Chinese jailed for not paying workers

January 15th, 2012 - 7:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Jan 15 (IANS) A 23-year-old Chinese construction contractor has been jailed for one-and-a-half-years for not paying wages to 47 workers.

This was the first time a jail term has been handed down in Shenzhen city since non-payment of wages was listed as a crime last May, the People’s Daily reported.

Xu Shijun was found guilty by a court of not using the money he received from a client to pay over 208,000 yuan (around $33,000) in wages he owed to the workers.

China amended its criminal law to allow judicial authorities to jail employers who withhold payments from their employees.

An official said the city administration said a total of 6,196 workers from 60 companies received 31 million yuan (around $5 million) in compensation through a fund last year.

The fund set up in 1997 was China’s first insolvency fund designed to protect workers. A local company must contribute 400 yuan each year to the fund. If the business goes bankrupt or a supervisor absconds with money owed to employees, employees who have not received wages can obtain compensation from the fund.

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