Tuesday, August 07, 2007
How do you spell "avarice"? M-c-D-o-n-a-l-d-s
McDonald's has been caught paying workers below the Chinese minimum wage, which, as in the U.S., can vary according to locale. A little below? No, in some cases by almost half.
McDonald's became embroiled in a public controversy in April, when Chinese newspapers reported it was paying some part-timers far below local minimums -- for example, 4 yuan (52 cents) an hour in the big southern city of Guangzhou, or just over half the city's minimum.
Chinese unions have also criticized the wage policies of Yum! Brands Inc.'s Pizza Hut and KFC, while Wal-Mart Stores Inc. last year let Chinese staff join unions after criticism that it exploited low-paid workers.
McDonald's is going to fix the problem—
From next month, McDonald's will increase workers' pay to levels 12 to 56 percent above local minimum wages, McDonald's China spokesman George Gu said.
He declined to be more specific about the rises....
The pay rise will not hurt the profitability of McDonald's in China and the company has no near-term plans to increase its food prices, Gu said.
And unions too!
The company will also introduce more incentive and training programs for its 50,000 staff in China, and aims to have all workers unionize by the end of this year, compared with 80 percent now, he added.
Well, isn't that just dandy! Maybe it's time to consider a union for its U.S. workers.
McDonald's has over 800 restaurants in China and plans to open 100 more every year.
Could McDonald's be part of the answer to the Sino-American trade imbalance? As Chinese consumption of McDonald's food grows, not only will it help keep their population in check, it will also open up an enormous market for American anti-cholesterol drugs, diabetes medications and countless other medical adjuncts that only our peerless system of healthcare can supply.