On 19 August 2014, Zhang Xuejun, chair of Zhengzhou Municipal Trade Union Federation, took off for Xinmi, a city in Henan province, to inspect the implementation of collective bargaining in enterprises.
Trade unions’ demand for collective bargaining constitutes a legal means of voicing the concerns of workers, says Zhang. In promoting a system of collective bargaining and collective contracts, the focus should be on work and wage quotas in an enterprise or industry so that more than 90% of workers can complete the amount of work allotted to them within their statutory working hours. Workers’ annual pay levels and total annual income as well as their annual pay adjustments should be determined through collective bargaining. All workers who supply the stipulated amount of labour should be guaranteed a pay rise. And a sound guaranteed minimum wage system and minimum wage standards more in line with the actual conditions of a particular enterprise, region and industry should be established through collective wage bargaining to ensure that no workers fall through the safety net.
Statistics show that up to now, 62,997 enterprises in the city have introduced collective wage bargaining and signed collective wage agreements. However, despite efforts to expand the coverage of collective bargaining, problems still linger. These include contracts that fail to offer satisfaction to workers doing different jobs, lack of proper procedures for signing contracts, and difficulties hindering contract execution.