China / Society

China retrieves billions for underpaid migrant workers

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-01-20 20:47

BEIJING - Almost 11 billion yuan (1.8 billion US dollars) has been recovered and paid to migrant workers nationwide, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security revealed on Monday.

To ensure migrant workers are properly paid before returning home for Spring Festival, a campaign began on November 20. As of January 15, some 1.5 million migrant workers have benefitted.

An official with the ministry said the wage defaults mainly occurred in the construction sector. Violations by employers such as unfair wage deductions and delays are an old problem in China, requiring the government to conduct frequent checks to protect workers' rights.

In 2011, the country's top legislature passed an amendment to the Criminal Law to stipulating that malicious wage default is a crime and employers who intentionally withhold wages may face up to seven years in jail.

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