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Unhappy State Enterprise Workers, Relatives Went Extreme

CND, 27 February 2002

[CND, 02/27/02] For the first time in months, the official media revealed last year's killings related to layoffs at state enterprises in Hubei province, the South China Morning Post reported.

In all three reported cases, managers were the victims of workers or workers' relatives.

The most detailed report told the story of XU Yudong, a former worker at the Xianning City Chemical Fiber Factory, who lost his job in 1998 on the promise that he would get the job back in three years.

At the end of the three-year contract, however, there was no job waiting for him. Later he lost out when trying to compete for an opening. Finally, the factory began to negotiate a severance payment with Xu.

Unhappy with the amount, which was initially 3,424 yuan and later raised to 5,000 yuan, Xu carried a knife when he went to see WANG Shihua, a manager of the factory whom Xu had visited frequently after the contract was not fulfilled, on October 31. During a heated argument over the compensation, Xu stabbed Wang in the stomach.

The factory was reportedly losing 10 million yuan a year and was already in deep debts of 370 million yuan. Unable to pay the workers regularly, the firm had forced workers to retire early or suspended their jobs temporarily, like in Xu's case.

Two other tragedies occurred in July and December of last year. A manager of the Huanggang City Aluminum Group Company and a deputy manager of the Xiangfan City Xiangyang Material Company were victims in the two murder cases, respectively. The former was killed by the son of an equipment department worker on July 14, while the latter was killed by a relative of a worker on December 20 during the firm's bankruptcy proceedings, the China News Service reported on Sunday, although no details were given for these two stories. (Jim YU)