress Yuen Yin, 19, just after her factory’s quitting whistle blew at 2:47 a.m

…The Labor Committee also instituted an incentive plan granting a 40-cent bonus to any employee expecting a daughter who opts to use her 15 minutes to receive an abortion in the factory’s storage closet.

The question is, will any of the Chinese press pick this up, like the Beijing Evening News did in 2002 with an Onion report that US Congress was planning to move to a new building in Memphis with a retractable roof and more concession stands?

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. | TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

XHTML ( You can use these tags): <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> .