Wuhan trade union signs collective contract for 450,000 catering workers

04 May 2011
In what is reportedly the largest collective wage agreement ever negotiated by a Chinese trade union, 450,000 catering workers in the central city of Wuhan will be guaranteed a monthly wage at least 30 percent higher than the city’s statutory minimum wage, currently 900 yuan in urban areas and 750 yuan in the suburbs.

In addition, the cooks, waiters, dishwashers etc. covered by the agreement should receive an annual pay raise of nine percent each year, the official media reported on 3 May.

However, the agreement needs to be ratified by the Wuhan government and there is no guarantee that the municipal labour authorities will be able to enforce the agreement in the small-scale enterprises that currently pay the lowest wages in the industry.

In Jiaxing, just outside Shanghai, meanwhile, the local trade union announced that all of city’s enterprises with an annual production value of more than 20 million yuan, some 6,110 enterprises in all, had already signed collective agreements this year to increase employees’ wages by an average of 15 percent. Average wages for production line workers in the city were around 1,800 yuan per month at the beginning of the year, the Jiaxing Daily reported on 4 May.

And in Hainan, the provincial trade union plans to increase the number of enterprise unions on the island by 8,000 over the next three years, bringing the total union coverage to more than 85 percent of all workers in the province. Hainan has many small-scale enterprises in the tourism industry etc. employing just a handful of workers. For example, the union said it would create more than 3,000 enterprise unions this year but just 35,000 new members.
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