Local Workers on Lao-China Railway Say They Have Gone Without Pay For Months

Up to 30 Lao workers building a nearly completed railway project that will connect landlocked Laos with China say that they have not been paid in three to four months, because their Chinese employers left the area and went home early this year amid the spread of the coronavirus.

Workers, especially heavy truck drivers, in Na Mo district of northwestern Laos’ Oudomxay province, told RFA on Monday that their Chinese bosses neither have given a reason for the salary delays nor have informed them when they will be paid.

“There are about 20 to 30 workers who have not been paid,” said one Lao laborer who declined to give his name out of fear that he might lose his job. “The Chinese employers who were working on the project when the disease outbreak occurred went back home without paying the workers.

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Reported by RFA’s Lao Service, Translated by Sidney Khotpanya. Written in English by Roseanne Gerin