China's 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities have set up minimum wage systems and all, except the Tibet Autonomous Region, have issued a minimum wage, said Zhang Mingqi, member of the secretariat of the All-China Federation of Trade Unions Sunday.
Zhang said this at a promotion campaign on implementing minimum wage regulations that were issued on March 1.
"The promotion aims to help the masses to have a better understanding of the rules, thus to better protect themselves," said Zhang, "It also plays the role of supervising enterprises obeying the rule."
The new rules apply to employees of many different types of organizations, including enterprises, government offices and individually run firms.
Enterprises that pay the minimum wage will be ordered to pay back pay as well as a fine of one to five times compensation than the payment owned, said Hua Fuzhou, vice minister of Labor and Social Security.
To date, 30 regions of China's mainland have instituted the minimum wage system, with Shenzhen boasting the highest monthly level of 600 yuan (about 73 US dollars), Shanghai 570 yuan (69 dollars) and Beijing 495 yuan (60 dollars).
Raising the minimum wage shows the government's focus on alleviating the plight of low-income groups, said Yi Dinghong, professor of the People's University of China in Beijing.
(Xinhua News Agency July 26, 2004)