Still No Compensation and Detaining activists, Silicosis Workers in Sangzhi Went to County Government Office to Demand Justice

Workers who worked in Shenzhen many years ago, suffering from silicosis due to poor occupational health and safety conditions, have been protesting for the past 10 years and requesting the Shenzhen Government to cover their living and medical expenses. Until December 2018, the silicosis workers reached a preliminary consensus with the government. The Shenzhen government will arrange 300 million yuan of compensation for those workers, and the money will be transferred to and delivered by the Hunan government. However, the Hunan government has no intention to comply with the agreement, so that workers went back to Shenzhen to protest in early January 2019, but the protest was suppressed by the government.

 

On March 27th, the silicosis workers in Sangzhi County, Hunan Province, had heard that Yang Zhengjun, the chief editor of the New Generation, an online media concerned about their struggle, and the editors of Wei Zhili and Ke Chengbing, were arrested by the Shenzhen police. Also, the Hunan government still has no intention for paying the compensation to the workers according to the agreement. The silicosis workers therefore planned to go to Shenzhen again to defend their rights, and request the government to release the arrested "New Generation" editors immediately. However, the action was stopped by the local government on the same day and the government promised to have a proposal on the issue within 10 days.

On April 9, the 10-day deadline had already expired, but the government didn’t propose any plans to the silicosis workers. The 300 million yuan compensation that Shenzhen City transferred to the Hunan government is still in their hand and never be delivered to the workers. Therefore the silicosis workers went to the Sangzhi county government to protest and asked the county government to give out a compensation plan, but did not receive a response. The workers decided to stay overnight in the county government office until the government respond to their request. However, until April 11, the workers still heard nothing from government on the issue.

The delay of the government and the suppression of the people concerned with the incident, will not stop the silicosis workers defending their rights. The governments of Hunan and Shenzhen must compensate the workers according to the agreements, paying for workers' medical care and living expenses accordingly, instead of repeatedly delaying the means to stimulate the dissatisfaction of workers