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China OKs Wage, Salary Guidelines

AP, Thursday 21 December 2000, 5:39 AM ET

BEIJING (AP) - Workers in Chinese state industries, once among China's most privileged people, will find pay increasingly linked to performance under new wage and salary guidelines, the official China Daily reported Thursday.

The Ministry of Labor and Social Security guidelines encourage state businesses to offer incentives for better work, the newspaper said. It said that among the approved measures, state employers can vary pay given to workers holding the same jobs and may offer commissions or stock in the company.

To spur product development, scientists and technical experts will also be able to trade research for company shares, the newspaper said.

The reform is expected to inspire workers to contribute more to their enterprises, the report said.

The moves show how far China has progressed from the days of egalitarian treatment for all and guaranteed jobs for life. But the announcement also shows how difficult breaking those habits has been.

The ruling Communist Party initially approved incentive-based pay three years ago. But state industries, many of them deep in debt and having trouble meeting payrolls, have been reluctant to implement the changes.