Lao Farm Worker Beaten, Tied Up, in Dispute at Chinese Banana Plantation

A young Lao worker was beaten, shocked and tied up by his employers at a Chinese banana plantation in northwestern Laos in a dispute over working hours, his relatives said.

Lou Xiong’s relatives say he was beaten and shocked by Lao and Chinese employers at a Chinese banana plantation in Hin Heuap District of Vientiane Province after he told them he was “too tired” to work.

His employers — the Phaly Company which runs a 500-hectare banana farm with several hundred workers – denied they beat Lou Xiong and said he walked off the job during harvest season in violation of his contract.

“I’m human. I’m too tired. It’s already 7:00 pm. I can’t work anymore. I’ll come back to work tomorrow,” a relative of Lou Xiong, an ethnic minority Hmong in his late teens, quoted him as describing the incident last week.

“Suddenly, he was beaten up by five Lao and Chinese men, then taken to the office where he was held at knife point and asked by the Chinese boss: ‘Do you want to die?’” the relative, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told RFA’s Lao Service.

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RFA's Lao Service. Translated by Max Avary. Written in English by Paul Eckert.