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Deadline Set for Wage Payment of Migrants

Chinese Vice-Premier Zeng Peiyan Tuesday ordered the operators of State-invested projects to deliver their delayed payment of the wages of migrant workers within a period of less than two months.

Addressing a national teleconference on delayed payment of the wages of migrant construction workers, the vice-premier called on governments at all levels to ensure contractors of non-state-invested projects pay the wages of migrant construction workers that are long overdue.

All localities should ensure migrants farmers-turned construction workers get their wages on time and in full before they return home for the Chinese Lunar New Year, one of the major festivals in China that falls late January 2006.

It used to be common for contractors of construction projects to delay payment of the wages of migrant workers for up to one or more years, and as a result many migrant workers had to return home almost empty-handed.

The Chinese government launched a three-year nationwide campaign to make sure migrant workers get their overdue wages, and will forge a mechanism to ensure contractors pay migrant workers on time and fully.

By early December this year, a total of 162 billion yuan (US$20 billion) in delayed payment has been paid to migrant workers thanks to the campaign.

That figure accounts for 87 percent of all the delayed payment of wages before 2003.

Of the total, 64.5 billion yuan in delayed payment that involves state-funded construction projects has been given to migrant workers, officials said.

(Xinhua News Agency December 14, 2005)

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