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9 Jun 2011


Bishkek-Torugart road builders employed by Chinese company Sinzyan-Basin Ltd. protest against discrimination and abuses of their labour rights [Kyrgyzstan]

[Title translation and summary translation of the original Russian language article provided by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre. Scroll down this page for China Road and Bridge response]. In Kemin, 50 Kyrgyz citizens working for the Chinese company Sinzyan-Basin continue to protest against discrimination. Sinzyan-Basin is a subcontractor of China Road and Bridge Corporation, responsible for reconstruction of the motorway between Bishkek and Torugart. China’s “Eximbank” extended a loan for reconstruction of this road, on the condition that the construction agreement be executed by China Road and Bridge Corporation. The protesting Kyrgyz employees demand the management of the Chinese company to comply with labour law and basic labour standards, including the prohibition of discrimination at workplace, paying for overtime, and providing annual leave. Furthermore, workers also called on the company to take responsibility for workplace injuries: the management does not undertake measures to secure working conditions and to provide necessary aid in case of work injury. For instance, a cook was made to clean an electric hot plate while it was on and received an electric shock, but the management did not call an ambulance. According to the protesters, they eat in insanitary conditions; they are expelled from the canteen where Chinese citizens dine. Kyrgyz employees allege that they are forced to work 14 hours a day, without receiving overtime payment or off days. They also believe that there has been discrimination in remuneration for their labour: local workers get 6-7 thousands Kyrgyz soms [appr. USD 150] per month, whereas the Chinese get USD 500. [The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited China Road and Bridge Corporation to respond. The company response is below.]