Opinion / Opinion Line

Authorities must enforce the law and protect migrant workers' rights

(China Daily) Updated: 2016-01-20 08:18

Authorities must enforce the law and protect migrant workers' rights

Migrant workers walk out of the Haozhou Railway Station, East China's Anhui province, Jan 18, 2014.[Photo/CFP]

The tragedy in xi'an, Northwest China's Shaanxi province, in which a migrant worker died on Jan 13 trying to get the pay he was owed has once again drawn attention to the problem of migrant workers asking for wages overdue. said on Tuesday:

According to the Xi'an public security bureau's official micro blog, Li Jiafu, a 37-year-old migrant worker from Sichuan province, came to the construction site where he worked with his wife and other co-workers to ask for the wages he was owed by the contractor. After they failed to reach a consensus, the contractor Lv got in his car to drive away. When Li grabbed the handle of the car door to stop him, Lv reportedly started driving, dragging Li along the ground. Li later died in hospital. Lv has been detained and the incident is being investigated.

This tragedy should not only remind migrant workers to defend their rights and interests in a proper way for their own safety, but prompt governments at all levels to guarantee migrant workers' legal rights and interests.

In recent years, the central government has reiterated that employers should not withhold the wages of migrant workers. The relevant authorities should all strengthen their efforts to enhance their supervision of employers, and make it more convenient for migrant workers to safeguard their rights and interests.

Some employers still maliciously default on employees' wages, which forces workers to try and demand the money they are owed.

There are always reports about migrant workers trying to get the pay they are owed, especially before Spring Festival every year.

Migrant workers have to take their wages back home when they go, and to achieve that goal sometimes they have to resort to extreme means. Some like Li even lose their lives.

The authorities are already aware of the extent of this problem, and it's good to see that maliciously defaulting on wages will be punished according to the law, but they need to ensure employers abide by the law to prevent such tragedies.

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