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20 Migrant Workers Win 'Labor Medal'

The All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) has pinned 1,024 "labor medals" on individuals, including 20 migrant workers, as International Labor Day looms.

Labor medals are the highest honor an ordinary Chinese worker can attain.

"We must look after the hundreds of millions of working people in this country," said Wang Zhaoguo, chairman of ACFTU, at the award ceremony held here Saturday, while calling on workers to play a major role in the development of the national economy. 

Twenty of the medalists are migrant workers, two more than in 2006. Bao Xianfeng was the first migrant worker to win the honor in 2004.

The award of "labor medals" to migrant workers is seen as an acknowledgement by society of its respect for migrant workers.

The "labor medal" medalists can go on to be selected as "labor heroes," an honor issued by the State Council, or the central government.

China has about 200 million migrant workers, many working in arduous and insecure conditions for meagre wages.

Latest statistics show that 26.8 million migrant workers were covered by work injury insurance at the end of March, and 24.1 million had medical insurance.

(Xinhua News Agency April 29, 2007)

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