China has made good progress in helping migrant workers get overdue wages.
At a teleconference of the State Council Friday, Chinese Vice-Premier Zeng Peiyan urged local governments to further regulate the construction market and ensure the recovery of defaulted payment for migrant workers.
An investigation in 10 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities showed that by the end of last December, about 50 percent of the delayed wages of migrant workers had been recovered. However, some regions fell far behind and the mechanism coordinating different departments needed to be improved, said Zeng, who is also a member of the Political Bureau of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee.
About 80 percent of the more than 38 million construction workers were migrants and the payment delay has affected their incomes and lives, said the vice premier.
This issue is especially urgent as the Spring Festival, the most important traditional Chinese festival, draws near.
It is an important step for the government to protect people's interests and of great significance to regulate the construction market, said Zeng.
Financial departments should ensure that government-invested projects pay workers on time and the construction departments should urge enterprises to pay workers on time. Enterprises that deliberately delay payment should be punished, said Zeng.
He also asked the labor and social security departments and judicial departments to give special support to protect migrant workers' legitimate rights.
Meanwhile, local governments should set up long-term mechanisms to solve the problem and avoid new cases of delayed payment, said Zeng.
The State Council would soon organize inspection groups to press ahead with the work across the country.
(Xinhua News Agency January 3, 2004)