Since starting this blog, I’ve written many things about the Chinese mines as they are constantly popping up in the news. They are without doubt one of the most dangerous places to work on earth, with a further 2,600 people dying in them during the past year alone. And that’s just the reported figure! God only knows what the real number was…and knowing the Chinese, perhaps double that would be more accurate.

In what I have to say is a definitely amusing turn of events, Premier Wen Jiabao has ordered that mine managers themselves are to start spending time in their own mines, or suffer harsh fines. It has been determined that many managers spend little to no time in their own mines, thus are oblivious to the terrible lack of safety standards within.

I have to say that I love this concept. The ‘boss’ figure in China – the dreaded ‘laoban’ seems to be an all-powerful entity. There are two types of people in China (ok there’s many more, but for the sake of conversation) the ‘Boss’ and the ‘workers’. The workers live in fear of the boss, are paid peanuts and do all the crappy little jobs no-one else wants to do. The boss on the other hand functions on a much higher level. They earn much more money, harvest much more face, but in reality do very little. When it comes to safety standards – why would they care? In China – out of sight, out of mind, and if you’re a boss that doesn’t have to go down into the depths of the earth yourself – well safety isn’t exactly high in your agenda.

Now I know the above is mostly (mostly) an exaggeration, in many cases, it’s also true. So if Premier Wen is now forcing these guys down into their own neglected, yet highly necessary, hellholes – well maybe, just maybe, standards will improve.


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9 Responses to “Going…down?”

  1. Tom Says:

    Nah, there will just be a new level of bosses. The boss that works in the mine and the boss that works at the surface!

  2. Marcus Says:

    Heh but that’s the thing, they are aware that the common ‘boss tactic’ is simply to send someone down in their place. Cop that I say! The number of mining deaths in China is a disgrace, this is actually a good initiative!

  3. World Wide News Flash Says:


    I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…



  5. Samurai R3 Says:

    The FACT that happened near Senkaku Islands

    (The ship of the Japan Coast Guard stopped a suspicious ship of China that had invaded the Japanese territorial waters on

    Sept.7,2010. )

    The Japan Coast Guard ship brought alongside to a Chinese ship. The staff of the Japan Coast Guard boarded it. Afterwards,

    the Chinese ship suddenly left the sea route.
    One left staff of the Japan Coast Guard was kicked by Chinese crew. He fell into the water from a Chinese ship.To crush the

    staff who had fallen into the sea, the Chinese ship changed the course.The staff swam desperately to run away. Chinese crew

    tried to stab him to death with the harpoon. The Japan Coast Guard ship stopped to rescue the staff and the rescue was

    started. Chinese ship approached from the rear side. The staff was almost crushed. The staff managed to be carried up from

    the back to the Japan Coast Guard ship. The Chinese ship collided with the back of the Japanese ship after a few seconds.

    The hull of a Japanese ship damaged seriously.
    All parties concerned who had seen the video said that this was an attempted murder.

  6. Marcus Says:

    Where did you get that information? And what relevance does it have to the mining boss story?

  7. Learn Chinese Says:

    This seems more like a kind of “revenge” against the mines managers/laoban…

    It is not a viable, real solution… the truth is that strict regulations and controls are what will make mines safer anywhere in the world.

  8. Daniel Mong Says:

    Many Chinese leaving abroad tell me that on their return they would prefer to work for a foreign company. Hard to say whether it’s a solution to finding a “good” boss. On the other the rule of law being what it is, workers have no protection from rogue bosses. See: http://liangansandi.blogspot.com/2010/10/sichuan-workers-homeless-3-months-973.html

  9. Marcus Says:

    I think that employment in China is somewhat of an untamed beast. I would not be surprised that within the next 10 years we start to see some massive reforms. The mining industry is likely attracting far too much foreign media attention than what the government would deem to be ‘acceptable.’

    I think in China, if you want something changed, you need to get it on the foreign media radar – but then again, even that would require considerable…embarrasment, to poke out a reaction.

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