Chinese worker earned 4 kronor per hour

A Chinese worker killed in an accident at his workplace in Gothenburg harbour last month was earning four kronor per hour. The Transport Workers Union previously elected not to get involved but is now demanding better payment conditions for the Chinese guest workers.

According to the Union’s newspaper the 14 Chinese crane workers, of which the deceased man was one, work 60 hour weeks at a rate of four kronor per hour. The Chinese company Shanghai Zhenhua Port Machinery covers the cost of their food and lodgings.

According to Peter Svanberg, Gothenburg Harbour’s personnel manager, the workers constituted part of a deal between the harbour and the Chinese shipyard.

“We bought the cranes from China on the basis that they would be erected in Gothenburg.

“I contacted the Transport Union, which is our contracting party, and they decide not to make any demands regarding the Chinese workers’ conditions,” Svanberg told Göteborgs-Posten.

But the Transport Workers Union has now changes its mind and is ready to “take responsibility”, according to chairman Per Winberg.

“We are going to demand a contract for the Chinese workers,” Winberg told the Union newspaper.