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Govt accountability stressed to ensure migrant worker pay

Updated: Feb 7,2017 7:03 AM

Premier Li Keqiang stressed government accountability in safeguarding migrant workers’ right to a timely paycheck during the State Council executive meeting on Feb 3.

The Premier said that discussing the issue right after the Spring Festival holiday signifies the government’s determination to make sure migrant workers get their hard-earned cash on time.

Earlier this year, Premier Li ordered authorities to crack down on back pay owed to migrant workers when he visited Ludian county, Yunnan province, on Jan 23. He said as soon as any back pay case is detected, it must be solved, from the very root.

“Withheld pay not only violates market rules but also offends the conscience. It is government’s responsibility to fight against it,” the Premier said during the visit.

The State Council has made continuous efforts to tackle the issue, including carrying out inspections, opening channels for public complaints and establishing a blacklist system. Government accountability is the newest call of the State Council at its executive meeting.

Provincial, municipal and county-level officials will be held accountable for unpaid wages owed to migrant workers within their jurisdictions, it was decided at the meeting.

In many cases, migrant workers aren’t paid due to local government defaulting on pay for contractors on government projects. Making it clear that government is accountable can regulate government power and reduce the chances of migrant workers not being paid.

During the meeting the State Council also urged accelerating the establishment of a coordination network to address wage arrears among governments in different regions.

With the Premier’s efforts, local government should earnestly safeguard the interests of workers while making efforts to streamline government administration, and transform government functions, so as to unleash the creativity of the society.