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Court helps workers get overdue pay
By Liu Li, Chen Hong (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-12-10 09:43

A Beijing court awarded migrant workers 1.1 million yuan (US$135,000) in pay that has been owed to them for six years.

A total of 24 migrant workers came to the Beijing No 1 Intermediate People's Court yesterday to get their salaries years after the fact.

Another 180 workers, who were in Chengde and Langfang of North China's Hebei Province, will get their money ahead of Spring Festival, which falls on February 9 next year.

Yesterday's delayed salary distribution followed a judgment earlier this year.

The court ruled the Beijing Xide Food Company had to pay 1.1 million yuan (US$135,000) to the Beijing Fuhuida Construction Engineering Company.

But the food company refused to come up with the money, claiming a lack of funds.

Fuhuida then appealed for action to force the payment.

The court then auctioned some land and houses owned by the food company. The money was used to pay the salaries of the migrant workers.

"It is the court and the law that helped us," Xue Shihai, a worker, said at the courthouse yesterday.

"Not being paid for my work has been a big stone on my heart during the past six years," he said.

"In 1998 when we worked at the Xide Food Company, we did not even have money for meals and could not pay for a railway ticket back to our hometown," Xue said.

Shenzhen firm fined for low salaries

SHENZHEN: Local labour authorities imposed a record fine of nearly 2 million yuan (US$240,000) earlier this week on a Hong Kong-funded processing factory for wage offences, reported the Guangzhou-based Southern Metropolis News.

Hai Yan Electronic Plant, a joint venture between Hong Kong-based Computime Ltd, one of Asia's leading providers of electronic design and manufacturing services, and two Guangdong companies, mainly processes electronic components and exports the products to the Unites States, European Union and Japan.

Workers complained that the company paid workers less than 610 yuan (US$74) a month, the base line set by the Minimum Salary Regulation of the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone.

The Shenzhen Labour and Social Security Bureau imposed the fine after a thorough investigation.

Yan Haiqiong, head of Han Yan Electric Plant, said the factory completely accepts the government's decision and the problems have been fixed.

"Currently, the average salary of our employees has reached about 900 yuan (US$109), we will never violate the law again," she pledged.

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