WANG FU QUAN: I’m suffering from an occupational disease. I got it while working in a factory. Once I dreamed that all the other people from the factory who had the same disease died. Now I’m afraid that I might die, too. I’m worried about my children. It’s not easy.
I started working in that factory in 1995. I worked there for ten years, until 2005. When we found out that we had the disease, we asked our employer to pay for our treatment. We were examined at a medical institute and they said we had suffered industrial injury. They also determined our levels of disability. At that time we were still working in the factory. Our employer accepted the result of the examination and we left the factory. But we still haven’t received any compensation. We’ve been fighting against the factory for four years now and nothing has happened. And with our disease, nobody wants to give us a job. That puts a lot of pressure on us. Our only chance is a lawsuit. In fact we’ve already won a lawsuit. The court actually ruled that we had suffered industrial injury, but still we didn’t get any compensation. So we went to the court of appeal and they also ruled against the employer. Now we’re trying to get the court to issue an order of specific performance against the factory, to force them to pay us our compensation. We’ve tried everything we could to solve this problem with our employer. We turned to the court for help; the court called the employer and the employer said he would pay the compensation. But what he told the court was one thing, and what he did was something else.
Those of us who have the disease, we’re thinking about this situation all the time, day and night. It even shows up in our dreams. I’ve got nothing to do now so I have a lot of time to think about this. Sometimes I dream that I get the compensation. Then I dream about what I would do with the money. For example, I often dream about going back to my hometown and starting a small business to earn some money for when I’m old. I feel a lot of pressure on my mind now. I’m the head of the family, my kids are still going to school and my parents are old already, over 70.
All my dreams are about the compensation, the money. Sometimes I suddenly wake up in the middle of a dream and I feel as if my brain was sick and out of control, I can’t stop thinking about it. I wish we can solve this whole problem as soon as possible so I can go back to my hometown. That’s what I’d really like to do. Because with my disability, I’m not going to find work here anyway. No factory would give me a job.