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December 21, 2011

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Workers blockade offices to get paid

HUNDREDS of migrant workers blockaded four office buildings in the Hongqiao area yesterday morning, demanding unpaid wages from the buildings' developers.

The workers began gathering in front of the buildings on Jinzhong Road in the Shanghai Hongqiao Linkong Business Park about 8am. The blockage prevented officials and office workers from entering their workplaces, leaving them shivering in the cold wind, said a staffer at CBI China, a company based in one of the buildings.

"Some of my colleagues had to enter an old office building of the company to take shelter from the wind," she said.

The protesters dispersed about 8:30am when police arrived, she said.

An official with the business park's management committee, surnamed Jiang, said the developer owed money to the contractors, who in turn organized the migrant workers to exert pressure on the developer to pay up.

Jiang said the contractors had sued the developer and a local court was handling the case. She declined to name the developer. The buildings were completed last year.

The management committee will continue coordinating with the two parties to avoid similar incidents, Jiang said.

Local watchdogs said yesterday they were increasing collaboration to help migrant workers get paid.

Police and labor and construction officials said they would speed up probes into salary complaints by migrants and help them track down the employers to receive the unpaid salaries.

Such complaints typically surge before Spring Festival, or the Lunar New Year, as migrant workers seek to get their unpaid salaries before they leave the city for hometowns to celebrate the long holiday.


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