Migrant Workers Warned about the Perils of Being Cheated

March 13, 2005

The Ministry of Labor has warned migrant laborers to avoid signing four kinds of employment contracts, according to a report in the China Youth Daily. First, a contract is not valid unless a worker signs it directly with the principal employer or work unit. Second, contracts that do not provide benefits if a worker is injured or dies are invalid. Third, workers should avoid oral contracts because they cannot be verified when a labor dispute arises. Fourth, workers should carefully study any standard contract to which a prospective employer has added clauses that are unreasonable.

In Heilongjiang, provincial officials also apparently want to ensure that employers do not cheat migrant workers through deals with "shady intermediaries." According to the Legal Daily, criminals promising to help workers find jobs often swindle them instead. Provincial officials promise to investigate and prosecute such criminals and urge workers who have been cheated to call the provincial Industry and Commerce Bureau to report the incidents.