Differences between ‘blue collar’ and ‘white collar’ employees diminishing

Asian Labour News, 17 September 2004

The Heilongjiang government has implemented a series of policies to improve the status and benefits of technical workers.

For example, the government has established a competition for technical workers. Bonuses of 20,000, 10,000 and 5,000 yuan were given to the three winners who demonstrated they were best in their field. Other policies have also been implemented. For example, senior technicians who have made special contributions to enterprises or society can obtain government subsidies. Some key departments or enterprises will establish a system where workers carry the title of Chief worker and Chief Technician.

Technicians or senior technicians employed by enterprises can access the same benefits as engineers and senior engineers. Graduates who have senior vocational qualifications can access the same benefits as university graduates if they work in frontier production lines or technical positions.

These policies have been implemented in order to solve the problem of a shortage of senior technical workers in the province. In Heilongjiang, there are 2.68 million technical personnel, of which there are only 199,000 at technician or senior technician level. Some enterprises dare not receive orders from buyers because of a lack of technical workers.