Com­pa­nies, in­di­vid­u­als black­listed

Re­stric­tions fol­low fail­ure to pay wages owed to migrant work­ers

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By JIANG CHENGLONG jiangchen­g­long@ chi­

Four­teen com­pa­nies and six in­di­vid­u­als have been black­listed be­cause they failed to pay wages they owed to migrant work­ers, China’s hu­man re­sources au­thor­ity an­nounced on Thurs­day.

As a re­sult, the com­pa­nies will face re­stric­tions on such things as ob­tain­ing fi­nanc­ing and will lose taxre­duc­tion ben­e­fits. The in­di­vid­u­als are pro­hib­ited from air travel and from book­ing first-class seats on bul­let trains.

“Those 14 com­pa­nies and six in­di­vid­u­als will be pun­ished not only by lo­cal hu­man re­sources de­part­ments but also by other au­thor­i­ties,” said Qiu Xiaop­ing, vice-min­is­ter of the Min­istry of Hu­man Re­sources and So­cial Se­cu­rity.

The most se­vere case in­volves a con­struc­tion com­pany based in Chongqing mu­nic­i­pal­ity that didn’t pay 113 migrant work­ers 5.96 million yuan ($891,000) in wages.

Chen Hong­wan, di­rec­tor of fis­cal and fi­nan­cial af­fairs for the Na­tional De­vel­op­ment and Re­form Com­mis­sion, said the de­fault would be pe­nal­ized in var­i­ous ways, in­clud­ing a loss of gov­ern­ment funds, fi­nanc­ing, credit and tax re­duc­tions.

“For ex­am­ple, they will be barred as sup­pli­ers in gov­ern­ment pro­cure­ment, their al­lowance from gov­ern­ments will be sus­pended or can­celed and re­lated de­part­ments will im­pose re­stric­tive mea­sures when they ap­ply for stock is­suance, bank loans or other things,” he said.

In Septem­ber, the min­istry in­tro­duced the black­list reg­u­la­tion to pun­ish com­pa­nies or in­di­vid­u­als fail­ing to pay, or se­ri­ously de­lay­ing, migrant work­ers’ salaries. The rule took ef­fect this year.

In ad­di­tion, 30 min­istries and or­ga­ni­za­tions, in­clud­ing the NDRC, Peo­ple’s Bank of China and China Rail­way Corp, agreed to jointly pun­ish those on the black­list.

Un­der an agree­ment they reached in Novem­ber, in­di­vid­u­als on the list may not travel by air or pur­chase up­graded seats on bul­let trains.

Wang Gangkui, 28, a migrant worker at a con­struc­tion site in Qu­jing, Yun­nan prov­ince, said the black­list reg­u­la­tion is a good weapon against de­lays in wage pay­ment. He hasn’t re­ceived any salary in three months — a to­tal of at least 10,000 yuan.

“Ac­tu­ally, the rea­son many em­ploy­ers il­le­gally de­lay pay­ing work­ers’ wages is they spend money on their daily lives. It’s not a lack of money,” he said. “The black­list, which lim­its their daily con­sump­tion, can cure that.”

Com­pa­nies and in­di­vid­u­als in se­ri­ous de­fault on wages — those re­spon­si­ble for de­lay­ing one worker’s wage of 5,000 to 20,000 yuan for more than three months, or more than 10 work­ers’ wages of 30,000 to 100,000 yuan — will face the tough­est re­stric­tions, said Wang Cheng, a la­bor su­per­vi­sion of­fi­cial in the min­istry.

“The amount will be de­cided dif­fer­ently based on lo­cal cir­cum­stances,” he said. “Those re­spon­si­ble for de­faults that trigger mass dis­tur­bances and ex­treme events will also be put on the black­list.”

If all de­layed wages are paid, and if the mis­take is not re­peated within a year, the re­stric­tions can be re­moved, Wang said ear­lier.

De­faults in wage pay­ments mainly hap­pen in la­bor-in­ten­sive in­dus­tries — es­pe­cially the con­struc­tion sec­tor — where it’s hard to judge a con­struc­tion work­ers’ work­load ac­cu­rately.

Wang, the migrant con­struc­tion worker, said there’s no clear re­la­tion­ship be­tween work­load and salary.

“We work­ers have no idea about how much we can earn ev­ery month,” he said.

The Min­istry of Hous­ing and Urban-Ru­ral De­vel­op­ment is plan­ning to set up a real-name sys­tem for con­struc­tion work­ers, aim­ing to help de­ter­mine ex­act work­loads and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, said Wei Ming, a con­struc­tion in­dus­try su­per­vi­sion of­fi­cial at the min­istry.

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