On Tuesday, the protesting Chinese workers claimed they had not been paid wages for two months, were being exploited and wanted to return to China. One of the workers displayed a letter written in English and Chinese which appealed to Government for help.
Speaking with reporters during the tea break in the House of Representatives, Dumas said Government had taken note of the workers’ “falling out of favour” with their employer. “The ministry is in the process of doing an investigation to see what the facts are. In that context, there are certain conventions that we treat with in dealing with migrant labourers, those would be invoked to see if they are relevant and we would attempt to treat with the matter where it is relevant,” he stated.
Dumas said officials from the ministry’s conciliation department and the factory inspectorate “will go to the various venues and they will give us a report.” Asked if any of the labourers’ work permits had been revoked, Dumas said he heard that some had been but he could not confirm this. Unconfirmed reports yesterday said 32 of the 70 workers had their permits revoked and they had left the country.
Beijing Lijuan official Daisy Feng said on Tuesday that the company was applying to the National Security Ministry to revoke the work permits of the 70 labourers because they had not completed their contracts and wanted to return home before their contracts expired. Speaking after a meeting with top officials from the Immigration Division, National Security Minister Martin Joseph yesterday said the dispute is a labour issue and not an immigration one.
Joseph said he was advised that none of the workers were arrested and all of them were in the country legally. The minister added that the whole issue is “a matter involving employer and employee.” Joseph said he was informed that the matter is being resolved between these two parties. He said he did not know if any of the labourers’ work permits had been revoked.