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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Salary rows on rise despite govt directives

By Liu Linlin (Global Times)

13:49, December 28, 2011

Phone calls from migrant workers asking for help in resolving salary disputes are peaking as the Spring Festival approaches, an NGO revealed yesterday, shortly after the government ordered employers nationwide to pay workers fully and on time.

"Calls we receive daily from migrant workers have increased by 40 to 50 percent," Wei Wei, the founder of Little Bird Mutual-aid Hotline for Migrant Workers, told the Global Times.

To cope with the increasing number of disputes, Wei started a campaign called Demanding Payment on Friday, which will see volunteer lawyers help migrant workers reclaim their payments through legal means.

"The campaign, first launched in 2005, has become an annual event. This year, we added a special training program for workers," Wei said.

The hotline printed two booklets to teach migrant workers how to protect their legal rights. The brochures were distributed among migrant workers who get help from the hotline, as well as among other NGOs with the same mission.

"We teach them how to blend in to a new environment, and how to tell their stories to the media, such as preparing name cards with their information," Wei said. "We will choose migrant workers who have better understanding of the manuals as volunteers to help their co-workers."

Earlier this month, eight government departments, including the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MHRSS) and the Ministry of Public Security, issued an order demanding employers nationwide pay migrant workers fully and on time, as they need the money to travel home to be with their families during the upcoming Spring Festival.

Qiu Xiaoping, the head of MHRSS' Labor Salary Bureau, told the Xinhua News Agency on Sunday that the number of salary-related disputes, petitions and protests had dropped thanks to government efforts.

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