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NPC deputy focuses on salary problems of migrant workers

By Jin Dan | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-03-15 15:21

A plasterer from East China's Shandong province has focused on timely payment of wages to migrant workers since her election as an NPC deputy three years ago.

"Ensure the law fully functions as the protector of the rights and interests of anyone in employment," Chen Xueping, 49, copied this line from the Government Work Report into her notebook to inspire her to do justice to her work and to those whose causes are close to her heart.

Chen started helping laborers before she even became the deputy. In fact, as early as 2012 when she was awarded the Labor Day Medal, she was contacted by some migrant workers seeking her help in safeguarding their legal rights. More began coming to her since she became an NPC deputy and made her telephone number public.

But last year there was a drop in people seeking her help. "Most people who sought my help got their wages back. And now many workers are aware of their rights. We are seeing signing of more labor contracts and instances of employers holding back salaries have come down."

This year, she submitted a six-page suggestion based on her experiences and field research in the past three years. "I have listed the main problems and elaborated on the root causes and suggested countermeasures," said Chen.

During her field research, she found that the causes were very complex. One of the main reasons for wage arrears is the shortage of money. So she suggested, "Effective supervision should be conducted to ensure that funding for project is in place. Projects that do not have enough funding should be halted during bidding process."

She also suggested that individual income tax threshold should be raised to 5,000 yuan ($723) to ensure migrant workers can enjoy better living standard as costs are rising.

When asked how she rated her work as an NPC deputy, she replied: "In the first year, I was very nervous to speak my mind. Now I'm much more comfortable with my role and think I should learn more to perform my duties better."

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