- CNTV English - CCTV News

Laws on weathering heat needed

07-27-2010 08:29 BJT Special Report:China Battles Heat Wave |

Watch Video

Play Video

Heat waves continue to affect northern China. Many cities including Beijing have seen temperatures rise above 35 degree Celsius.

To cope with the situation, many companies hand out allowances to employees or reschedule their working hours. But these expedient measures are not enough. As CCTV's Wang Guan finds out, the lack of a nationwide, legally-binding legislation dealing with heat puts many employees' rights at stake, especially migrant workers.

It has been scorching hot since the beginning of July in the Chinese capital and there is little sign of it letting up.

To flee the heat, some choose to swim in a lake others simply doze off in the shade.

But for the country's huge working population, especially the 200 million migrant workers, taking a break is a luxury they can't afford.

These workers are working on Beijing's next major subway line--line nine that will connect the underdeveloped southwestern region with the rest of the city.

They have been working outdoors six days a week, often in a situation that the temperatures are above 35 degree Celsius. Construction site management told us they are aware of the harsh working conditions.

Sun Chao, construction site supervisor, said, "We improved food in the canteens, we bought fans, and set up first-aid kits. Also we changed working hours so they can start at dawn and by 1030 in the morning they go for lunch."

But many questions went unanswered.

If workers get sunstroke or laborers heart's conditions are affected by the intense heat, who will pay the hospital bill?

Also, when temperatures exceed 35 degree Celsius should they still work outdoors for eight hours a day, six days a week?

What's disturbing is that so far, few nationwide labor laws stipulate migrant workers' welfare under such extreme weather.

CCTV reporter Wang Guan said, "This is the only legally binding document that spells out workers' rights in extremely hot weather. It was made in 1960 and there has been no amendment in the past half century. For example, back then there was no such thing as a service industry or migrant workers. Now, migrant workers contribute 20 percent of the country's GDP."

When a new national law is in the making, local governments try to step up. Since July, many cities ordered companies to double allowances and lower indoor temperatures. But Professor Gao Zhikai believes these notifications have good intentions but are not legally binding.

Currrent Affairs commentator Gao Zhikai said, "Whether the company management will be able to disperse the money as required by the government is a separate issue. Even when we have such a regulation, which is an improvement, it can't solve all the problems in Beijing. Whether it'll be implemented, or how and what's the punishment for failure of implementation are all uncertain."

Professor Gao believes a new national legislation on summer emergency response must come into force to replace the current chapter made 50 years ago.

That way the rights and benefits of grassroots Chinese will be ensured.

Editor:Zhang Ning |Source: CNTV

Hot Videos view more

The celebrations are still continuing as the victorious coach, Joachim Loew, has been honored for his achievement in his hometown of Freiburg.
Germany coach Loew honored in hometown of Freiburg

Chinese men´s national team continued its preparations for next year´s Asian Cup, as they managed a one-all draw against visitors Jordan during a football friendly in Harbin, the capital city of Northeast China´s Heilongjiang Province.
China held to 1-1 draw by Jordan

The defending world champs came into the contest with a perfect 6-and-oh record, but they would be in for a tough first half before opening things up in the second.
USA beat Slovenia 119-76 in quarter-finals

Hot Stories more

UK authorities believe killer of James Foley is a British national

Across the UK the hunt is on for James Foley’s killer, who authorities believe is a British national. As Richard Bestic reports from London, Prime Minister David Cameron cut short his summer break to lead his government’s response.

Israeli war jets renews Gaza strike as truce talks stalled

Three Palestinians were killed and 40 others wounded in the intensive Israeli war jets´ airstrikes on the Gaza city on Tuesday night, shortly before an end of a 24-hour ceasefire in the Gaza Strip,

Missouri police arrest dozens after violent night

As the protests in the town of Ferguson, Missouri turned violent with police facing ´heavy gunfire´ from some ´criminal elements´, cops fired tear gas, stun grenades and arrested 31 demonstrators on Monday night.

Picture in news more

More Video News

Choose TV Program