Better enforcement of the law can ensure workers get paid
in Southwest China’s Yunnan province, which was hit by a 6.5-magnitude earthquake in August 2014 that killed 615 people, Premier Li Keqiang, while talking with local residents, learned that one local laborer was owed 50,000 yuan ($7,274) by his company. Li was “angry” and criticized the company. BeijingNews comments:
The problem of the non-payment of wages remains a problem and this case needs the attention of the premier for a solution. That shows how serious the problem is.
There are two possible reasons why workers fail to receive their wages. Either the employer has money but does not want to pay, or the employer does not have the money to pay its workers.
The lawis clear on the first. According to the Labor Contract Law, those failing to pay their employees on time face up to seven years in prison.
Yet rarely do we hear of any employers being found guilty and punished for intentionally delaying workers’ wages. It is time to better enforce the lawto prevent
such things from happening again.
The second reason may also be because of illegal behavior. Take the construction industry, for example, which employs the majority of laborers. The lawforbids it, but the construction companies still divide their contracts and outsource them to various smaller subcontractors. The chain of payments can easily break with the laborers becoming the ultimate victims. Had the lawbeen observed, that could have been prevented.
“A whole family suffers when a worker fails to get his or her deserved wages. Those delaying wages have broken both market rules and moral standards,” said Li. The lawenforcement departments need to do their jobs better to ensure workers are paid on time.