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Factory workers' wages just 68 percent of urban average, ACFTU survey says

Factory workers in China earn just 68 percent of the average wage level of all urban employees, according to a survey conducted by the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) last year.

In its 2005 survey, the ACFTU interviewed 10,000 workers in 10 provinces, said Dong Li, head of the Auditing Committee of the ACFTU.

The survey also showed that 12.7 percent of those interviewed received wages lower than the minimum wage level recommended by governments in their areas. According to figures from the National Statistics Bureau, the average annual wage level of urban employees was 18,405 yuan in 2005.

Dong pointed out that according to international standards, the minimum wage level should be between 40 and 60 percent of the average wage level of the local community, but only five provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities in China had reached this level.

In addition, only 18 of China's 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities included workers' social security payments when considering the minimum wage level in their local areas. According to the "Regulations on Minimum Wages in Enterprises" which was implemented in 2004, when the government adjusts the minimum wage level, it should include the payments made by employees to their pension insurance, medical insurance, unemployment insurance and housing funds.

Source: China Women's Daily (14 March 2006)

25 May 2006