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Labor Protests Multiply in China as Economy Slows, Worrying Leaders

GUANGZHOU, China — For nearly seven years, Li Wei rose before dawn seven days a week for his 10-hour shift at the steel plant, returning home each night soaked in sweat, the clank of heavy machinery still ringing in his ears. But last month, the 31-year-old welder stood outside the plant with hundreds of co-workers, picketing against pay cuts and singing patriotic battle hymns.

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