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Courts Help Migrant Workers Recover Unpaid Wages
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The Supreme People's Court has issued a circular instructing subordinate courts to accelerate lawsuits brought by migrant workers to recover unpaid wages.


The circular said local courts should deal promptly with lawsuits brought by migrant workers on unpaid wages. Once the cases are concluded, the courts should ensure that court verdicts are enforced in a timely manner.


The Supreme People's Court (SPC) also urged local courts to supervise local governments so that cases involving money owed to both migrant rural workers and to construction companies can be liquidated.


The SPC requested that courts at local levels offer judicial assistance to litigants who have difficulty obtaining money owed to them.


About 120 million migrant rural workers make their living in China's booming cities and many of them work in high-risk, labor-intensive industries.


Defaults on payments to migrant workers mainly occur in the construction industry. This problem has affected the income of the rural population for a long time and is considered a "chronic illness" affecting and undermining social stability.


There are no official figures on the total amount of unpaid wages owed to migrant workers. But statistics released by the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection show that, at the end of June 2006, construction companies were owed a total of 117 billion yuan.


(Xinhua News Agency August 10, 2006)

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