Rural-urban migrant workers (nong min gong) dominate the Chinese labor force in dirty and dangerous trades: 70 percent of construction workers, 68 percent of manufacturing employees, and 80 percent of coal miners are migrant workers. But not all are on their hands and knees. More than 60 percent of staff in the service trade, according to state media, are migrants as well.
The forces that brought these workers to the cities took shape in the early 1980s, when Beijing, as part of an easing of central controls on the economy, loosened internal mobility regulations. Farmers have been pouring out of the countryside ever since, in what is believed to be the world's largest internal migration. They leave for mostly economic reasons: wages in the cities are higher than what workers could earn at home. And life there, many find, is more exciting than back on the farm.
CCC invites speakers from social study field to give an account of history of Nong Min Gong (migrant workers), their personal lives and plight (living and working conditions, discrimination and bias, social securities, and their kids education, etc.) and the potential way out based on the gradual change of government regulations.
Venue: China Culture Center, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China.