Sunday, April 08, 2007

Competition overload

KFC and McDonalds in Guangdong are under fire for paying part-time employees below minimum wage rates (about 50 US cents an hour, minimum wage being 1 US dollar an hour and no, a dollar doesn't go that far in urban China). As commentators point out here, this is hardly unusual in China;

"the deepest reason [for low pay] is china has much population.if you complain that the pay is very low,the boss will tell you that you can go to other places ,there are a lot of people waiting want to do the job. today finding a job is not very easy,you do not have many chioces,you have to face the reality"

From rural migrants to university graduates, it's the sheer volume of job-hunters which is causing the most problems. With all the opportunities China is now offering there still aren't enough to go round. This is not lost on the government. There's a lot of talk about building a 'harmonious society' and it's not a quaint turn of phrase, its a genuine realisation that the government are facing a huge social crisis if disparity in opportunity, competition for jobs and lack of security continue to grow.

1 comment:

Richard Young said...

Mmm - very interesting. Sounds like upheaval is afoot before very much longer, especially once all the yanks realise they're pretty much broke and stop buying stuff from China. Is there a Putin-like character in Beijing ready to pounce?