Rights Protection Little Bird in Beijing

发布时间:2018-10-16 15:59:23 作者:xxnweb 阅读量:64

Rights  Protection Little Bird in Beijing

 

Reporter  GaoXin, Legal Weekly

    Link of the original  report:
http://www.legaldaily.com.cn/index/content/2013-05/22/content_4479227.htm?node=20908

 

Even though Wei Wei has lived in Beijing for 16 years he still sleeps on  a sofa, but this doesn't affect his image in the eyes of migrant workers who  consider him a hero.

Defending migrant workers’ rights is the Wei Wei’s life’s work. In 1999,  he established Little Bird and worked day and night to offer free rights  protection services to migrant workers.

    June 6th of this year will be  Little Bird’s 14th birthday. By this January, Little Bird’s Beijing  office has answered more than 134, 000 calls for help and reclaimed RMB130  million in back pay for migrant workers.

As  the founder of Little Bird, Wei Wei started from nothing and devoted himself  wholeheartedly to his causes. He has suffered from poverty, hopelessness, and  desperation at times. However, he never gives up or backs down from the  realities of his work. He does what he believes to be right, ignoring other’s  doubts.  

     Now, Little Bird is not only able to sustain  and help more people in need, but has also actively launched a new event: a  survey among a specific group through questionnaires.

Wage Arrears is Not the Only Problem Confronting the Migrant  Workers

On the morning of May 17th, thirty-three sweat-soaked migrant  workers waited at the door of Little Bird’s office.

The office is  located in the third basement floor of an office  building in the central area of China’s capital. On the ground level is the  crowded Wangfujing Street.

Wei Wei and his  colleagues received those migrant workers and learned that the reason why they  turned to Little Bird for help was that their boss  didn’t pay their salaries.

With years of  experience, Wei Wei explained some related legal  knowledge to the workers and explained why they were under this kind of  situation.

  “Many construction  workers can’t sign a labor contract. For those who do  sign the contract, a copy of the contract is rarely in the possession of the  workers. Without a contract in hand, it is difficult to make a legal case to  defend the rights of the workers. It is not possible for us to say anything to  the labor department and the court of justice without evidence.” Wei Wei said to  the reporter from Legal Weekly.

Although it is difficult, Little Bird still telephoned the contractor and  the manager of the construction project. Unfortunately, the mediation via  telephone failed. Wei Wei said: “We have to mediate on  site.”

For years,  construction workers have constituted large part of the calls  and visits made at Little Bird. Early on, Wei Wei  started to pay attention to construction workers.

Conservative estimates suggest that there are 30 million construction  workers in China, and that they have contributed a lot to China’s urban  development. However, Wei Wei found that the construction workers’ rights and  interests are very vulnerable.

In October of last  year, JiaYongzhi, a construction worker, was hit by a steel bar that fell from a  high building when he was working on a construction site in Shenzhen. The steel  bar went 17 centimeters through his armpit, cutting one rib. Three months  earlier, on July 21st, 2012 when Beijing was flooded with rain,  killing 77 people,he and another 151 migrant workers had saved 182 people who  were trapped on the Beijing-HongKong-Macao Expressway.  

After the accident,  JiaYongzhi was admitted to a  hospital for chest pain and dizziness. But the construction company forced him to leave  the hospital as “his hospital stay cost several thousand yuan in only a couple  of days.”However, his doctor clearly stated that taking consideration of his  situation, Mr. Jia couldn’t  yet safely leave the  hospital.

Upon hearing this,  Wei Wei visited JiaYongzhi in the hospital with a volunteer lawyer.  Mr. Jia was holding the T-shirt awarded to him for his courageous action in  saving people trapped in the flood on July 21st and said in tears:  “Xiao Cui (the host from Central Television) said that we were conscientious  people when he treated us a dinner.How can my boss be so heartless and drive me  out of the hospital even though I’m still hurt? ”

Wei Wei hoped that  he could help him, but he  and the lawyer knew that it was necessary to make clear whether the company had  bought insurance for him. However, the company was reluctant to  respond.

Finally, JiaYongzhi recovered in the hospital under the media’s  attention, but the result was still far from ideal.  

 “How can we really help workers  if we have to protect them one by one? What is the construction workers’ living  situation like? ”These questions came to his mind.

In April of this year, Wei Wei finally took the first step to investigate  construction workers’ living situations and rights protection conditions. Little  Bird recruited university student volunteers in eight cities to help finish the  questionnaire among 10,000 construction workers.

Wei Wei selected a theme for this investigation—“Taking Action for  You.”

On the  questionnaire, there is a question about how often the workers can afford  meat. Many people said  only once a month.

Little Bird has now  received 1000 of the questionnaires.While this is only one-tenth of the total,  they suddenly  affected Wei Wei’s outlook.  

 “Before doing the investigation, I thought  that I knew a lot about  the group. But after the field investigation, I found that the problems don’t  end at unpaid salaries. For many construction workers, even a basic living  standard can’t be guaranteed. As construction workers’ working environmentsare  isolated from the outside, they can’t integrate into urban life; some of the  workers even don’t know who the current president of China  is.”

The questionnaires  illuminated many of the problems migrant workers face, including no access to  public information, no social insurance, no health exams, no labor contracts,  lack of facilities for hygiene, extended periods away from their families, high  divorce rates, etc., which has also been revealed to the student volunteers who  knew little about this community.

Wei Wei has his own purpose in recruiting university students: “I would  also like to let these university students pay attention to the situations  construction workers face.”

Wei Wei was also not certain about when the 10,000 questionnaires could  be collected, because it is challenging to get the questionnaires back from the  workers.“It is very hard to get into the construction site to do the  questionnaire, and then we can only find out when the workers have a day off and  then wait for them where they have dinner.”

The  Birth of Little Bird

Wei Wei studied  Chinese medicine. After working in his father’s clinic for a while, he left his  hometown to sell Chinese medicine in another province. He came to Beijing in  1997 when his business failed. He did many jobs and rescued migrant workers who  were forced to work in an illegal company. After two years as a migrant worker,  Wei Wei achieved nothing  and decided to leave Beijing for home. He had a farewell dinner with an old  friend, who said: “Even those graduated university students couldn’t achieve  anything for years in Beijing and so many of them just left for home, let alone  you, a migrant worker without any skills or knowledge.” Those words touched Wei  Wei and he thought deeply about his role in society that night. Finally he  realized that the reason why migrant workers achieve nothing in a city is that  they have lost all of the resources given by society.  Without any support from their friends or relatives, they are helpless and  lonely in unfamiliar cities. How wonderful would it be if there was a platform  for migrant workers to help each other? Thinking about  this, he started to prepare such platform. As to the name of Little Bird, Wei  Wei chose it because Wei Wei loves a song by a Taiwanese singer Zhao Chuan, “I am a Little Bird.”Migrant workers are  just like the lonely, helpless and migratory little birds mentioned in the  song.

The Little Bird Mutual-Aid Hotline was founded on June 6th,  1999. The hotline helped numerous people, listening to their unfair treatment  they have encountered and helping them to reclaim their owed  wages.

Facing many  difficulties in terms of developing Little Bird, Wei Wei never thinks about  giving up. He knew early on that in order to deal with these difficulties, he  has to be persistent and also be able to take  advantage of social forces. Besides his active communication with the  government, Wei Wei cooperated with the Beijing Radio Corporation in presenting  a radio program in which the migrant workers can have a larger say. In September  of 2004, the Justice Bureau of Dongcheng District (Beijing) authorized Little  Bird to establish the Little Bird People’s Mediation Committee, which is the  first mediation committee to serve migrant workers. From then on, Little Bird  has been able to go out of the  office and directly and efficiently negotiate with the employers to reclaim  workers’ salary. Wei Wei calls it a  “zero-cost” rights protection mode.

At  the same time, Wei Wei also keeps active  contact with the media. Little Bird’s media strategy has come from years of  experience. As its social credibility has  grown, Little Bird received support from foundations, universities and colleges.  Nowadays, Little Bird continues to thrive and will always be there to bring  warmth and assistance to migrant workers in need.

 

京城里的维权小小鸟

法治周末记者高欣

   北漂整整第16个年头,魏伟依然在睡沙发。但这丝毫不影响他成为打工者群体眼中的英雄

捍卫打工者权益,是魏伟做慈善的全部,也是唯一内容。1999年,他创立小小鸟打工热线,日夜不休,无偿帮助打工者维权。

今年66日,小小鸟将迎来自己的14岁生日。截至今年1月,小小鸟北京办公室共接听求助电话13.4万余个,为各类打工者讨回被拖欠工钱共计1.3亿多元。

    作为小小鸟的发起人,魏伟白手起家、全身心投入这份事业。他遭遇到贫困、无望甚至有时候绝望。但是,他从来没有放弃过,也没有向现实屈服。他一直坚持着自己认为正确的事情,不去理会别人的怀疑。

现在,小小鸟不仅依旧可以在保全自身的同时、帮助更多的人,而且还主动出击、自发地做起了对特定人群的调查研究。

打工者难题不仅是欠薪

517日清晨,33名满身汗味儿的建筑工人,早早站在了小小鸟办公室门口。

办公室位于首都中心城区一栋写字楼的地下三层;地上,是逐渐人头攒动起来的王府井大街。

魏伟和同事们接待了这些建筑工人,后者求助的原因,依然是被老板欠薪

凭着多年经验,现在接待来访的求助者,魏伟会首先主动占用几分钟时间,告知对方相关的法律知识,解释为什么会有现在这样的局面

 “很多建筑工人签不了合同;签了的,法人主体也无法落实,很多人手里也拿不到合同。这就让劳动合同法对项目方没有法律震慑作用,维起权来很困难。没有证据,到了劳动部门和法院,也没法说。魏伟对法治周末记者说。

尽管如此,小小鸟还是拨通了包工头和项目方经理的电话,电话调解未果。魏伟说:看来下周得亲自去一趟了。

帮打工者维权多年,建筑工人一直占据着来访来电的一个较大部分。魏伟便留心起来。

保守估计,中国有3000万建筑工人,他们为城市发展作出了自己的贡献。然而魏伟发现:建筑工人的权益却尤为脆弱。

去年10月,建筑工人贾永志在深圳一处工地干活儿时,被楼上掉下的钢筋砸中,钢筋刺穿腋窝17厘米,一根肋骨被砸断。3个月前,他和另外151名农民工工友一起,在721日那场导致77人死亡的北京大暴雨中,舍身救出被围困在京港澳高速上的182名旅客。

彼时,贾永志躺在病床上,依然感到胸部疼痛、头晕,但施工方却让他出院,因为几天就花了几千元。但此时,医生明确表示:就他的病情,现在肯定是不能出院的。

听说此事后,魏伟带着律师到医院探望贾永志。贾永志举着7•21抗洪救灾的衣服,红着眼眶说:小崔(央视主持人崔永元)请我们吃饭时就说我们是有良心的人,老板怎么可以这么没良心,伤不治好就赶我出院?

魏伟十分希望能帮上忙,然而他和律师都明白:做工伤鉴定还得弄清公司是否为贾永志买了保险,但公司不愿出面回应。

最终,在媒体的关注下,贾永志在医院养好了伤。但距离魏伟设定的帮助目标,显然还是有些距离。

  总这样一个一个地帮,什么时候是个头?建筑工人群体究竟是怎样的生存现状?问题逐渐在他脑海中摊开来。

今年4月,魏伟终于迈出主动出击的第一步,调查建筑工人生存状况和权益保护情况。小小鸟全国8个城市广泛招募大学生志愿者,帮助完成对1万名建筑工人的问卷调查。

魏伟给这次调查定了个主题——“为你出发

在问卷中,包括多长时间吃一顿肉这样的问题。而不少人的回答是一个月一次

现在,小小鸟已经收回1000份问卷。而仅仅这十分之一,让魏伟的心情陡然生变。

 “做调查之前,我自以为很了解这个群体。但实地调查后才发现,他们的生存现状,远远不只存在被欠薪这一个问题。对不少建筑工人而言,基本的生存都缺乏保障。由于建筑工人工作的环境,与外界几乎是隔离的,导致他们无法融入城市。有工人居然都不知道现任的国家主席是谁……”

没有资讯、没有社保、没有体检、甚至没有合同,不能洗澡,长期离家,离婚率高……种种问题暴露在问卷上,也暴露在未谙世事的大学生志愿者们面前。

招募大学生,魏伟有其用意:我想让大学生们也来关注建筑工人的真实现状。

何时才能全部收回1万份问卷,魏伟也说不准。因为寻找建筑工人回答问卷,是个相当有难度的事情。我们很难进入到建筑工地里面去做问卷,只能摸清工人们什么时候休息活动,守在他们出来吃饭的地方。

 小小鸟的诞生

魏伟学了中医,离开父亲诊所后,卖过药材。生意失败后于1997年来到北京。做过很多工作,也曾经营救过被非正规公司强迫劳动的打工者。经过两年打工生涯,魏伟一事无成,准备离开北京回老家的时候,和朋友一起吃饭道别。朋友说他大学生毕业后在北京混上三五年,一无所成,灰溜溜离开的多得是,更何况你的,(一没技术、二没学历)。这句话触动了魏伟,当晚,他对自己的社会角色进行了深思,认识到打工者之所以在城里一事无成,原因就在于失去了社会赋予的原始资源,没了亲友的帮助,打工者在陌生城市里孤单无助。如果成立一个平台,让打工者互帮互助,这该多好啊!于是,他开始着手准备启动这个互助平台。关于小小鸟名字的由来,因为魏伟喜欢一名台湾歌手(赵传)的歌《我是一只小小鸟》,而外来打工者就像是歌中唱到的小小鸟,无依无靠、漂泊不定。

    199966日,小小鸟打工热线开通。这条热线帮助了无数求助的人,倾听他们在城市中遭受的不公平待遇,帮助他们讨要拖欠工资。

        小小鸟的发展面临着很多的难处,但是魏伟从没有想过放弃,他知道,应对困难首先要有坚持的韧性,还要善于利用社会各种各样的力量。除了与政府相关部门积极沟通外,他还与北京人民广播电台合办了电台节目,为打工者增加话语权。20049月,北京市司法局依法批准成立小小鸟人民调解委员会,这是中国首家面对打工群体的调解机构。从此,小小鸟可以走出办公室,直接与雇主交涉,为工人讨回拖欠工钱,效率很高,被魏伟称为零成本维权模式。   

与此同时,魏伟也积极地与媒体保持联系,媒体战略是小小鸟多年发展的经验。随着社会公信力的提升,小小鸟也得到了一些基金会和高校的支持。如今,小小鸟依然顽强地生存着,并且将一直存在,让更多无助的打工者在城市里找到一丝温暖。

 


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