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People's Daily Online>>China Society

It's migrant payback time: govt

By Yang Jingjie (Global Times)

08:51, December 07, 2011

Two travelers carry their baggage as they enter Shanghai Railway Station on Tuesday. Many people choose to return home early to avoid the peak transport period near the Spring Festival, which begins on January 8 next year. Photo: Lu Yun/GT

Nine government organs, including the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MHRSS) and the National Development and Reform Commission, ordered local authorities to ensure migrant workers would be paid in full before the upcoming New Year and Spring Festival holidays.

"Preventing and resolving wage violations should be the main task before the two festivals. Concrete measures should be taken to make sure migrant workers receive their backpay," Yin Weimin, minister of the MHRSS, said at a video conference.

"Payment-related labor disputes involving more than 10 people should be filed immediately and must be resolved within seven days. If the average salary overdue surpasses 1,000 yuan ($157) per worker, then a special supervision commission should step in," Yin said Monday.

In the meantime, local governments need to provide free legal services to migrant workers, and a fund has been set up to ensure that the money is present in case of emergencies.

Officials urged local governments to improve efficiency in mediating and arbitrating payment disputes, and vowed to severely crack down on criminal activities concerning wage violations.

Wang Fang, a lawyer at Beijing Zhicheng Migrant Worker Legal Aid and Research Center, told the Global Times that the end of year period sees most payment disputes arise as tens of millions of migrant workers prepare to return home to reunite with their families.

"There has been violence triggered by payment disputes, and many workers tend to band together to lodge their complaints so as to get attention from the public and authorities," Wang said, adding that wage violations are especially prominent in the construction industry.

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