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Children join parents' petition for overdue wages (2)


08:45, August 20, 2012

The developer, Yunnan Guangsha Real Estate Co. Ltd., reached a deal with the local government in 2006 to build a complex composing holiday resort, department stores and exhibition hall in Dali at the cost of 97 million yuan (15.26 million U.S. dollars).

The project, contracted to a major construction group in Kunming but later subcontracted to "Golden Carpenter", a smaller firm, entered a dead end after the boss of Guangsha Real Estate was arrested in 2009 on suspicion of fraud.

Last year, Guangsha was taken over by a local tourism company in Dali, but more than 21 million yuan of construction costs due to be remitted through the prime contractor to Golden Carpenter were unpaid, including 17 million yuan of wages for the workers, said Gao Zhonghan, executive of Golden Carpenter.

After the children joined their parents' petition for pay, the Dali city government demanded the tourism company to settle the issue.

The company, in response, remitted 3 million yuan Saturday to the prime contractor, whose management promised to guarantee the workers get paid in full.

"Such dead-end projects are not rare in China, but not all workers are lucky enough to get paid eventually," said an Internet user who gave only his screen name as "wind in desert."

According to a new rule set by the Yunnan provincial government last year, all construction companies should deposit at least 10 percent of their construction costs into their bank accounts as a reserve fund for the workers' wages. This was to ensure all the workers get paid in time by the bank.

"But it takes time for all construction companies to follow the rule and for the migrants to get paid," said a project contractor in Kunming, who gave only his family name as Zhang.

Zhang said several provinces, including Shanxi and Henan, have moved to blacklist contractors that were notorious for delaying payments. "But when a project is subcontracted again and again, it is hard to track the root of the dispute."

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