Up to now, 49,400 unionized enterprises in Beijing have signed collective contracts covering 2.8 million. Meanwhile, 52,500 enterprises, including 3,106 with 100 workers, have signed collective wage contracts covering 2.9 million workers. Collective bargaining has not only guaranteed the rights of workers but also fostered harmony in those enterprises.
With trade unions in the city moving ahead with collective bargaining, many industries such retail, construction, furniture, security, catering, education and medical appliance have established collective bargaining mechanisms.
On September 1 last year, 22 restaurant chains and 569 catering enterprises in Beijing signed a collective wage contract. According to the contract, the minimum wage for workers in the catering industry should not fall below 2,000 yuan a month.
The negotiations, which lasted half a year, produced an agreement after six revisions. Prior to the talks, many eateries saw their profits remain stubbornly stagnant and did not bother to talk about pay increases for workers. In spite of this, the catering workers’ union entered into negotiations with Beijing Restaurant Association on behalf of 21,701 workers.
To ensure that negotiations went smoothly, the trade union had made a lot of investigations, worked out standards for overtime pay and pay hikes, drew up a draft of the contract and invited opinions from workers. Finally it was decided that salaries for 18 jobs such as waiter or waitress and chef should be in the range of 2,000 to 2,700 yuan.
On December 15, the Federation of Beijing Furniture Workers’ Union, which has more than 10,000 members in 21 enterprises, was founded. On the same day, the workers’ representatives and the management signed a collective wage agreement, stipulating that salaries for production and management positions should not be 1.1 times lower than Beijing’s minimum wage standard.
It is not hard to see that collective bargaining at the industrial level is of great significance to the setting of industrial standards, regulation of industrial behavior, reinforcement of industrial self-discipline and prevention of vicious competition. It can not only satisfy workers’ wishes to participate in the process of wage determination but also meet the needs of all enterprises in the industry to abide by rules.
"My salary has gone up again. We are happy working for such an enterprise," said Li Wenzhong, a worker of Xinliyuan Mechanical and Electrical Equipment Company in Beijing, after hearing that the management would give them a 7.5% pay increase this year. The company is located in Liujiadian Township in Beijing’s Pinggu District. Over the past five year, the township trade union federation has signed collective contracts, winning pay rises for its workers for five consecutive years. The trade union federation’s previous agreements provided for vacations and health checks for migrant workers. Last year, it inserted a new clause into the contract, asking enterprises to offer skills training, skills assessment and food and accommodation subsidies to workers. Although it increased the cost of operations, bosses felt satisfied because their companies were more stable and had less turnover.