not interested in exploitive wages
via WikipediaMarket Watch is reporting, very briefly, on the plan by Guangdong Province to lift wages of all employees by 12 percent this year. It is part of a bigger plan by provincial officials to improve the employment situation, as is here reported by the official news agency Xinhua. The plan is to create 1.2 million news jobs and give migrant workers a more equal position.
The story is neatly packed in politically-correct parlance on the new Labor Contract Law, but the ongoing shortage of migrant workers to fuel Guangdong's export might be a bigger cause for concern. Since a few years economic hotbeds in southern China do not attract enough migrant workers for their manufactering operations.
An improved situation at the country side have offered many migrant workers an alternative from working in China's booming export industry. A report by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) found that old assumption on the number of available migrant workers, typically estimated between 150 and 200 million, was only slight more than 50 million.
The report saw in 2009 a new turning point where the shortage for migrant workers would be a nationwide problem, not only limited to southern China. That means that provinces will have to rely on their existing labor force more than in the past. Those local could only be enticed to do this work for a higher salary and better working conditions.
Many of the manufactering operations in Guangdong has such small margins, they could not afford any change in the pay structure, unless it would be enforced for the whole province, like Guangdong is now proposing for pay rises.