30 com­pa­nies are added to black­list for wage cheat­ing

China Daily - - CHINA - By LI LEI lilei@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Chi­nese au­thor­i­ties have black­listed an­other 30 com­pa­nies that de­faulted on pay­ing wages — part of its lat­est crack­down on un­scrupu­lous em­ploy­ers as the Chi­nese New Year ap­proaches.

The com­pa­nies face re­stric­tions on govern­ment fund­ing or con­tracts, pro­duc­tion per­mits and fi­nanc­ing, among other mea­sures, the Min­istry of Hu­man Re­sources and So­cial Se­cu­rity said on its web­site re­cently.

They will also be barred from ac­tiv­i­ties as­so­ci­ated with “high spend­ing”, such as travel by air or high-speed train, and book­ings at lux­ury ho­tels.

The dis­graced em­ploy­ers — mainly in la­bor-in­ten­sive sec­tors where mi­grant work­ers are widely used — have failed to pay wages rang­ing from 50,000 yuan ($7,250) to more than 2 mil­lion yuan, the min­istry said.

Ac­cord­ing to the min­istry, 80 un­scrupu­lous em­ploy­ers have been put on the list since July, where they will stay for a year.

Those who pay the wages owed will be re­moved from the list af­ter a year, but fur­ther pun­ish­ment to be de­ter­mined is in store for those who fail to pay, it said.

Some of the com­pa­nies have paid the wages, the min­istry said.

Mi­grant work­ers leave their ru­ral homes seek­ing jobs in cities away from their fam­i­lies. Many go home only once a year, usu­ally for Spring Fes­ti­val.

When the coun­try be­gan its re­form and open­ing-up process in 1978, it trig­gered rapid ur­ban­iza­tion in coastal re­gions. Large num­bers of farm­ers from im­pov­er­ished Cen­tral and West China flowed south­east to sup­ply la­bor in con­struc­tion and fac­to­ries.

Huang Jiusheng, a project man­ager at the China Con­struc­tion 7 th En­gi­neer­ing Di­vi­sion Corp, where he leads some 12,000 work­ers, said that de­spite the work­ers’ con­tri­bu­tions in the cities, many of them have been cheated out of wages.

Their mea­ger wages and lack of le­gal knowl­edge of­ten led to a sit­u­a­tion in which they are un­able to re­trieve their hard-earned money.

Some had to find their own way to get their due pay, such as “dis­rupt­ing con­struc­tion work, and in ex­treme cases threat­en­ing to kill them­selves”, he said.

In 2016, the cen­tral govern­ment made han­dling their con­cerns a pri­or­ity, and urged au­thor­i­ties to elim­i­nate the phe­nom­e­non by 2020.

The Min­istry of Hu­man Re­sources and So­cial Se­cu­rity de­cided in 2017 to use the black­list to pun­ish em­ploy­ers who de­fault on wages, or refuse to pay em­ploy­ees with­out good rea­son. The penalty also ap­plies to those whose de­faults have led to ex­treme cases or mass protests.

The first wage de­fault­ers — 14 en­ter­prises and six in­di­vid­u­als — were put on the black­list in July last year. Twenty-five en­ter­prises and five ad­di­tional in­di­vid­u­als were black­listed in Oc­to­ber.

ZHAI XIAOXUE / FOR CHINA DAILY

Af­ter four years of ap­peals, 17 work­ers from Hanzhong, Shaanxi prov­ince, were awarded their due wages by the Lianhu District Peo­ple’s Court in Xi’an on Dec 26.

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