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February 17, 2011

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System to prevent salary disputes

AT least 60 percent of large local companies are expected to set up a collective wage bargaining system by the end of this year, the Shanghai Federation of Trade Unions said yesterday.

The system, which aims to enable employees to negotiate wages with their bosses through trade unions, is encouraged now and is believed to be a method to solve salary disputes - such as the Carrefour case where the salary of its some of employees had not risen in 12 years.

Last month, more than 6,000 workers at about 20 Carrefour stores in Shanghai were reported to have had their salaries almost unchanged since 1998, while the city's living costs have tripled during that period.

An official with the federation told Shanghai Daily yesterday that they are still in talks with the company and the trade union, hoping a collective wage bargaining system can be set up.

About 80 percent of the Shanghai offices of the world's top 500 corporations will have the system set up by the end of 2011, said the federation.

In spite of the collective bargaining system, the Shanghai government will still release a salary increase guideline every year, but it is only to be used as a reference and has no legal power.


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