Minimum Wage

High minimum wage kills jobs and makes poor worse off

US President Barack Obama's move to raise the minimum wage for new federal contract workers may kill jobs in the country. Photo: AP

US President Barack Obama set the chattering classes abuzz after his unilateral decision to raise the minimum wage for newly hired federal contract workers.

Tuesday, 1 April, 2014, 3:21am 7 comments

Civil engineer Simon Wong built a small family restaurant business into a HK$1 billion company

From the moment Simon Wong took over the family-run restaurant business, he has only one thing on his mind - change. Photo: Thomas Yau

Simon Wong Kit-lung is an executive director of restaurant management firm LHGroup. Under his management, the company has grown to 30 restaurants, including Banqueting House and Gyu-Kaku, and has more than HK$1 billion in annual turnover. Wong is the son of one of the company's founders.

25 Jan 2014 - 5:14am

Letters to the Editor, June 19, 2013

Tony Blair: "laughable" vision of spirituality. Photo: Bloomberg

Snowden saga reveals true human nature

Edward Snowden has revealed what we all know, that governments spy.

Whilst we all happily watch 007 and Jason Bourne and marvel at their antics, we take affront when the faceless reach of any government invades our own privacy.

19 Jun 2013 - 1:26am 5 comments

Rising wages and doubts over reform dent business optimism in China

A textile factory in Linhai. Photo: Reuters

European companies are more pessimistic about profits in China because of rising labour costs and a lack of confidence in reforms, a survey has found. Foreign investors' shrinking confidence may not bode well for the country's growth in the long run unless the new leadership can further liberalise the market, analysts have warned.

31 May 2013 - 10:06am 1 comment

Sociologist Lu Xueyi dies aged 79

Lu Xueyi. Photo: Xinhua

Lu Xueyi , a prominent sociologist and rural expert with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, died on Monday at the age of 79.

15 May 2013 - 4:45am

In Hong Kong, this Labour Day lives up to its name

A security guard keeps vigil in front of containers as dockers continue their strike. Photo: AFP

Hong Kong workers marking the Labour Day with protests is nothing new. As in the past, they take to the streets with different demands - higher wages, better benefits and job protection. This year, the tension between workers and bosses seems particularly intense, partly fuelled by the dock workers' strike that has been dragging on for a month.

1 May 2013 - 6:27am

Minimum wage rise won't help city's poorest, figures show

Lam Wai-kau, a cleaning worker, in his cramped Sham Shui Po attic room. Government figures indicate the hourly minimum wage increase will do little to better the lives of the city's bottom earners. Photo: May Tse

The figures also show that the number of vacancies in sectors such as cleaning and catering has gone up dramatically since the law came into effect in May 2011, as workers in those fields quit to take up less physically demanding jobs when the pay levels became similar as a result of the wage floor. Restaurant bosses said this had made it difficult to maintain staffing levels.

1 May 2013 - 5:47am

Minimum wage has had minimum effect for working families, Oxfam says

Members of People's Alliance for Minimum Wage call for a raise in September. Photo: Felix Wong

Based on figures from the Census and Statistics Department, the report said that in the fourth quarter of last year, over 170,000 families who were being supported by at least one working person were living in poverty. These families had a monthly income that was less than half the median average among other families of the same size.

30 Apr 2013 - 7:40am

Wealth gap is widening, union group warns

After interviewing 364 low-paid workers from January to March, the CTU found that 26 per cent had wage increases above the 3.6 per cent rise in consumer prices last year

The benefits of the minimum wage are wearing off for the lowest-paid workers, a union group says. This is shown by the fact that the lowest-paid had an average wage increase less than that of general workers - the reverse of 2011 when the statutory minimum wage law took effect - the Confederation of Trade Unions said yesterday.

30 Apr 2013 - 5:25am

Letters to the Editor, April 29, 2013

Green schemes are thriving in estates. Photo: K. Y. Cheng

The Housing Authority has in fact undertaken various waste recycling initiatives in recent years and is committed to reducing waste in its public housing estates through different waste recycling and education programmes.

29 Apr 2013 - 2:06am

Minimum wage to rise 19pc in Guangzhou

The latest wage adjustment would bring the monthly salary of a general worker in Guangzhou to 1,550 yuan. Photo: EPA

The provincial government's announcement yesterday startled some local manufacturers who expected the rate to be about 15 per cent, but others said the increase would have little effect as they had already been paying more than that.

7 Feb 2013 - 5:16am

Wage increase to push Hong Kong factories out of Pearl delta

A factory in Guangdong. The province's Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security will announce its wage increase plans after the Lunar New Year. Photo: Reuters

Hong Kong manufacturers operating in the Pearl River Delta may speed up relocating their factories elsewhere as the minimum wage in Guangdong is expected to nearly double the province's gross domestic product growth this year.

6 Feb 2013 - 5:58am

Letters to the Editor, January 24, 2013

Thick smog above an elevated highway in Beijing. Photo: EPA

Wage-rate hike will threaten small retailers

The statutory minimum wage was supposed to raise living standards for the poor, making it worthwhile for people to work. However, it has fuelled inflation as businesses pass on the higher costs to consumers.

24 Jan 2013 - 5:32am 1 comment

Leung must balance people's needs with a free economy

Leung must balance people's needs with a free economy

Holding an enviable world title for almost two decades in an increasingly competitive global environment is a remarkable achievement. So there is every reason for Hong Kong to take pride in being named the freest economy for the 19th straight year. The top ranking is a welcome affirmation that we continue to be the most business-friendly economy.

19 Jan 2013 - 4:16am 1 comment

Nike investigates Indonesian suppliers over wage abuse

Nike shoes displayed at a shop in Jakarta. The US sporting goods giant is investigating claims its manufacturers in Indonesia are not paying workers properly. Photo: AFP

US sporting goods giant Nike said on Tuesday it was investigating claims by labour activists that its manufacturers in Indonesia were trying to evade paying its workers the minimum wage.

“Nike takes these claims seriously and company representatives are investigating the claims,” global corporate communications director Greg Rossiter said.

15 Jan 2013 - 4:44pm