Local laws promote collective wage negotiation in China

By Ren Zhongxi
0 CommentsPrint E-mail China.org.cn, June 10, 2010
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The All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) announced on June 8 that a national wage determination mechanism has been set up along with a system of collective wage negotiation. The ACFTU said it hopes as workers' wages increase along with industry profits, it will lead to a more stable society.

ACFTU's statistics show at the end of 2009 there were 512,000 collective-wage contracts for about 61.77 million workers. In Zhejiang Province, where the private economic sector is full-fledged, collective-wage contracts reach 132,200 companies and about 6.68 million people. It's expected to cover more than 70 percent of companies in the area.

Vice President of Zhejiang Provincial Federation of Trade Unions Jin Changzheng said the achievement was due to comprehensive policies and laws such as the Zhejiang Province collective contracts regulations, which was issued in recent years. They clearly define collective contracts, regulate enterprises, and lay the legal foundation for collective wage negotiation.

According to the ACFTU, laws and administrative regulations are the most effective ways to promote collective wage negotiation. At present, 13 provinces have issued regulations and 23 provinces have local laws regarding collective contracts. In Beijing municipal government's Suggestions to Improve Trade Union's Work, the city aims to sign collective labor contracts in more than 95 percent of companies by 2012. And more than 75 percent of companies are required to establish collective wage negotiation systems by then.

Trade unions at all levels are attempting to improve collective wage negotiation, especially the wage variations among industries. The Shanghai Textile Trade Union cooperates with the Shanghai Federation of Trade Unions and has sought negotiation partners. Collective wage negotiation has been used by most textile companies in Shanghai.

Negotiation generates good results. On the one side, workers' wages rise. Workers in the Hedong district of Tianjin earn 10 to 22 percent more than before. Moreover, the system creates enthusiasm among workers about their jobs. Chifeng Baoshan Energy, in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, has seen passion from its staff since the implementation of collective negotiation in 2006. Workers' suggestions alone have brought about 1 million yuan (US$146,000) additional profit to the company.

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