5,000 Workers Protest on Shenzhen Street for Three Consecutive Days

November 8, 2005 Updated: August 21, 2015

For three consecutive days, workers in the Zhuzilin area of Futian District in Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province staged a large-scale protest to defend their rights. It appears that the roughly 5,000 workers were mostly from a few subsidiary construction companies that belonged to the Jinzhong Group and were protesting various company departments’ embezzlement of their compensations.

Mr. Liu, from a subsidiary company of the Jinzhong Group, told the reporter that this protest began on November 4 and has already lasted for three days. He was not at the scene but has heard that the number of protestors exceeds 5,000.

One man from the Jinzhong building, located on No. 6 Zizhu road in the Zhuzilin area of the Futian district, told the reporter that these protestors come from several subsidiary construction companies of the Jinzhong Group, which is an enterprise partly controlled by the State.

Ms. Yang, from the construction company, said that the Jinzhong Group grew out of the No. 304 regiment that was subsidiary to the Capital Construction Engineer, a professional troop of the People’s Liberation Army. In 1982, it came south to participate in the construction of the special district. In September 1983, it was reorganized into a construction enterprise owned by Shenzhen city. It has completed some key municipal projects, including a few large municipal government buildings, some electronic high-rise buildings, and the Hongling high-rise building, among others. However in recent years, its production and management incurred losses, hence at the beginning of this year, reforms were made.

She indicated that during and after these reforms, workers have made six to seven group appeals. The workers said that they have reported to the appropriate government departments about the numerous cases of their compensations being embezzled. These departments, however, just shirked their responsibilities and the issue remains unresolved. The workers are forced to carry out this large-scale protest in order to demand that the authorities investigate these cases, that they be compensated for their losses, and that those who are guilty be brought to justice.

In an interview with a worker participating in the protest, through the din of the protest in the background, he told reporters in an off and on voice that though it is close to midnight, many workers do not want to leave and are staying at the scene. According to him, over 1,000 police came during the last few days, many of whom are very rough, with even more arriving, including military police and riot police. The police are said to have closed off the scene, driven away reporters, and verbally abused the workers. In addition, arrests have also been made, although the number is unclear.

During the process of the interview, the sound of police yelling was audible and the phone on the side of the interviewee was abruptly disconnected. A second attempt at calling the interviewee was unsuccessful as the phone was turned off.

When the reporter called the Zhuzilin police station in Futian District with inquiries, the police who answered, replied, “These workers are making trouble, we are dealing with it, it is inconvenient to answer questions now.”