Lawmakers Call for Updating Labor Law for Migrant Workers

China's Labor Law adopted 12 years ago should be revised in order to ensure the rights and interests of over 100 million migrant rural workers, Chinese legislators have urged.

The law, adopted in 1994 and put into force at the beginning of 1995, lacks articles concerning migrant workers, especially surplus rural laborers who have taken up non-agricultural jobs in China's booming cities, and could not effectively protect their legal rights and interests, said Hua Yan, a deputy to the 10th National People's Congress (NPC) that is going to close its ten-day annual session in Beijing on Tuesday.

The current law of labor was enacted during the initial period of the market economy and could not cover new problems and conflicts arising in the labor market in recent years, said Jiang Wanqiu, another NPC deputy from east China's Anhui Province, one of destinations for migrant workers.

Migrant rural employees of some textile plants in five provinces including Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Hebei, work about 12 hours a day without any compensation to their excessive service, said Hua, citing an investigation he had made.

Migrant rural workers suffer underpayment and high rate of casualties at work, said Hua, adding that in Baokang County, Hubei Province, 248 were killed and 344 others were injured in the work over the past three years.

China's central authority has demanded intensified protection of rural workers' rights and interests in many official documents, but the instructions could not achieve substantial effects for there are no specific articles in the Labor Law, said Hua.

(Xinhua News Agency March 13, 2006)

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