Zheng Guangwen had mixed feelings when the state-of-the-art Capital Airport's terminal three (T3) opened in Beijing at the end of March. Mr Zheng, 27, had left his home in Sichuan province five years ago to join the army of migrant construction workers that have spruced up Beijing for the Olympics with their labour. He recalled feeling thrilled when he was asked last September to help complete the exterior of T3 - the gateway that would greet the numerous tourists expected to flood into the mainland for the Games. He said he called 16 friends from home to help him with the project. 'I was hoping to contribute my share to the construction of the Olympics,' Mr Zheng said. But his excitement was short-lived. Shortly into the job, one of his men fell off scaffolding and broke his leg. The main contractor, Beijing Jingyi Weiye Stainless Steel Decorations, had subcontracted installation of the scaffolding to an outside firm and denied responsibility for the worker's injury. No contracts between the workers and the subcontractor were signed and Jingyi Weiye had not taken out workplace insurance - as required by law. Several months later the company finally paid 45,000 yuan (HK$50,270) to the injured worker, after he sued the firm at the Labour Tribunal. But a Mr Chen, who was in charge of the workers, said he had no money left to pay the rest of the workers, who were still owed a total of 30,000 yuan in wages. The company's boss, surnamed Zuo, referred enquiries to a contractor the company had hired, but whose contact details he didn't have. Mr Zheng, who is still paying rent for three adjacent rooms in a building on the southern outskirts of the capital, which used to house up to 10 men he recruited for his team, is now living by himself, getting by on odd jobs and spending most of his time chasing the money owed to him. He is liaising with the local legal aid department in the hopes of bringing a claim against Jingyi Weiye. But Mr Zheng needs a signed legal aid application form from each of the men he hired, many of whom did not return to Beijing after the Lunar New Year holiday and who have since been calling him about their money. Apart from bringing his friends to Beijing, his wife and their one-year-old baby daughter followed him to the capital in February hoping to find a job so the family could be together again. His wife was earning about 1,000 yuan a month at a shoe factory in Hunan province , but could not find any openings in Beijing matching that salary as there were few factories left in the city and restaurant pay there was low. Mr Zheng said there seemed to be fewer people coming to Beijing looking for jobs this year, and some of his friends had left the capital as most of the construction projects for the Games had already been completed. Beijing retailers, meanwhile, have complained about the difficulties of finding workers this year, which they say are happening because wages in the areas where migrants come from have gone up, and tighter security controls targeting migrants are further hampering their efforts to hire new staff. As for Mr Zheng, he said: 'I want to go home, it's too hard to find a job here now. But how can I go home without [my friends'] money?' Feeling responsible for the men's plight, Mr Zheng said he had given 10,000 yuan of his savings to the men. With just three months to go before the Olympics began, Mr Zheng said he no longer cared about one of the world's grandest sporting events. 'I should be happy because it is not easy for us to host the Olympics,' he said. 'But how can someone burdened by debts be cheerful?' The withholding of wages is something that has affected many of the mainland's migrant workers, especially those in the construction industry. The government has vowed to take action against companies that flout their responsibilities. Mr Zheng said he thought Beijing was already better than other mainland cities in this regard, but he still planned to leave the capital to work in Hunan once he received all the money he and his friends were owed. But was not optimistic about the future. 'If this can happen in Beijing, what hope do we have for other cities? It'll make no difference.'