Back-pay a major worry for migrants

By Li Fangchao (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-02-07 07:03

Unpaid wages remain a top concern among migrant workers as the traditional Spring Festival holiday approaches, a survey showed.

Delinquent back-pay, low wages and difficulties in sending their children to school are key concerns among the millions of migrant workers in the country, a survey released by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security showed.

The survey, which started in the second half of last year covered 2.84 million migrant workers at 19,000 companies in 40 cities nationwide.

Wage arrears remain a big headache for many migrant workers.

Each migrant worker claiming not to have been paid in time was owed an average of 2,100 yuan ($270), according to the results of the survey.

They generally were owed back-pay by two companies.

The survey also found that most migrant workers were angry about low wages. A migrant worker works an average of 8.7 hours a day for a per capita monthly income of 1,020 yuan ($131), the survey showed.

More than 70 percent of those polled earned between 500 yuan and 1,200 yuan ($64-154) per month. Skilled workers generally earn more.

An unskilled worker generally earns about 970 yuan ($125) per month, while a technician earns more than 1,400 yuan ($180). And having to work overtime is common among migrant workers.

Nearly 8 percent of the respondents said they worked 11 hours or more every day, and only 65 percent said they were paid extra for extra work.

Inadequate training and the lack of social security were other concerns among migrant workers, the survey found.

Nearly half of those polled said they had not received any formal professional training.

(China Daily 02/07/2007 page3)

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