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January 13, 2012

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At long last, migrants get back pay

MORE than 140 migrant workers received back pay totaling nearly 1.5 million yuan (US$237,402) yesterday at the Minhang District People's Court before heading back to their hometowns to celebrate family reunions for the Chinese New Year.

The workers entered the court hall to get their long-awaited pay and left with smiles. Zhu Yingying, a migrant worker from neighboring Jiangsu Province, said she had all but given up on getting the money before leaving Shanghai.

"I had been ready for a bad ending. I told my family that I could have worked for nothing during the past several months," said Zhu.

She was one of the 100 migrant workers from Shang-hai Jiarun Food Co, which announced a halt to production and dismissed all workers on November 10 last year, leaving them without months of back pay. The company was ordered to pay more than 900,000 yuan to 100 workers but its boss ran off, and the seized money of about 380,000 yuan was far short of what was needed.

Many migrant workers said they would be ashamed to go back home if they were empty-handed. "We worked hard throughout the year just for this moment when we could bring some money and gifts back to our home," said Zhu.

The court applied for a security fund from the Minhang District human resource and social security bureau to pay for the back wages in advance so they could enjoy a good Chinese New Year.

Another 41 migrant workers from Shanghai Zhenmei Printing Co also got their unpaid wages of more than 500,000 yuan, with 260,000 of it coming from the security funds.


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