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Caring for Migrants Working in High Temperatures
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As temperatures shot upwards in many Chinese cities in recent days, the All China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) called Monday for migrants working outside in high temperatures to be protected. Extended lunch breaks and avoiding overtime were suggested as being good ideas.

Over the summer months the ACFTU is organizing various activities together with local trade unions to improve the living and employment conditions of migrant workers to ensure they remain safe in the hot weather. These activities will focus on construction sites, hot workshops and outdoor employment where migrant workers are concentrated, said Liu Haihua, vice director of the Department for Social Security Affairs under the ACFTU.

The ACFTU also urges related government departments to further enhance laws related to migrant workers' employment and living conditions. The federation is also actively pushing ahead with research on how to better protect the rights of these workers. 

On July 4, a female worker from a factory in Fuzhou, capital of southeast China's Fujian Province, passed out while working. She was sent to a hospital and diagnosed with sunstroke. The woman suffered hyperventilation, a fever of 41.6 degrees centigrade and low blood pressure. She died the next morning.

Her death drew attention to the plight of those working in high temperatures. Some Internet users posted comments saying that China's insufficient labor safety standards were partly responsible.

Temporary Regulation for Measures on Heatstroke Prevention and Temperature Reduction enacted on July 1, 1960 is the only law at present in place to protect those working in high temperature environments, but the non-mandatory regulation doesn't appear to appropriately protect those actually involved in this type of work.

On August 17, 2005, Shenzhen enacted a temporary regulation to protect those working in hot environments. This was the first such regulation enacted by local government. The regulation states that work should be halted when the temperature reaches 40℃; working time should not exceed 4 hours if the temperature reaches 38℃; laborers should rest in turns when the temperature reaches 35℃ and no outdoor tasks be undertaken between 12:00 to 15:00 in the afternoon.

(, Xinhua News Agency, July 12, 2006)

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