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Guangdong workers get guaranteed wage levels
Latest Updated by 2006-09-01 09:45:29
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Guangdong government has issued new minimum wage standards, effective from today, covering the province, news that is being welcomed by migrant workers who are employed there.

Guangdong Labour and Social Security Department (LSSD) has set new wage levels for different areas, which have different levels of economic development.

The minimum wage ranges from a high of 780 yuan (US$96.18) a month in Guangzhou to the lowest rate in rural regions of 450 yuan (US$55.49) a month.

Shenzhen is not subject to the salary standards.

Zhao Xiaobing, who works at a private umbrella factory in Guangzhou's Panyu District, currently earns a salary of 690 yuan (US$85.08) per month.

The 21-year-old, from East China's Jiangxi Province, earns extra money from overtime payments, and gets subsidies for his lodgings and meals.

"I know nothing about the new minimum wage and my boss has not yet said anything about it," he said. "Nevertheless, I'm happy as I'll be able to earn at least 90 yuan (US$11.1) more a month."

A few moments later, Zhao's joy turned to concern.

"What if my boss does not raise my salary as required?" he asked.

Deng Yaojun, a deputy director of LSSD's labour and salary division, said the provincial authorities would keep a close eye on the implementation of the scheme.

"Those who are not paid as required can make complaints to local labour and social security bureaus, trade unions or arbitration agencies," Deng said. "The authorities will be tough about carrying out the new policy."

China's laws stipulate that employers have to pay compensation if they break labour laws.

They can be fined 5,000 yuan (US$616) to 500,000 yuan (US$61,652).

Chen Haiyang, boss of a small garment factory in Guangzhou's Tianhe District, said the new wage rate would impose a heavy burden on his business.

"I'll have to raise the monthly salary of each of my 30-odd workers by about 100 yuan (US$12.33), which means a labour cost increase of about 4,000 yuan (US$493.22) per month against my very slim profit margin," Chen said.

"I dare not break the regulation, I'll consider moving out of Guangzhou to another smaller city if I can not manage my business here."

Editor: Yan

By: Zhan Lisheng Source: China Daily Website
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