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April 16, 2011

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Home » Metro » Health and Science

Death blamed on 'overwork'

ABOUT 40 people rushed to a real estate office yesterday morning, claiming a young man, one of their family members, died from overwork while asking for an explanation and compensation.

Zhou Yu, 28, a Jiangsu Province native who was a branch manager at Century 21 Real Estate LLC, was found dead in his apartment on Wednesday afternoon by police after his family called officers when they couldn't contact him.

It's unclear what caused his death.

His family said they believe it was closely related to work fatigue as Zhou often worked until midnight. He did not sleep or eat on a regular schedule, they said.

Century 21 released a statement yesterday, expressing condolences to the family and that the incident would be dealt with properly.

"We always regard employees as our most important resource," the statement said.

According to the Century 21 statement, Zhou left the office at 5pm on Tuesday and he did not arrive home until 3am on Wednesday. Four hours later, he went to take driving lessons and returned home at 11am. But he could not be contacted after 1pm that day.

An official with the company, surnamed Li, told Shanghai Daily yesterday that the family, who wants more compensation, are overreacting and denied Zhou's death was triggered by overwork.

"We have never asked our employees to work overtime, but we cannot rule out the possibility that people will voluntarily stay late," Li said.

Some employees in the real estate sector said most staff work 12 or 13 hours a day.


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