With Spring Festival less than two months away, the government is again launching a nationwide campaign to ensure every migrant worker gets paid on time.
Yin Weimin, minister of human resources and social security, addressed officials nationwide on Dec 1 via a video conference, reminding them of the importance of putting timely paychecks into migrant workers’ pockets.
Yin proposed setting up special inspection teams and penalizing companies that delay paying migrant workers. He also said local officials may prepay migrant workers using a special fund and seek repayment later from the companies if the case is taking too long to resolve.
The core idea, Yin said, is to make sure migrant workers can take their hard-earned cash home for family reunions during Spring Festival.
Yin said that the construction business is a “disaster area” in paying migrant workers on time, and overcapacity in the steel and coal industries, as well as a slowing economy, have made matters worse.
The minister warned that the problems of delaying migrant workers’ paychecks might get worse and happen more frequently as the year-end peak for settlement approaches.
Wang Yu, 29, worked in an unlicensed factory with his family for two months last year, but they only received an IOU instead of money from their employer, Li Haishang.
Li refused to pay Wang and his family, even after Wang sued Li and the court ruled in Wang’s favor.
“I have little hope for recovering my money. The only wish I have now is to inform migrant workers like me of the importance of signing work contracts and of avoiding working for unregistered companies,” Wang said.
There are about 270 million migrant laborers making a living away from home. Making sure every one of them gets paid on time has attracted government attention in recent years.