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Beijing to raise migrant wages

Updated: 2007-01-19 10:10

Beijing will raise the wages of migrant workers building venues for the 2008 Olympic Games by between 30 and 100 percent to ensure that facilities are completed on time, the Xinhua news agency said on Thursday.

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The Chinese capital would raise the salary benchmarks for skilled construction workers so that someone earning around 32 yuan (US$4.12) per day would soon get around 60 yuan, it said, citing a circular from the Beijing Construction Committee.

The move, effective on February 1, was aimed at meeting a surge in demand for labourers able to build Olympic venues, it said.

Companies would be able to look to the suggested wage levels while negotiating pay packets with their employees, it said.

More than two thirds of those working in China's booming construction industry originally hail from the countryside.

Concerns have run high over whether the 30,000-odd migrant workers involved in the construction of Olympic venues have been receiving their wages at all.

Sui Zhenjiang, director of the Beijing Municipal Construction Commission, said earlier this month that the authorities had suspended projects involving around 12 sub-contractors over a failure to pay wages.

China has an estimated 120 million migrant workers who largely eke out meagre existences in many cities.

(US$1=7.771 Yuan)