A Beijing court ruled on Tuesday that a Shandong construction company must pay the salaries of about 260 migrant workers who had worked at Beijing's No 5 Metro Line project for an entire year without getting a penny.
The salaries in default amounted to 900,000 yuan (US$112,500).
Construction of the metro line began in late 2002, and the line is expected to be operational next July.
The Beijing Urban Construction Group was the constructor of the metro line, but it contracted a section of the line to the Shandong Linyi Kanyuan Construction Company.
The 260 farmers-turned-workers were sent by the Shandong company to work in Beijing last June, but had never been paid.
"Our boss told us that the Beijing Urban Construction Group did not pay him first," the farmer plaintiffs told the court.
The farmers sued both the Beijing and Shandong firms in the Beijing Xicheng District People's Court.
The Shandong constructor admitted that the workers were its employees and their salaries had not been paid. But a company source said the company had no money to pay the workers because of a default from the Beijing company.
However, the court ruled that the Shandong company must pay their workers.
"The Beijing Urban Construction Group should also shoulder legal responsibilities," the judgment for first instance said.
The court ordered the Shandong company to pay the delayed salaries three days after the judgment becomes effective.
(China Daily June 22, 2006)