Sat, May 02, 2009
China > Politics

Premier Wen visits Beijing metro workers on Labor Day

2009-05-01 15:00:37 GMT2009-05-01 23:00:37 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (2nd L) talks with workers as he visits a construction site of Beijing subway in Beijing, capital of China, May 1, 2009. Wen expressed his best regards to the workers here. (Xinhua/Yao Dawei)

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (2nd R) trims vegetables with a canteen worker as he visits a construction site of Beijing subway in Beijing, capital of China, May 1, 2009. Wen expressed his best regards to the workers here.(Xinhua/Yao Dawei)

BEIJING, May 1 (Xinhua) -- On the occasion of the International Labor Day on Friday, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited workers at a metro construction site in Beijing, extending festival greetings and encouraging them to "strengthen confidence to overcome difficulties brought about by the financial crisis and the influenza epidemic."

Wen told the workers that this year is a very difficult one for China as the country is hit hard by a global financial crisis.

He added the recent outbreak of H1N1 influenza epidemic (swine flu) in some countries has affected China's economic and social development.

The premier said any difficulty can be overcome as long as people have firm confidence and there is strong leadership of the Chinese Communist Party and the government.

Arriving at the construction site of the metro route No.9 along the capital's southern fourth-ring road, Wen wished workers festival happiness and encouraged them to "care and help each other like brothers." Part of the north-south metro line is due to open within this year.

"How long have you been in Beijing?" Wen asked one of the migrant workers.

"Ten years," the worker replied.

"Then you've already a Beijinger," Wen said.

While visiting the construction site, Wen asked detailed questions about the metro construction progress.

"Have your family come to Beijing for the festival?" the premier asked a worker Hui Youquan who was busy setting up a reinforcing steel and spar frame on top of the metro station.

Hui said his family is still at hometown.

Wen told the workers Beijing citizens would be grateful to them for the comfortable subway. He also worked with workers on the spar frame.

He said migrant workers have made great contribution to the country's industrialization and urbanization.

"You have already become a main force of China's working class," Wen said, extending his "gratitude and respect."

The premier said the Party and government have adopted a series of measures to improve migrant workers' working and living conditions, including strengthening their training, establishing a comprehensive social security system and paying great attention to their work safety.

A comprehensive mechanism covering work injury, medical care and pension are being established, he said, adding that safety monitoring devices have been installed on construction sites.

While helping some female workers to trim vegetables, Wen inquired about their working and living conditions.

Entering a canteen, he asked chefs to pay attention to food hygiene and ensure workers to have tasty meals.

Wen felt satisfied when he learned that workers could watch television, read newspapers and magazines and even practise handwriting in their spare time.

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