Workers require more respect

Updated: 2015-05-04 11:15

(China Daily)

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Workers require more respect

A woman who provides the lunch smiles at the construction site in Guiyang city, capital of Southwest China's Guizhou province, Dec 29, 2014. [Photo/IC]

In an address to a gathering to celebrate May Day and award model workers, President Xi Jinping said the country is committed to extending its development fruits to workers in a fairer manner and continuously raising their remuneration, especially workers at the grassroots level.

Such a promise is heartening to the huge number of hardworking people at the grassroots level, especially at a time when China's income gaps have not been substantially narrowed. China has basically established a work-based income distribution system in which absolute income equality has become impossible. How to ensure fair income distribution in the context of the accelerating efforts to promote social equality and justice remains an urgent task.

More institutional guarantees are needed to ensure workers get decent incomes. A series of income inequality problems, such as some employees being underpaid while senior management enjoy excessively high salaries, is fundamentally related to the problematic income distribution system. As a result, the incomes of workers have, in essence, remained low and the interests of workers have been damaged.

A widening income gap will result in the escalation of social contradictions. Raising wages would not only protect the dignity of workers, it would also be an important part of the country's efforts to reform its unreasonable income distribution system and prevent income gaps from further widening. China's Gini Coefficient, a gauge of income disparity, is already beyond the international alert level. In this sense, to increase workers' incomes is an issue related not only to economic development, but also to social stability.

Any income distribution adjustments will mean re-dividing the same cake, which will unavoidably touch on vested interests. So the established interest pattern must be broken.

The above is an abridgement of a China Youth Daily article.