Tags: Hong | Kong | Minimum | Hourly | Wage

Hong Kong Sets Minimum Hourly Wage to Cut Wealth Gap

Wednesday, 10 Nov 2010 07:43 AM

Free market poster child Hong Kong will implement its first ever minimum wage, the Secretary for Labor and Welfare said Wednesday, though at HK$28 ($3.61) per hour, workers on the bottom end of the pay scale will still lag far behind their counterparts in the industrialized world.

Speaking to reporters in the Chinese territory, Matthew Cheung said the new wage provision would go into effect on May 1, 2011 — Labor Day.

Cheung said the decision to mandate a minimum wage was made possible by improvement in the local economy, but acknowledged that it seemed to go against the grain in one of the world's most capitalistic redoubts.

"The statutory minimum wage is totally new to Hong Kong," he said. "I appreciate that it will take time for the community, especially employers and employees, to get used to it."

China decided to preserve Hong Kong's capitalist system when Britain returned the territory in 1997. The Beijing-appointed government continued to resist a minimum wage in the name of keeping labor markets free.

But under pressure to address the city's widening rich-poor gap after a voluntary wage protection initiative failed, leader Donald Tsang in 2008 reversed government policy and started efforts to introduce a minimum wage. The legislature passed a minimum wage law in July without setting a rate.

Cheung's HK$28 figure falls about midway between the HK$24 favored by many in the business community, and the HK$33 demanded by local unions.

At HK$28 ($3.61) per hour, Hong Kong lags far behind many countries with similar GDP per person.

The federal minimum wage in the United States is $7.25; in Britain, it's 5.80 pounds ($9.27); in Canada, it ranges from 8 to 10.25 Canadian dollars ($7.98 to $10.22) depending on the province; and in New Zealand, it's 12.75 New Zealand dollars ($9.97).

© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

   
1Like our page
2Share
Headline
Free market poster child Hong Kong will implement its first ever minimum wage, the Secretary for Labor and Welfare said Wednesday, though at HK$28 ($3.61) per hour, workers on the bottom end of the pay scale will still lag far behind their counterparts in the industrialized...
Hong,Kong,Minimum,Hourly,Wage
299
2010-43-10
Wednesday, 10 Nov 2010 07:43 AM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
MONEYNEWS.COM
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved