US fast food giant McDonald's yesterday said it will raise the
salaries of its workers, including part-time employees at its
800-odd Chinese outlets, effective from September 1.
About 95 percent of McDonald's China "crew" will see a pay rise
by 12 to 56 percentage points, or an average of 30 percent, said
Jeffrey Schwartz, CEO of McDonald's (China) Co Ltd.
The rest 5 percent are already being "paid very well".
McDonald's has broadly three types of employees: crew, or the
non-managerial staff serving at its outlets; managers; and
"We have raised salaries in China many times but this is the
first time there is such a large increase covering so many people,"
The announcement comes a few months after media reports about
McDonald's and other foreign fast food operators such as KFC paying
their part-time staff less than the local minimum wages.
But Schwartz said the company's decision to raise pay has
nothing to do with the pay-related bad press it has been getting.
"We have been looking at a wage increase for a year. The issue
(reports of low pay) only reminded us that we need to move more
Under the new wage initiative, salaries of McDonald's "crew"
across China will be "much higher than the local minimum
"It will be 15 percent higher in both Beijing and Guangzhou, and
12 percent higher in Shanghai," said Susanna Li, vice-president of
McDonald's China human resources.
Though the labor bureau of South China's Guangdong Province
clarified in June that McDonald's has complied with the regulations
set by the local government, the issue of underpaying part-time
employees has dented the company's brand image.
And that's the last thing McDonald's would like to see.
"China contributes 2 percent of McDonald's global sales, which
is a significant progress. Annually, McDonald's opens 100 new
stores in China," Schwartz said.
"We don't want to be thought of in that (negative) way. We want
to be the best employer in China."
McDonald's managers, who account for 14 percent of its total
local staff, are not included in the wage increase program, but
they have benefited from the "profit-award program" that started
In 2006, 80 percent of the US fast food giant's Chinese managers
got a bonus of up to twice their annual salary.
(China Daily August 7, 2007)