Governments at all levels have recovered about 43.32 billion
yuan (about 5.9 billion U.S. dollars) for migrant workers' back
wages since 2003, a government official said on Wednesday.
The figure was revealed by Sun Baoshu, Vice Minister of Labor
and Social Security, in his report to a session of the Standing
Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top
With China's urbanization, millions of mostly rural migrant
workers have been drawn to cities and towns. It was estimated that
the figure probably exceeded 100 million.
The migrants have worked mainly in the construction industry,
hotels, restaurants and other service sectors. Their wages are
often in arrears, however, since managers refuse to pay them.
All levels of the Chinese government have been mobilized to
solve the unpaid wage problem, and the State Council issued
instructions in 2006 for dealing with the problems migrant workers
The governments have strengthened supervision of businesses that
hire large numbers of migrants and provided more legal advice to
the migrants to protect their rights.
According to Sun, more than 60 million migrant workers have
received free technical training organized by local governments
Moreover, 36.25 million migrant workers have been covered by
workers' compensation plans and 31.96 million have been covered by
medical insurance, according to the vice minister.
Sun said in his report that the ministry will further improve
its work to protect the rights of migrants and continue to receive
supervision and instruction from the top legislature.
(Xinhua News Agency December 27, 2007)