Deputies at Two Sessions call for greater protection for migrant workers

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Leaders at the annual Two Sessions political meetings in Beijing are calling for greater protection of migrant workers. Migrant workers often deal with unpaid wages and serious health risks.

CGTN’s Han Bin reports that it’s hard for them to get their voices heard.

Deputies at Two Sessions call for greater protection for migrant workers

Deputies at Two Sessions call for greater protection for migrant workers

Leaders at the annual Two Sessions political meetings in Beijing are calling for greater protection of migrant workers. Migrant workers often deal with unpaid wages and serious health risks. CGTN’s Han Bin reports that it’s hard for them to get their voices heard.
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China’s rapid urbanization has driven a huge flow of rural laborers into factories and construction sites. Injuries and non-payment of wages have been the biggest problems.

Zhou Litai, a lawyer who works with migrant workers, is all too familiar with the situation. In one day, more than 100 migrant workers from a shoe factory came to him for legal help. They said the company owes them four months’ wages, and the boss has disappeared.

Zhou said these days migrant workers are more aware of their legal rights. For the past 20 years, he’s dealt with over 10,000 cases from migrant workers.

“China has enacted quite a number of laws to protect workers’ rights, but the companies would not profit much if they strictly abided by the laws,” Zhou said. “So, many of [the companies] are escaping the laws at the cost of sacrificing workers’ interests and rights, especially because of the economic downturn. Some local governments have interfered in the judicial process to protect economic growth.”

Despite China’s rapidly growing legal industry, migrant workers still find it difficult to gain access to the judicial system and win cases.