Mainland labour 'abused'
Solely owned foreign factories on the mainland are forcing employees to work excessive hours for low wages, the Workers Daily reported in an attack on South Korean investors.
A trade union in Weihai, Shandong province, conducted a survey of solely foreign-owned enterprises in the city and discovered that up to 36 per cent of the workforce spent nine to 12 hours a day working. The majority of investors in the region are South Korean.
Although their average salary is a little bit higher than in collectively owned factories, the real hourly payment is lower, it reported. Much of their income comes from working overtime.
The paper reported the enterprises were forcing their staff to put in long hours of overtime in a rush to meet deadlines. Those factories that implemented piece-rate payment have reduced the payment for each piece to force the workers to work longer in order to get a satisfactory wage.
Only two enterprises gave their employees a 700 yuan (about HK$650) monthly wage while the average was 430 yuan. The lowest annual wages in South Korea in 1994 were about US$5,000 but the average salary of workers of solely owned foreign enterprises last year was 5,300 yuan.
It went on to explain that Shandong province had failed to implement its own regulations requiring foreign investors to pay out a certain percentage of the average salary paid to equivalent workers in their own countries.
The paper said the rights of mainland workers are being trampled because trade union bosses in Shandong are being paid more than a thousand yuan a month.