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Migrant workers still face salary struggles

2014-05-14 08:52 Global Times Web Editor: Li Yan


Chinese migrant workers are still struggling to obtain proper social security as over 2 million of them had their payment deferred last year, and only 40 percent of them have signed labor contracts, a report released Monday showed.

The survey, conducted by the National Bureau of Statistics in 2013, saw an increase of 0.3 percentage points in wage delay among migrant laborers in China. This affected around 2 million or 0.8 percent of them among the total 270 million such workers across the country.

Statistics also show only around 40 percent of the workers signed formal contracts with their employers in 2013. The percentage of work-related injury insurance, the insurance with the highest participation rate among migrant workers, did not reach 30 percent.

The average monthly wage of migrant workers was 2,609 yuan ($419) in 2013, an increase of 13.9 percent or 319 yuan compared to 2012 figures. The salary of workers in transport, logistics and the postal industry is the highest, earning 3,133 yuan monthly, stated the report.

Long working hours is another problem the migrant workers faced last year, with 84.7 percent working for more than 44 hours every week. Workers in the wholesale and catering industry worked on average over 12 hours per day.

The report also showed the promising prospects of migrant workers, as the younger generation are better educated and earn more than their parents. One-third of young migrant workers born after 1980 hold a senior high school diploma or higher, 19.2 percentage points more than the older generation. The survey also showed they spent an average of 939 yuan per month last year, 19.3 percent higher than the older generation.

The number of young migrant workers totaled 125.28 million last year, accounting for 65.5 percent of the rural work force born after 1980. The younger generation prefers to work in bigger cities, as 54.9 percent of them seek jobs in big- and medium-sized cities, as compared with 26 percent for the older generation.

Along with the rise in education level among young migrant workers, employees in China have become more active in fighting for labor rights.

In April, thousands of workers in Dongguan, South China's Guangdong province, protested against Yue Yuen, one of the world's largest shoe manufacturers, demanding legal and valid contracts and better social security benefits.

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