The number of worker protests in China fell, as expected, last month because of the Lunar New Year holiday. Nevertheless, almost as soon as the week-long break concluded, workers went out on strike again.
The statutory minimum wage in the eastern province of Zhejiang will increase by 12.2 percent on 1 January next year to reach 1,470 yuan per month in major cities such as Hangzhou, Wenzhou and Ningbo. The move will put more pressure on Guangdong, Zhejiang’s main manufacturing rival, to announce a similar increase early next year. Photograph of garment workshop in Guangdong by CLB.
Workers at the Shanghai supermarkets of French retail giant Carrefour will get a 7.5 percent pay increase under an agreement negotiated by the trade union and management. The agreement also includes a bonus for employees who have worked at the company for more than one year, as well as medical benefits.
Migrant workers are a lot happier working in relatively smaller cities away from China’s traditional factory to the world, the Pearl River delta, according to a new study conducted by the People’s University of China (中国人民大学).
Shanghai will increase its monthly minimum wage on 1 April from 1,280 yuan to 1,450 yuan, an increase of just over 13 percent, the Chinese media reported today. The increase will make Shanghai’s minimum wage the second highest in the country after Shenzhen.
China said the number of people living in cities exceeded the rural population for the first time, a historic shift that experts said would put a strain on society and the environment. The change marks a turning point for China, which for centuries was a mainly agrarian nation but has witnessed a huge population shift to cities over the past three decades as people seek to benefit from rapid economic growth.