On 11 May 2015, the first ever collective wage bargaining work station in Shanghai, the Lao Jia work station, was officially established within the Jing’an District Federation of Trade Unions. The work station is designed to assist local enterprises in collective bargaining and promote its coverage and quality.
The Jing’an District lies in the heart of downtown Shanghai, where business properties and services are the pillar of the economy. Considering the presence of many non-publicly owned companies in the local communities and business buildings, the Federation has come up with a different model of collective wage bargaining that interacts with the pay of state-owned enterprise (SOE) employees and management in two respects: on one hand, with SOE top leadership incomes; and on the other hand, with the performance appraisals of the managers in SOEs and collectively owned enterprises, so as to promote the disclosure of top management incomes in 99.6% of these enterprises across the district. The Federation carries out industrial bargaining based on “four linkages” of workers’ wages: with length of service, occupational skills, innovation and corporate profitability. Its regional wage bargaining is classified and categorized; it has extended the coverage of bargaining across Fortune 500 companies operating in the region; and it also focuses on procedural regulation to reinforce staff participation in large-scale enterprises. By the end of October 2014, collective bargaining and collective contracts covered more than 6,000 enterprises and 110,000 workers across the district.
“In order to study and address shared and topical collective bargaining issues under the conditions of the new economic reality,” says the Chair of the Jing’an District Federation of Trade Unions, “we have decided to set up a work station on collective wage bargaining.”
Organized by Jia Hongxiang, director of the Office of Collective Wage Bargaining Advisers, and his team, the Lao Jia work station focuses on consultation, advice, guidance, services, review and promotion, with a view to offering guidance to local businesses on collective bargaining and increasing its coverage and quality. It also emphasizes the protection both of workers’ rights in the bargaining process and of the development environment for businesses during the consultation and review process. It aims to care for workers as well as deliver a service to companies, providing legal advice on collective wage bargaining and strengthening dispute mediation in the implementation of collective contracts, so as to promote a win-win result for both businesses and workers.
The Lao Jia work station has opened a hotline and a WeChat social messaging account as well as a face-to-face shop counter, to facilitate both online and offline interaction and provide more convenient and effective services for businesses and workers.
“The establishment of this special work station”, the Chair of the Jing’an District Federation explains, “is also aimed at training and developing more collective bargaining personnel through Jia Hongxiang’s example and leadership. In charge of the office for collective wage bargaining advice at the District Federation, Mr Jia accompanies his team to company office buildings, providing guidance, coordination and assistance for the local unions to conduct collective bargaining work based on laws and regulations. As a union veteran with 20 years’ work experience, he is recognized as a specialist expert in collective wage bargaining for these kinds of businesses.”
The work station has also attracted the participation of volunteers in collective wage bargaining work, including lawyers from the District Federation’s legal council, the staff of workers’ legal assistance centres, and other experienced union officials. It looks set to attract even more volunteers to join in its important work.