In China Laid-Off Bank Workers Refuse to Go Quietly–Not Happy with the Algorithms Taking over Their Jobs–Same Issues
Posted Aug 16 2010 10:59am
This is a little off the normal path here, but it shows the power of the banks in China and is well worth a read. We have job issues here of course as everyone knows in the US and the bottom line is that automation and technology are replacing humans faster than new jobs can be created, it’s not a Democrat or Republican situation it’s a fact of life. If we had smarter politicians here in the US that realized this and attacked the battle in different ways there wouldn’t be so much crap in the news today.
This is a warning of such for us in the US to be aware and not let things get to this point which is “ugly” to say the least when you read about the protesters basically being rushed off to work camps if they don’t agree. We need to create new jobs here but we have to be one step in front and realize that some of these jobs are not coming back. We can add on one more factor in healthcare with people not being able to afford healthcare and not going to the doctors, and we see layoffs that result from loss of care too. Here’s one example with the most wired and modern hospitals in the US – they are having to lay off as well.
Again, I so tire of the politicians that are somewhat not cognizant of this fact and the witch hunt processes of one attacking the other as it gets nowhere in a hurry, but when you have “non participants’ in both health IT and digital literacy this is what we end up getting and then in time additional articles come out and sometimes they look dumb.
The guys over at Freakonomics have a pretty good handle on this and touch on a lot of areas that many should be paying attention to rather than the same old blame shifting political games that we still are forced to tolerate all over TV and in the news. BD
BEIJING — These are heady days for China ’s state-controlled banks. Last month, the Agricultural Bank of China made its stock market debut , bringing in $22 billion for the largest public offering ever. A sister government-run bank, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, now has the highest stock market value of any bank in the world.
Like many other state-owned companies, the banks slashed payrolls and restructured to raise profitability and make themselves more attractive to outside investors.
“What the government fears most are people capable of organizing, and the bank workers have discovered their power,” said Renee Xia, international director of Chinese Human Rights Defenders . “The sad thing is that they’re not going to succeed because the more organized you are, the more harsh the government’s reaction.”
Protest organizers are often thrown in “black jails” — extrajudicial holding pens — where they are sometimes beaten before local police officers arrive to take them back home. The recalcitrant and unrepentant sometimes end up in labor camps, where they can spend up to three years without being prosecuted for a crime.
The years of fruitless protest and economic hardship have taken a toll. According to an informal tally by protest leaders, dozens of former bank staff members — most of them unsuccessful at finding new jobs — have committed suicide.
In interviews with nearly two dozen of the aggrieved, the pattern of dismissals was roughly the same. Workers over 40 were singled out first and there was no room for negotiation. (At I.C.B.C., the standard buyout was about $370 for every year worked.) Those who refused an offer were simply let go without compensation.
The banks are so powerful that they can enlist the local police to keep an eye on the most troublesome employees, often following them to Beijing, where their protests and petitioning can prove embarrassing for executives back home.
“The head of my branch said he would never give me my money and spend any amount to fight me to the end,” Ms. Wu said.