Story Publication logo May 3, 2011

The Workers


Workers stream out of factories for their 11:30am lunch in the Longgang district, a hub of manufacturing in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province. Image by Jocelyn Baun. China, 2011.

As China’s Pearl River Delta region moves toward higher-skilled manufacturing, a network of former...

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Millions of migrants from China's interior come to the Pearl River Delta to work at factories in hopes of building better lives for themselves and their families. They often work and live in giant factory compounds producing goods such as shoes, electronics and toys for export, as well as for the growing domestic consumer market. Others toil at the smaller-scale "black" (illegal) factories that dot Shenzhen's working-class residential neighborhoods.

But manufacturing in China comes at a cost. In the black factories, there are virtually no safety standards. Even in legal factories, injuries to workers are common because management values productivity far more than worker safety. Workers have little knowledge of their rights.


teal halftone illustration of a construction worker holding a helmet under their arm


Labor Rights

Labor Rights

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