Former migrant worker now a lawmaker helping rural laborers

Xinhua, February 23, 2023
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A migrant worker poses for a photo before boarding a charted train to south China's Guangdong Province at Kunming South Railway Station in Kunming, southwest China's Yunnan Province, Feb. 20, 2021. (Xinhua/Chen Xinbo)

Before a bus carrying 30 migrant workers departed from an industrial park in southwest China's Yunnan Province on Sunday evening, a young man talked about opportunities to live and work in a new city.

Yuan Haibo, deputy to the 14th National People's Congress (NPC), recruits migrant workers from rural regions and explains employment policies in rural areas.

Yuan, 32, is the general manager of a company providing human resources services in Qujing, Yunnan. In the last month, the company has helped more than 1,300 rural migrant workers find jobs in Zhejiang, Jiangsu and other provinces.

"I used to be a migrant worker, so I understand this group well," Yuan said.

The NPC deputy grew up in an impoverished family. After graduating from high school, he traveled to the eastern Chinese city of Yiwu, often referred to as "the world's supermarket," where he sold hardware and worked odd jobs.

Due to his diligence and friendliness, Yuan was promoted to workshop manager at a garment factory. He also won the trust of his fellow workers for his kindness in helping migrant workers find jobs and solve labor disputes.

In 2018, Yuan was elected as a deputy to the 13th NPC, the country's top legislature. In this role, he has been working as a national lawmaker.

He knows that being a migrant worker is not easy. As an NPC deputy, his job has focused on promoting the employment of migrant workers and protecting their rights and interests.

Since 2018, he has visited 36 townships and 73 villages in the city of Qujing, and put forward 26 proposals concerning the vital interests of migrant workers, which have all received positive responses from relevant government departments.

Before he penned "Suggestions on Equal Access to Public Education Resources for Children of Migrant Workers," he spoke with hundreds of migrant workers in industries such as cosmetics, electronics, hardware and clothing. The suggestions he made in the report were later trialed and implemented in many areas across the country.

There was a time when enterprises in eastern coastal cities faced labor shortages and migrant workers in western China had difficulties finding work. After conducting market research, Yuan returned to Qujing and worked actively to connect enterprises with migrant workers.

In March 2020, Yuan established Yunnan Yuantuo Enterprise Management Co., Ltd. to provide human resources services for migrant workers and enterprises, and he has since helped more than 10,000 workers find jobs in other provinces.

Thanks to Yuan's efforts, many rural workers have learned new skills and are now earning stable salaries, enabling them to buy cars and build new houses in their hometowns.

Yuan's company keeps in touch with the migrant workers they help, starting WeChat groups to share recruitment information and discuss their progress.

If anyone in any of the groups encounters a problem, Yuan will actively help them find a solution. He has helped people enrol their children in school, seek medical treatment and resolve labor disputes.

Yuan has also made public his phone number, and he listens carefully to those who call him to report issues. The young man makes suggestions following a comprehensive investigation, and supervises as follow-up solutions are implemented.

"I will continue to provide services for migrant workers so that they can live better lives," Yuan said.