Shanghai steps up efforts to settle pay disputes of migrant workers

The Spring Festival is when many of Shanghai's migrant workers go home to see their families, and it's a busy time for pay disputes. Shanghai has vowed to sort these cases quickly.

The city launched a special inspection campaign on Thursday to ensure migrant workers are paid on time.

From now until the Spring Festival, a traditional Chinese holiday when migrant workers normally go back to their hometowns to catch up with family, the labor security supervision authorities will give priority to cases involving owed pay and visit enterprises within 24 hours of receiving complaints in order to resolve them quickly.

The Shanghai Housing and Urban Rural Construction Management Committee will also join the campaign as construction workers are a major group often involved in pay disputes.

The campaign will mainly focus on construction, manufacturing and catering industries, which employ large numbers of migrant workers.

Qiu Ruifeng, a labor security supervisor in Pudong, told Shanghai Daily that the one to two months before the festival are usually a peak time for pay disputes.

Both the labor security supervision authorities and construction management committee will accept complaints around the clock.

Workers can reach the hotlines on 12333 or 12319 respectively, and can also leave their complaints on the website of the Shanghai Human Resources and Social Security Bureau ( 

It's also possible to write to or visit the offices of nearby labor security supervision or construction administration teams, whose addresses can be found on the websites of the bureau and the committee.

The inspectors will also closely check industries and companies with a history of pay disputes.

Cases involving companies deliberately refusing to pay salaries will be handed over to police and the courts will seal up, freeze or auction off the property of guilty companies to help workers get their pay.

Under the requirements of a policy issued by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, which will come into effect on January 1, Shanghai will work out a blacklist of companies with a history of pay disputes and display it to the public.

Those on the blacklist will also have their behavior recorded in the credit system, which will influence their future operation.

The Shanghai Human Resources and Social Security Bureau has also released the names of 13 companies, which have been sued or are under investigation for deliberately not paying salaries to employees, authorities announced today. 

These include the Chuangta Electronics Co. in Minhang District, who were found to have failed to pay more than 3.2 million yuan in salaries to 120 workers between November last year and March this year. Luo Deping, the legal representative of the company, could not be contacted during the investigation process, so the local labor security supervision team handed it over to local police, who are now investigating the case.

In the first three quarters of the year, complaints received by the labor security supervision authorities dropped by 2 percent from the same period last year.

They have helped 91,000 workers receive 537 million yuan in owed salaries in the past three quarters, up 32 percent from the same period last year.

The construction management committee received 2,574 complaints involving 48,000 workers. They were owed more than one billion yuan, 900 million of which has now been paid.

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