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Migrants get compensation

Migrants get compensation  

Fourteen migrants in Shenzhen, who contracted black lung disease due to inadequate safety precautions at work, have been compensated by the social security fund, Xinhua reports.

The workers, who are among dozens demanding compensation, were paid more than two million yuan, says a Shenzhen Municipal Trade Union spokesman.

Zhong Jiaquan, one of the victims, says the payments ranged from 20,000 to 280,000 yuan (HK$22,709 to HK$317,931) each. "It depends on how serious their case is."

But four others, including Zhong, have yet to be compensated as they are not covered by the social security programme in Shenzhen. Their employers have refused to compensate them.

The workers, who first showed symptoms of lung disease in September, blamed inadequate protection in highly-polluting workplaces. Their jobs involved drilling and blasting. 


Economic gap narrows  

The economic gap between the eastern and western parts of the mainland has narrowed since 2004, Xinhua reports.

A Tsinghua University study shows that since 1990, the difference between the regions in terms of per capita GDP peaked in 2004 and then narrowed.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the  industrial added value in central and western regions grew  17 per cent in 2008, outpacing the growth in the eastern part of the mainland by six percentage points.

Hu Angang, the report's project leader and director of the Centre for China Study at Tsinghua University, attributes the improvement to the government's strategies to develop the west, revitalise central China and reform rural areas. But problems, such as a lack of labour, remain in these areas, Hu says.

In the past decade, more than three trillion yuan has been poured into strengthening the financial sector in the west. During the downturn, the government also directed a large portion of its stimulus package to these areas.


Talk on firms and NGOs  

How can companies use the experience and expertise of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in their business?

The American Chamber of Commerce will organise a talk on Friday that sheds light on how, by establishing partnerships with NGOs, firms can positively impact their community investment.

Examples of tools and strategies include marketing that links social causes with positive impact on top-line sales, and support given to disaster relief in markets where a company has customers and employees to help return the market to normalcy more quickly. The speaker will be Brad Masterson, national director of corporate development, GIK and US programmes, at World Vision United States. He is responsible for enhancing the reputation of the NGO with key business leaders. Find out more at