The All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) will award 18 "labor medals" to migrant workers this year, 17 more than the last awards in 2004.
"The decision shows society is starting to acknowledge and respect migrant workers," said Zhou Yuqing, vice chairman of the ACFTU, in Beijing on Monday.
The "labor medal" is awarded four times in every five years. Medalists can go on to be selected as "labor heroes", an honor issued by the State Council, or the central government, and the top honor reserved for the likes of bus conductors, plumbers, miners and other manual workers.
Of the 1,019 award candidates, migrant workers accounted for only 1.7 percent this year.
The award ceremony will be held on May 1.
China has more than 120 million migrant workers, most of whom work in arduous and insecure conditions for meagre wages.
In a bid to increase their wages and improving living standards, the Chinese government is setting rules on migrant workers' minimum salaries and working hours.
(Xinhua News Agency April 11, 2006)