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Collective wage talks promoted

By Chen Xin and Wu Yong (China Daily)

08:16, December 09, 2011

KYOTO / SHENYANG - Collective bargaining can help reduce labor disputes in the world's largest manufacturing nation, said an official with the International Labour Organization (ILO).

Sachiko Yamamoto, ILO regional director for Asia and the Pacific, told China Daily that dialogue and collective bargaining are important to ensure that workers are properly paid.

"The Chinese government and trade unions have noticed the importance of collective bargaining and they are making an effort to introduce it in more enterprises," she said.

"I think through this, together with continuous improvement of industrial productivity, Chinese workers could enjoy a fairer share of the country's booming economy."

Her comments came as labor disputes have worsened in some labor-intensive sectors in China affected by the economic slowdown, although many Chinese provinces have been raising minimum wages and the central government has promised to increase them at least 13 percent on average in each of the next five years.

To solve disputes, China has been promoting collective bargaining systems and the establishment of trade unions.

Guan Ling, a cashier at a Carrefour store in Shenyang, Liaoning province, was told workers could have a 6-percent raise after the company signed a contract through collective bargaining.

"We thought it was all just a show. When I got the raise I was happy and surprised," she said.

Thanks to the contract, her salary increased to 1,300 yuan ($205) from 1,100 yuan a month.

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