Workers' salaries safe during Asiad

08:36, November 02, 2010      

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Employers in the capital of Guangdong province are required to pay workers' full monthly salaries even though they might not be able to do their jobs in the following weeks because of the Asian Games.

A document from the city's human resources and social security bureau on Monday asked employers to fully secure workers' rights and interests.

In a major step to ensure good air quality during the 16th Asian Games and Asian Para Games in Guangzhou, Guangdong provincial environmental protection authorities have required all construction sites in the Pearl River Delta region to suspend construction between Nov 1 and Dec 20.

Major interior decoration and painting projects in Guangzhou are also banned during this period in a bid to reduce air pollution and noise.

From late last month, work on many construction sites and decoration projects in Guangzhou has gradually been suspended, leaving many workers temporarily laid off.

Many construction and decoration workers, who are worried that their lives will be affected, have sought help from the city's human resources and social security bureau.

Therefore, the bureau made it clear on Monday that if the work suspension is not caused by the workers and the suspension is shorter than 30 days, employers should pay salaries as usual.

According to the document, if the work suspension is longer than a month, employers can negotiate with employees to decide on new salary amounts.

If the workers do not have any work to do when the company suspends their operations, the employer must still offer basic living allowances to the workers, or 80 percent of the city's minimum monthly salary of 1,100 yuan ($161), until the operation resumes or the labor contract ends, the document said.

Guangdong is estimated to have more than 31 million migrant workers from across the country. But the document from the human resources and social security bureau did not reveal how many workers will be affected by temporary measures adopted for the coming games.

Many local employees who rely on working in the city's construction sites welcomed the new policies.

Chen Fangping, who has worked on a construction site in Guangzhou's Tianhe district, said the document can help protect workers' rights and ensure their lives will not be affected.

"After I'm paid with this month's salary, I will return to my hometown to see my wife and parents," said 38-year-old Chen, who comes from the neighboring Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

Chen said the site where he works suspended construction on Monday.

But Wang Guichen, Chen's colleague, was worried that the employers will not follow the official document.

"The document is good for construction workers, but relevant departments would still have to introduce concrete and effective measures to punish those who do not follow the policies," Wang said.

Guangzhou also launched a 10-day campaign to clean the city starting Monday to prepare for the sports gala.

In addition to cleaning the city's streets and major buildings, Guangzhou Mayor Wan Qingliang urged families in the city to clean their homes to improve the environment.

Source: China Daily(By Zheng Caixiong)


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