Farmers' Daily has campaigned on behalf of unpaid labourers, but is now under attack More than 60 migrant workers protested yesterday outside the Beijing office of an official newspaper dedicated to farmers, demanding they be paid overdue wages for working on the building. They said about 120 workers were owed up to 400,000 yuan for their work on the new office building of the Farmers' Daily, a publication which has been an advocate of farmers' rights and has run stories on the plight of migrant workers who are owed wages. 'We just feel helpless now. This is a newspaper for farmers, but we can't get our salaries for working for them,' said Zhang Hua , a construction worker from Henan province . 'We all want to go back to our home towns for Lunar New Year. No one wants to wait here [outside the office building]. It's very cold. But we can't go home unless we're paid.' Ms Zhang said it was the workers' fourth attempt to stage a sit-in outside the newspaper's office since the new building was completed late last year. Most of the workers came from Hebei , Jiangsu , Henan and Sichuan , she said. A police car was seen stationed outside the office block. The newspaper said it was not responsible for any wage arrears because it had already paid 1.35 million yuan - 40,000 yuan more than it had been required to do - to the contractor, Gaobeidu Construction Co, for workers' salaries. The workers said they had been hired by a subcontractor called Jiangdu Construction. An official from the newspaper said last night that a meeting with the contractor and subcontractor was held yesterday to resolve the issue and the matter was settled when the contractor paid 100,000 yuan to the subcontractor in wages for the workers. It was not immediately known if the workers had been paid. Their protest outside the newspaper's Chaoyang district office came as the official English-language China Daily reported yesterday that Beijing was planning to set up a fund to ensure migrant workers received their wages. It said the government would make it compulsory this year for employers around the nation to deposit money into the fund. Quoting Vice-Minister of Labour and Social Security Hu Xiaoyi , the report said the system was set up to prevent employers from delaying workers' payments or cheating them. Mr Hu told an online forum on the central government's website on Friday that the ministry aimed to have all migrant workers sign contracts with their employers by the end of next year. He added that workers would also be encouraged to join trade unions to negotiate with employers and sign collective contracts. Unpaid workers commonly stage protests and sit-ins to recover back-pay, especially in the run-up to Lunar New Year when most plan to return home.