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Defaulting Wage Payment Should Be Incriminated

Serious default on wage payment should be listed as an offence in an effort to bar corporate executives from doing such things, proposed a Chinese lawmaker on Tuesday.

"The chronic problem of wage defaulting encroaches upon the property rights of rural laborers and is prone to triggering unrest, desperate actions and social unrest," said Fang Chaogui, a deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC), during the ongoing annual NPC session.

"It's unfair that an employee is deemed as a criminal if he illegally takes 20,000 yuan (about US$2,410) of corporate property as his own under existing laws and regulations, but companies are free and unchecked from legal accountabilities even when they default on the payment of millions or even tens of millions of yuan of wages," said Fang.

That's a loophole in the legal system that has to be filled to intensify the protection of the disadvantaged people, Fang said.

Million upon million of migrant laborers have had a hard time in getting back their defaulted wages, with the sum estimated at nearly 100 billion yuan (some US$12 billion) annually in recent years. So the rural laborers working in cities are hit hardest.

The State Council, the central government, last year launched amass drive to get back defaulted wages for rural migrant laborers in the field of construction, which reclaimed a combined sum of 33.1 billion yuan (some US$4 billion).
(Xinhua News Agency March 8, 2005)

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