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Economy, tax incentives & labor conditions
The workers of the textile factories of Shenzhen in China work 7 days a week, up to 12 hours per day, i.e up to 80 to 90 hours per week, for wages of 115 euros per month. Overtime work is compulsory and is not always paid. The workers have one week of holidays per year, not paid. The workers live and sleep in dormitories of the company. They have one hour of freedom per day.
The average wage of a laborer working in the textile industry is 0.84 euros an hour in China.
In 2008, the minimum wage is set at 800 yuan per month (93 euros) in Beijing, 960 yuan (111 euros) in Shanghai and 770 yuan (90 euros) in Dongguan.
The " interior delocalization holds even place of program for the Chinese government. In Chongqing, l' interior of the grounds, the workmen cost twice less dear qu' in Shanghai. (…) Competed with by their compatriots of l' west of the country, the employees of the coast cannot assert increases any more as in the past. And c' is the competitiveness of all the country which in fate renforcée". Hubert Bazin, lawyer in Beijing at Gide Loyrette Nouel. " In the provinces of Chongqing and Hubei, 150 million people are ready to work for wages as low as 30% less than in Shenzhen." Jean-François Huchet, director of the Center of French studies on contemporary China.
A blue-collar worker earns on average a wage of 274 euros gross per month in this country in 2008.
The minimum wage in Shenzhen is 100 $ (75 euros). By counting overtime and the production bonuses, a worker can earn from 120 to 200 $ per month (90 to 150 euros). In Shenzhen, a pair of Adidas sport shoes costs between 86 and 171 $, almost a month of income.
In China, strikes are considered illegal and treated like a threat to the social order since 1982. They are the subject of a vigorous and sometimes violent repression.
The chinese workers making sports shoes are paid less than 1.5 euro per day.
China is the world's largest consumer of nickel (18% of the world production), copper (20%), aluminium (25%), steel (36%), coal (39%), and iron (41%).
Collective bargaining remains severely handicapped by the non-existence of truly independent organisations on either side. Almost all contracts are drawn up by employers and simply reflect minimum legal requirements or the continuation of past practice - though privatisation makes the latter increasingly rare.
While it remains difficult, if not impossible, to estimate the total number of worker protests in China due to media censorship and continuing secrecy regarding statistics, is clear that the trend of increasing protests has continued throughout 2004. In addition to regular collective protests against non-payment of wages, fake and genuine bankruptcies and corruption involved in the privatisation of state-owned industrial assets, there has also been a rise in individual protests. Some media reports have concentrated on workers who have jumped or threatened to jump off buildings to claim unpaid wages. This is a tactic of some workers, aimed at attracting attention, either through physical harm or risk thereof, or through arrest. Hardly ever do people actually jump. The workers who have developed this tactic are almost exclusively migrant workers. In July 2006, a 53-year old migrant worker set himself on fire on Tiananmen Square over unpaid wages. According to one group the man was in a serious condition but the event was played down in the local media. An unemployed miner in Guangdong Province blew himself up at a local police station on 13 July after pleading with officers to help him obtain unpaid wages. Police identified the miner as Liu Yingqiu, a native of Hunan Province who had worked for an illegal mine in Guangdong's Wenguan City.
Many workers found themselves detained or arrested, charged and imprisoned for their involvement in collective protest action during the year in the People's Republic of China, where trade union rights are not respected. Workers are prevented by law from organising outside the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU), which is bound by its constitution to accept the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The Trade In the People's Republic of China, trade union rights are not respected. The Trade Union Law bans workers from organising independently.Many workers found themselves detained or arrested, charged and imprisoned for their involvement in collective protest action during the year.Workers are prevented by law from organising outside the All-China Federation of Trade Unions, which is bound by its constitution to accept the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party.
No independent trade unions are allowed to exist, and all attempts at establishing independent workers' organisations are repressed, sometimes violently. Organisers of worker groups or protests are often arrested. Some are sentenced to terms of imprisonment (officially called "reform through labour", or "lao gai") after criminal trials which fall well short of international standards. Others can be assigned to terms of "re-education through labour" ("lao jiao", sometimes called "rehabilitation through labour"), an administrative process which bypasses the few safeguards of the criminal justice system. The result of such repressive measures is that examples of independent unions are rare and short lived. Organisers of collective actions operate at great risk. The fear of detention also makes negotiations between workers' representatives and the authorities and employers extremely difficult.
A Chinese data processing company gives 500 000 $ in bribes to purchasers of large foreign companies, in exchange of equipment contracts... These practices are "quasi systematic" in China. "The majority of Chinese companies do not even have computerized accountancy", deplores a financial auditor: a major obstacle to any serious audit. During the last two months of 2006, the Chinese authorities investigated more than 32 000 companis regarding corruption affaires and implying more than 38 000 officials. Approximately 17 000 cases relate to amounts of several million yuans (1$US = 7 yuans approximately), for a total amount of 577 million dollars.
The average wage cost in the car industry is 1 euro per hour.
The Special Economic Zones (SEZs) of Shenzhen, Shantou, Zhuhai, Xiamen and Hainan, 14 coastal cities, hundreds of development zones and designated inland cities all promote investment with unique packages of investment and tax incentives. Chinese authorities have also established a number of free ports and bonded zones. The 54 national-level SEZs accounted for over 22% of total FDI in 2004.
Foreign investments in China's Special Economic Zones, Economic and Technological Development Zone and Hi-Tech Development Zones benefit from the following incentives: a benefit of "2 + 3 years" which means an exemption from tax for the first two years and tax at the rate of 7.5% for the next three years, then corporate tax of 15%.
As at 2004, the average monthly salary was 30 - 97 Dollars, depending on the sector.
Tax exempt zones: Beijing Airport industrial zone, Fujian province special economic zone, special Guandong province economic zone, special Hainan economic zone, Hangzhou development zone, special Hunchun economic zone, Jinqiao export processing zone, Shanghai, Kangqiao industrial zone, Shanghai, Lujiazui finances and trade zone, Minbei industrial district, Shanghai, Pudong development zone, Shangai, Qingpu industrial district, special Shantou economic zone, special Shenzhen economic zone, Siping City, Jilin province, Songjiang industrial zone, Waigaoqiao free trade zone, Shanghai, special Xiamen economic zone, Xingzhuang industrial zone, Xiaoshan economic zone, special Zhuhai economic zone, Zongshan Torch development zone.
Minimum wage noted (US$/day)
2008 12 US$/day at/for Haier Group Co