Henan Local Regulations Forbid Workers from Resorting to Extreme Measures to Pursue Back Pay
On 22 April, the local authorities of Zhengzhou, Henan province, released a set of ‘Draft Regulations on the Construction Market’, giving the public one month to provide feedback. The Regulations, which aimed at ‘standardising the management of the construction market, protecting the order of the construction market, and guaranteeing the legal rights and interests of the actors involved’, attracted public backlash because in their initial formulation they included provisions calling for the punishment of those construction workers who adopted ‘extreme measures’ when fighting to claim unpaid wages. In particular, this early draft explicitly prohibited acts such as climbing on cranes or buildings and threatening to jump—relatively common occurrences in the construction industry in China—saying offenders would be handed over to the judicial system. It also banned workers from using force or money to convince others to join protests. A draft subsequently released for public comment in May no longer included such provisions.