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Survey Finds 40% Migrant Laborers Work Overtime
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Survey Finds 40% Migrant Laborers Work Overtime 
Forty percent of migrant laborers in Chinese cities work more than eight hours a day and 47 percent work seven days a week, according to a latest nationwide survey conducted by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Of the 29,425 respondents, 26.28 percent have to work nine to 10 hours per day and another 13.61 percent even longer. Thirty-seven percent only have one day off a week.

Chinese labor laws stipulate that workers should work no more than eight hours a day and 40 hours a week. Workers are entitled to at least one full day off a week and should be paid for overtime.

But ruthless pursuit of profit has resulted in private business owners taking advantage of migrant workers.

It also found that migrant laborers increased their working hours voluntarily to earn more money. However, 15 percent of respondents were not paid on time or in full. Fifty percent received no pay for overtime and eighty percent were not entitled to any paid holidays.

The survey said only 27 percent of the respondents were covered by endowment insurance, 26 percent by medical insurance, 15 percent by unemployment insurance and 33 percent by injury insurance.

Statistics show about 130 million people from the countryside have sought jobs in the country's urban areas since the late 1980s.

Most of them work as construction workers, security guards and waiters where they encounter low and often delayed pay, long working hours, poor safety conditions, lack of social security, inadequate schooling for their children and substandard living conditions.

The State Council has called for equal treatment of migrant laborers by protecting their legal rights and removing all discriminating regulations.

The State Council has pledged to improve the lives of the migrant population in order to build a harmonious socialist society.

(Xinhua News Agency October 23, 2006)

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