A group of private sector employees in China is promoting an internet campaign to record the accumulation of working hours that many workers are forced to complete, to protest against the hard work culture of the country.
The campaign, titled “Worker Lives Matter,” asks employees from various industries to share in an online document, similar to an Excel sheet, the time they start and end their workday, as well as the number of days. of work per week.
“We too, the workers, need to live!, claim the campaign page on the software collaboration site GitHub. The initiative was born after recent demands from tech workers, tired of what is known in China as the “996” culture.
To date, the petition bill has nearly 5,000 entries, including contributions from people working for well-known Chinese internet giants such as Alibaba Group Holding, Tencent Holdings and ByteDance.
The exhausting “996 system”, a culture that endures despite increased government scrutiny, is based on a 12-hour working day, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., for 6 days a week. Over time, it has been celebrated by many tech billionaires, from Jack Ma of Alibaba to the founder of JD.com Inc. However, this year it has been repeatedly criticized on the web, brought on by a considerable number of deaths linked to overwork.
Under Chinese law, workers are entitled to additional compensation for overtime, but with a limit of 36 hours per month. China’s own Supreme Court this summer ruled that the practice of “996” was illegal and urged companies to end it. However, labor surveillance remains lax in the country.
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