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Chinese feel pressure to work longer hours

Ineffectual unions may mean Foxconn is the norm

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The average Chinese worker spends eight hours and forty minutes a day exchanging their labour for currency, and 30% work for at least ten hours, according to a new study by the nation's Institute of Social Science, together with Peking University and recruitment agency Zhaopin.com.

One reason for the long hours, according to the People's Daily, is weak trade unions who can't get a better deal for workers. Feng Tongqing, a labor professor at the China Institute of Industrial Relations, gave the Daily that line and also believes that competition for the domestic market means Chinese entrepreneurs are pushing their staff to work more.

The party organ also reports that some familiar-seeming cultural pressures are behind some of China's work habits, quoting a PR operative named Feng Nan as saying "Our supervisor admires the busy bees and is one himself, so how can I leave the office and go home if my supervisor is still at his desk?" ®

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