Workers' wages failing to keep pace with inflation, says CTU survey

PUBLISHED : Monday, 29 April, 2013, 3:22pm
UPDATED : Monday, 29 April, 2013, 4:30pm

Seventy-five per cent of grassroots workers’ pay adjustments last year did not keep pace with inflation, according to a survey by the Confederation of Trade Unions released on Monday.

The pay situation was worse than in 2011 when only 60 per cent of workers faced the same problem.

The CTU survey, which interviewed 364 workers between January and March, found that only 26 per cent of them had wage increases higher than inflation last year, that is, above the 3.6 per cent increase in consumer price index. Two-thirds of those interviewed had their pay frozen.

The economy has improved, but workers’ wages remain the same
Mung Siu-tat, CTU chief executive

Forty per cent of the interviewees said this level of wage increase was frustrating.

In the CTU's 2011 survey conducted last year, around 40 per cent of workers’ wages kept pace with inflation, while only a third of workers had a pay freeze.

The CTU called for the government to introduce a collective bargaining law to give workers more bargaining power with their employers.

“The adverse effects of not having the law have become more obvious in recent years. The economy has improved, but workers’ wages remain the same and their livelihood saw no improvement,” said CTU chief executive Mung Siu-tat.

The survey also found that 42 per cent of the interviewees disagreed with the statement “My company’s treatment of me gives me a sense of belonging.” Forty-four per cent said they hoped their employer would share their profits with them.

One of the main issues in the current month-long Kwai Tsing dock workers' strike is that their wages have failed to keep pace with inflation.