The Shenzhen government punished 886 companies for failing to pay their workers on time last year. A spokesman for the municipal Bureau of Labour and Social Security said it had inspected 21,157 companies in the city last year in a campaign to protect workers' welfare. The authorities found more than 2,000 companies had not been paying their workers on time, with about 300,000 workers affected by the delays. They were owed a total of 264 million yuan. The bureau said most of the workers had successfully claimed back their salaries with its help. It fined the 886 companies a total of 11 million yuan for regularly delaying salary payments to workers. Shenzhen factories experienced a number of strikes last year, many prompted by workers' pay complaints. Hong Yi , a migrant worker from Sichuan employed in an electronic appliances factory, said his wages were often not paid on time. 'Sometimes they did not pay me for months and I had to borrow from friends to get by. But now I really need to get my money back because I will go home to see my parents over the [Lunar] New Year. I need to take money back home.' Bureau director Guan Lingen said between 70 and 100 complaints had been received daily since a hotline for workers was set up in November. Mr Guan said the bureau would carry out a similar campaign before the Lunar New Year next month to ensure workers were paid on time.