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Premier Li steps up crackdown on migrant workers mistreatment

Updated: Dec 18,2016 9:38 AM News

Premier Li Keqiang has told government departments to increase efforts to safeguard migrant workers’ benefits by cracking down on late payment of wages, including blacklisting employers who cannot pay their workers.

Premier Li has continually called for efforts to ensure migrant workers get paid on time in recent years.

He has told many high-level officials, including ministers and provincial governors, about an old migrant worker he met in April 2015 at a construction site in Changchun, Northeast China’s Jilin province.

“He was more than 50 years old, wearing old-fashioned shoes. He migrated from Southwest China to Northeast China, living at the construction site every day for two years. His only goal is to work overtime and make more money to pay his son’s college tuition,” the Premier said.

The Premier said to the construction corporation owner, “Life of migrant workers is not easy. You must pay their salary on time.”

Premier Li has always paid close attention to migrant workers’ benefits, especially during his inspection trips.

When he visited Southwest China’s Guizhou province before the 2016 Spring Festival, he talked with some migrant workers who just completed one year’s hard work and went back home for a family reunion, and he personally made a bowl of instant noodles for one of them.

He said during this visit that the government is making efforts to create more jobs in migrant workers’ hometowns in rural areas, so they can work at home. In addition, at a previous State Council executive meeting, he urged local authorities to grant those migrant workers who have regular jobs equal status with local citizens, letting them enjoy basic public service and protecting their legal rights.

“They should not be treated as second-class citizens in cities,” Premier Li said.