2007年8月20日 星期一

罷工是劃一工資惹的禍

扎鐵工人有工不開,因為工資「不合理」!據說所有工人都是工會會員,而工人的薪金劃一,工會與商會議價後,全行齊齊加人工。今次的罷工,是因為商會認為工人要求的薪金太高。商會至今不肯讓步,因為建築涉及很多工序,扎鐵工人要加人工,如果罷幾天工便讓步,其餘的工種必定照辦煮碗,工潮一發不可收拾,低價投回來的地盤,完工分分鐘要倒貼。

但為甚麼扎鐵這些工種會上街,而會計文員、售貨員、接待員……又未見大規模上街?是因為他們是所謂的「斯文人」,不好上街?但君不見老師、社工這些謙謙君子也上街嗎?是因為工會勢力強弱?但據說工聯會有三十萬會員,動員一兩萬不是簡單嗎?其實,都是劃一工資惹的禍。

工資應按工人表現釐定

扎鐵工人大致分為兩種:長工和散工。長工日薪較低,散工工作不穩定,因而索價較高。不合情理的地方,在於工人的薪金一致。筆者雖然不是扎鐵工人,但凡工人,必有質素之分,凡工作,必有容易做和難做之分,為何高質素、做難度高工作的扎鐵工人不值更高薪酬呢?經驗老到的工人,和剛入行的人薪酬也一致嗎?

在商業社會打滾過的讀者都知道,公司即使同一職位,薪金也不一定相同,即使同時期入職,入職後,公司都會因應表現調校,獎勵表現好的員工︰儘管那個差距可能只是數百至一千元!這是常識,也是促使僱員努力工作、提升效率的方法。

扎鐵工人薪酬一致,看上去很公平,但實際卻是剝削效率高的工人:即使快手快腳、技術好的工人,也沒有相應的薪酬補償。因此工人不會以做好工作、建立聲譽來爭取好的僱主(判頭)和更高的薪金,而選擇在適當時候,透過工會、示威等尋租行為,爭取增加劃一薪金,這種尋租行為的源頭,便是劃一薪金所引起。如果工人可以與判頭獨立議價,做得好的工人薪金較高,做得差的薪金較低,則工人不會上街,而選擇跳槽找更好的僱主,罷工根本不會出現!

最低工資將致年年示威

其實即使師和社工的示威,某程度上也與這種劃一薪金的僵化市場有關。公務員薪金解凍,師發現新入職者的薪金,與他們有一定年資的人相若,便覺得「不公平」!如果薪金按表現而定,則他們便無話可說,也無威可示,最多覺得上司不公平而另覓出路:補習社的補習天王不會上街的,他們只會用他們的招數吸引更多學生報讀課程!

劃一薪金的制度,實際上是令僱員生產力下降的不二法門,「做得好也沒人工加,搏咩呀?」這種思法,廣見於政府部門、各種資助機構,以及各種薪金近乎劃一的行業和工種。會計文員之所以不會上街要求加人工,因為他們還有「東家唔打打西家」的跳槽權利。

如果政府實行最低工資,日後,清潔工和保安員的工資,便會與外籍傭工一樣,只等於最低工資。筆者可斷言,這些行業有了這最低工資後,清潔工人和保安員示威要求提高最低工資,必定是每年也會上演的連續劇,那麼日後張建宗真的「好唔得閒」。如果扎鐵工人罷工,能令政府醒覺最低工資的壞處和為他們帶來的麻煩,筆者認為是○七年的一大好事!

26 則留言:

mlhc 提到...

i am not familiar with the bar-bending sector, nor do i know what constitutes a fair wage for the workers, and i also find fixed wage level and working hours for all workers odd.
all i know is these workers suffer a paycut from $1,200 during the economic slump years ago, and i know developers are making good money from building new flats, and their income unaffected by the bad economy because they are selling ordinary flats as luxurious ones now to rip more profit.
what disturbs me is that the salaries of low-class employees in hk have stalled and failed to grow along with the richest people's wealth.
i remember when i was young, a clerk post would pay around $5K a month and a cleaner at Maxim's fastfood would pay around $3K, and i remember a CMB bus driver would receive training and be paid $5K a month.
i once worked summer job in a McD in 1980s, i was paid $10/hr. i once worked at a Japanese restuarant for another summer, they paid around $4K a month, including a $300 bonus if you didnt call in sick.
how could people having similarly low class jobs today still earn that little, or some even less, when the descriptive noun for the richest bunch had been upgraded from "millionaires" by then to "billionaires" or "trillionaires" now?
there are many reasons that could explain the widening paygap, but the lowest income earners do not care about those reasons, all they ask for is a little dignity and respect, shown in their paycheck.
employers demanded staff to suck it in, take the hardship with them when businesses was bad, the deserving staff are just hoping for a fair treatment now that economy is reviving.
for the construction workers, who suffered most in the past decade, it is only fair to give them their old level of wage. they are not even asking for that $1,200 but only for $950 and eight hours work a day.
why are these demands seen as monstrous, unachievable goals?
the workers are asking not for unacceptably high level of wage and ridiculously short working hours, what they are asking are basic, minimal and near pathetic treatment. and who are we to deny them such right?
employers who say higher level of wage cost them business and possibly closure of business are only talking for themselves. the govt has the obligation to stay in the middle if not a little on the workers' and underprivileged side. if it can't, just as the hk govt has shown us, it better shut the hell up.

by the way, as you have agreed that bosses in general are heartless or else they themselves will suffer, why would any boss raise salaries of the more capable staff when they could pay less to or lay off the less capable ones? and if most bosses would think so, where could these underpaid employees seek for help?

without an hourly-based minimum wage standard, there's no limit on how low wages could go. with such a standard, employers are unlikely to pay significantly higher than minimum, but at least they are legally bound not to go under.

Ben 提到...

扎鉄工人薪金表面上一致,但市場是公平的,那㘹技術好和效率高的工人,老闆和判頭會優先顧用,質素低的工人最後才被顧用,自由市場無形的手變相地淘汰低技術工人令到他們開工不足。不同公務員他們劃一人工,這㘹無能公僕是一堆冗員。廢物公務員劃一工資惹的禍才是因。

藍天蔚 提到...

mlhc:

thanks for your comments. why the wages were so low? After all, it's all about supply and demand. Do you know that, the salaries of 陪月 is now very high, given that they usually don't have high qualification. This is because the demand is low.

Well, for other workers, the situation is the same. Why the wage wage in 1997 was high? Since the property price was high, and the property developers wanted the buildings to complete ASAP, so as to gain money, demand for these workers was high. However, during the SARS, their wage rate dropped substantially since the econ was bad and that demand for new properties and thus construction workers, was really low. All is as simple as this.

Asking back to $1200 per day, well, you can asked. But if the boss can find so many @ $800, the boss will not pay $1200, isn't it?

So called problem of low-wage workers.....you can say that I am "cold-blooded". However, when I was really young, I was very poor, in the way you can't imagine. Substantially poorer than those iron workers. Around 20 years ago, I still remember that fruit, like oranges, bought back by my mon was at rate $10 for 5. Days ago, I passed by a fruit stall, and bought 5 富士蘋果, with really good quality, @ $10.

After 20 years, the price is the same and the quality improved. This is my personal experience.

I believe, ppl's like is actually improving even it seems not. I believe this is because there's such a market and thus low cost products are always available.

After all, we have too many low-skilled workers in Hong Kong. The way out is either more openings for low-skilled workers, or these workers try their best to improve themselves.

I will say, I would have been as miserable as the iron workers if I didn't try me best to improve myself, right?

藍天蔚 提到...

Ben,

同意。紥鐵工人罷工只是一個例子。但是,對於做得好的工人來說,高點人工也是很實際的。如果你是做得好的紥鐵工人,最可能回應你的說法,便是:「有咩分別? 好景果陣,係人都有得好,沙士果陣,咪一樣大家都無工開!」

係咪?

藍天蔚

kawai 提到...

How about if the employers of cleaners and security officers have come together to establish a informal cartel on wages for those workers?

It seems that those workers can't do much compared to other sectors (employer switching and etc) since the pay has been around the same across the board from what I have heard on non mainstream media.

藍天蔚 提到...

Kawai,

I am wondering your suggestion of Cartel in security and cleansing industries, since there're so many players.

I don't mean that there're no Cartel, but certainly not in these two industries. And, I personally support Fair Competition law in forbidding cartel.

The problem of similar (low) salaries level around, is that the supply of these workers are so many that the employers can sustain. If they don't have enough workers, they have to pay a higher price. When too many low-skilled immigrants enter Hong Kong, there's no way out for them unless to upgrade their skills.

This is not solely happened in blue-collar jobs.

Two years ago, when the economy is still poor, you can certain get more than 100 applications for any kind of non-professional posts. Some U grad have to work for about $6000 to $6500. This is shameful but the problem is that demand on U grad were low. Employers got 1000 applications! They have the power.

Well, recently, employers are "suffering", especially in finance and IT industries. They can't get the right ppl. Therefore, salaries of ppl in these industries are increasing.

After all, it's the problem of supply and demand.

波蘿游 提到...

固定日薪制度在建造業已運行多年,自由經濟理論的浮薪制度未被採納,因為實踐中有其局限,小弟亦有一拙文嘗試分析其中原因:
http://www.pineapple-farm.blogspot.com/

另外,就算發展商好景,不代表他們會肥水流去別人田。主因還是工程劇減,工人供過於求,競爭激烈之下,建築業公司普遍僅以微利求存(從上市建築公司每年回報可知),工人薪金難以回復舊觀,長久生存之道還是要早日轉型。

hk6olden@gmail.com 提到...

你將扎鐵工人同白領 (視乎表現加薪 / 升級等等)作比較係好有問題,根本係唔同種類既 contract 。扎鐵工人係 efficiency wage ,今日做得差聽日炒,同 piece rate 已經非常接近。白領係入職時低薪 ( wage < MRP),靠做得好有升級黎比 incentive 大家去做得好同埋唔好偷懶。你如果唔明白我講既野請參考 JPE 好多年前一篇關於 mandatory retirement 既文章 -- 呢篇文章試圖去解釋點解白領(長工)有 mandatory retirement 而籃領(散工)無呢? 簡單黎講無理由一個人對間公司既貢獻退休前係 MRP 但退休後 (只不過一日之差) 就係零。

再講,劃一工資係現實生活上係比你想象中要普遍得多。就算大公司既普通白領好多時都係同級就同人工,最多係派花紅時好果 team 派多 D ,但 team member 分花紅時都係按職級黎分。你可以話 ibank 果 D 唔係波... 但你話我知 ibank 既員工係全 economy 入面既幾 %? 不用翻資料都知道係好細。

仲有扎鐵工人個 risk 好大,究竟要求果 $950 之中有幾多係真係 for 勞力,幾多
係 for exposure to risk,我估計可能好大部份都係 for risk,加上商會勾結變
成 monopsony,所以工人至要求均一人工。工人可能讀書少但未必係蠢,請不要以
你既 normative economics 去話人咁做一定錯。

好奇怪 -- 海外經濟人同報章上既文章既都虛心研究點解人做既野同經濟學所講既有差別 (positive economics),但香港報紙上既評論員 (或 blog 友如你) 就往往就當經濟學上理論係絕對無錯而係人錯 (normative economics)。縱觀同日於蘋果刊登既三篇文章你地既論調一致,點
解呢? 係香港經濟教育既果? 定係年輕人太樂觀,以為自己睇左既經濟學文章講既就係真理而躲懶唔再去參考其他講法呢?

http://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberre/0160.html
http://www.ssc.wisc.edu/jhr/2005ab/Sandy3.htm

hk6olden@gmail.com 提到...

I am baffled by your comments regarding 富士蘋果. Expenditure on food has not been the largest part of consumer expenditure for decades, now you're still working out people's wages based on the price of fruits?

藍天蔚 提到...

波蘿游:

我無批評佢地唔應該用定薪制,我也明白,有時唔同公司/機構可能要用唔同制度,我只不過指出,制度的設計(劃一工資)會令僱員有不同的表現(罷工/比心機做。)他們有權利繼續罷工,爭取高人工也是人之常情,只是方法不同而已。

藍天蔚

藍天蔚 提到...

hk6olden@gmail.com:

我無話要「禁止」劃一薪金(請參考上一個回應),但是結果有眼見了。

你說的所謂「同級同人工」,便已是看表現付薪水的最佳例證了。同級,但學歷、年資是否一樣呢? 在大公司,有些好勁的職員,升得快,早就比一同入職的同伴高幾個馬位,這便是表現好、人工高的最佳例證。
不同公司是否一樣呢? 假設大家都係做核數,Junior同senior、唔同年資、唔同公司都唔同,於是,同一個職位的人,有機會憑著自己的能力和表現,找更好的待遇,所以從宏觀看來,這個行業,薪金便是按表現而不同。但是紥鐵行業的問題是:全行人工近乎一致,無得走!做得好都不見得有人工加!這便是令工人罷工、要與商會談判的原因。核數員同老細傾人工,傾唔掂便走頭,不會上街!

你如果細心看我的文,我無覺得劃一工資是錯,我甚至極尊重他們示威和罷工的權利,我只不過從觀察分析他們八百元日薪仍然罷工的原因。

富士蘋果的例子,是要指出一個特別的現象:二十年過去,但一些消費品的價格不升反跌。這或者與香港的收入結構有關。還有,不用擔心低收入的人的「生計」,有低收入的人,便有低價的用品市場,餓不死的──雖然閣下一定覺得我好黑心。還有,我支持政府發低收入現金津貼,只是不支持最低工資!

匿名 提到...

>"罷工是劃一工資惹的禍"

這blog作者根本唔知三行情況,
$950只係工人既最低工資要求,不是想要求劃一工資,技術高唔止$950


>>有低收入的人,便有低價的用品市場,
>>餓不死的

低價的用品又不斷加價
而是工資低得無法生活
有大量醫療問題,仲有社會治安有更大問題
「只是餓不死」跟本無解決問題,
仲係令問題結構性惡化


>黑心。還有,我支持政府發低收入現金津
>貼,只是不支持最低工資!

低收入現金津貼同最低工資應同時實行
任何人都有機會跌破安全網的

林沖 提到...

「罷工是劃一工資惹的禍」?
劃一工資導致罷工?
懇請閣下能跳出經濟學考量,嘗試當一個月體力勞動的工種,例如:地盤工,送貨,廚房工 等等需要大量體力勞動的工作。
親身感受一下嚴苛的環境下所換來的不成正比的報酬。定能令閣下獲益良多。

hk6olden@gmail.com 提到...

我重申 -- 你錯用經濟理論。扎鐵同好多製造業都會用 piece rate 去出人工,原因
係大家交出黎既貨非常類似。樓上 Ben 已經講左 : 劃一價錢就做得好既工人就開多 D 工,做得唔好既就開少 D 工甚至無人請。

對一 D 高危工作呢種 contract 既好處係老闆唔會亂請人,請左個唔識扎鐵又無安全知識既人,如果出事最後咪又係加重社會既負擔? 你唔好同我講話叫公司買保險就得,出事就叫公司賠,因為香港法庭計賠償係好唔夠。點唔夠呢? 香港法庭係跟英國以前咁用 fixed rate ,但英國係二十年前已經改左用受傷人士既 current earning power 去計,但比起美國仍然都係少好多 -- 美國計法最為完善叫做賠得夠,用 prospective
earning power 去計。

好喇,咁點解我講一大論賠償呢? 因為僱主如果可以俾好少人工請 D好差既工人返黎做野,出事就依香港法例賠。香港法例賠償唔夠,咁個真正工傷既 cost 就轉嫁左比全香港既人。

你係都要用核數黎做例子咁我陪你 -- 首先核數公司間間既客戶係唔同,要求都唔同,senior 人工高 D 因為呢類工作年資好重要,另外一個解釋係根本個 senior 同 junior 既 productivity 係一樣,但因為要俾 incentive D 員工去落力唔好 shirk 同減低 supervision 既成本,所以至有升級加薪呢會事。睇你所寫既回應你應該係唔明我講既理論,亦無睇我 quote 既第一篇文章,係你睇唔明定無得睇?

扎鐵工人係只要有 cert 就已做到佢份工,on the job learning 係幾乎零,你唔
通再搞個扎鐵 CEO 出黎? 你話要按表現而出唔同人工,咁我問你 -- 你會唔唔會出多$10 去一個表現良好既報販處買一份 $6 既報紙?

"你如果細心看我的文,我無覺得劃一工資是錯,我甚至極尊重他們示威和罷工的權利,我只不過從觀察分析他們八百元日薪仍然罷工的原因。"
我只可以話 -- 你分析錯誤。

富士蘋果的例子 -- 二十年前既富士蘋果出產地係日本,現在係中國。跟本你唔係
comparing like with like 。只係食蘋果時既 risk exposure 已經唔同。重申
-- food expenditure constitutes a very small part of bring home income ,有好既 economics training 都唔會講出你果番話。正常既經濟人會睇整體物價指數,唔係單單一個蘋果。

"還有,我支持政府發低收入現金津貼,只是不支持最低工資!"
你漠視現實 -- 低收入現金津貼會令果 D 臨界點工友既僱主專登俾少 D ,等政府同佢俾埋。即係例如原本要出 $10 一個鐘但政府話 $8 或以下就會有津貼,咁好多僱主就會只出 $8 等 D 工人去同政府出埋剩番果 D 。呢個係英國政府既研究經驗,現金津貼個 concept 係好,但實行係有困難。

藍天蔚 提到...

林沖:

你點知我無做過?我就是因為做過,所以才覺得沒有什麼大不了,也不會餓死,只不過不能買些奢侈品而已!

所謂人工「不成比例」的原因,是因為識做這些工作的人,一街都係。講得白D,就係:「你有咩本事值咁多錢?」的問題。嘈喧巴閉罵人剝削之前,先問一問自己這個問題,你會獲益良多。

你有能力做個星級大廚,我就不信是「不成比例」。說到底,都是供求問題。

做任何工作,都有偷懶位,如果努力不獲回報,人人也不會努力。共產黨在中國實行公社制,做又三十六,唔做又三十六,由公社發糧票,中國人便日頭唔做野,留番夜晚做!

藍天蔚

mlhc 提到...

my economics is as bad as my english, i type in english because i only know pinyin in chinese typing and it would take me days to write.

anyway, supply and demand is one reason, but not the dominant reason to explain why low skilled workers deserve to be paid less.

陪月, (i failed to find an english name for it either, midwives are not quite right...) is expensive not only there is lack of supply, but because they have the experience. would u pay as much for a 陪月 who has no experience but only because she's the only one available? you would not even consider hiring her no matter how low her wage is, right?

my underlying argument is: there's no bottomline for greed. demand and supply is only a theoretical framework, it is only one factor that has some influence in wage setting. what is playing the vital role is the employers, especially true in the case of barbending workers.

if employers can hire for $200 or $20 a day for a bar bending workers from china or nepal, or even pay them nothing but provide only shelters and food like slaves, would it still be rational for hk workers to fight for $1,200/day? damn right.

there is no bottomline on supply and demand, if as u say supply is abundance and so the workers deserve to be paid less, i can't imagine how low can their wages can go.

you are right about the cheaper fruits today, but as someone else has responded, the 5 fuji apples you bought for $10 today is different from what you can get for a genuine japanese fuji apple. the lower cost to produce a chinese fuji apple is why the price is lower, that maybe due to the cheaper labor cost, cheaper plantation cost, over-supply, or simply u are eating chemical-treated rotten fruit. who knows?

btw, oranges are still 5 for $10 today. why has it not changed? maybe becuase the cost remained the same, better agricultural technology offseting the rising cost and inflation, or government subsidy, or again, u are eating chinese made chemical-treated rotten friut.

The property market dipped during sars in 2003, while homeowners can now ask for much higher price. same for the workers, their wages were cut during bad times, why dont they now deserve to be paid the same before the cut?

their wage was not cut because of oversupply of labor, but for downturn in econ, when the econ now reviving, we must not leave these grass-root bunch where they were.

even if it was true, as u said, that there are oversupply of bar bending workers, giving them what they want would not bear higher burden on developers, cos only the same amount of workers will be hired. employers dont have to pay those who do not have jobs. so, even their daily wages are up to $1,200 a day, still a site would only hire as many workers as they need. no more no less, and the construction cost rise will be limited.

and lastly, why low skilled workers dont deserve to have a better pay if they have not improved?
how can a bar bending workers improve? bend bars quicker? bend more in less times?
similarly, how can a toilet cleaner improve? lick the toilet seat clean and warm it for users in winter with their own butts?
i dont find quality of life improving much in these years, ur tv might become flatscreen lcd, but still u would be frustrated when it breaks down. u might enjoy 16-9 wide screen tv, but does it make the programs more attractive? u may have hundreds of channels to choose from from cable, but how many can u watch at one time?

i dont see newly built flats better than flats built in older times. in fact, i only hear complaints about newly built flats have less useable space than old ones. but if developers are still making more and more and more and more money by providing products without ur so called better quality, dont u think the low skilled grassroot workers should also be benefited after the developers' ripped us off?

if i am paying $20 for a wonton noodles today instead of $15 yesterday, i would like to think part of the extra profit go to the cook, the waiter and the washer, but not only the boss pocketing them all.

藍天蔚 提到...

"這blog作者根本唔知三行情況,$950只係工人既最低工資要求,不是想要求劃一工資,技術高唔止$950"

那更與我的說法一樣。這個「最低工資」,幾乎成了「最高工資」。和菲傭一樣,除非僱主「無咗你唔得」,否則你都唔駛旨意有高過「最低工資」!工人寧願罷工,也不肯努力工作、提升效率。當然,可能有部份工作希望如此,但制度不容許....總之,這個「公價」,是問題的根源。



"低價的用品又不斷加價而是工資低得無法生活,有大量醫療問題,仲有社會治安有更大問題
「只是餓不死」跟本無解決問題,
仲係令問題結構性惡化"



低價的用品不斷加價,這個見人見智,我舉出富士蘋果的例子,便已證明產品不一定隨歲月加價,或者「加極有限」。至少電話費減了一大截!很多副食品也沒有加價。我覺得加得最勁的,可能反而是政府部門。我住公屋時,租金只是四、五百多,現在天水圍的公屋也要二千多!但嘉湖山莊有會所的私人樓,也只不過四千!到底物價勁是誰的問題? 一定不是一些人所說的「無良老闆」,反而是很多人要求「干預」的政府!餓死,都是大政府造成的。



"低收入現金津貼同最低工資應同時實行
任何人都有機會跌破安全網的"



唔駛做每月淨袋好唔好? 就是這些想法,令班做生意的人,不肯支持普選!

藍天蔚 提到...

hk6olden@gmail.com:

"因為僱主如果可以俾好少人工請 D好差既工人返黎做野,出事就依香港法例賠。香港法例賠償唔夠,咁個真正工傷既 cost 就轉嫁左比全香港既人。"

你的假設是,不用劃一工資,僱主便會用很平人工請人,請一些不懂的人做。但我的看法跟你不同,我認為,沒有劃一薪金,市場的中位數/平均數一樣,但可能因應各人的經驗、表現而有差距,例如表現差的,可能少一點。以八百元為例,做得差的可能只值七百五。做得好的可能值九百!而不是說沒有劃一薪金,僱主就用三百請人。最終的平均數,要看供求!所以賠償問題根本與這件事無關。

你說的紥鐵沒有on the job training,不能有紥鐵CEO,但是,為什麼紥鐵不可以有表現好壞、難道高低之分呢?

雖然香港的建造物件件都一樣樣,但手工好不好、體力好不好、做事是否勤快、會否遲工、不過地盤的成本也不同,為什麼工人的成本會一樣?我告訴你,即使掃街這種「係人都識做」的工,也有做得好、做得壞之分,因而不同員工也有不同的叫價能力!為什麼紥鐵反而不能呢?

我舉富士蘋果的例子,是想指出,有低收入的人,便有低價貨品的市場。物價指數也是誤導。況且,誰在加價呢? 是政府呀!有自由市場競爭的其他產品,會因應需求下跌而減價。在經濟差的幾年,是我有生以來第一次見到貨品持續地減價,更令我相信自由市場供求的威力。

我指的低收入現金津貼,是以家庭為單位,好過最低工資。即使有最低工資,五千五都照顧唔到上有高堂,下有兩件化骨龍,都一樣係大家齊齊乞米!但如果有個六十歲亞伯但求有d細勢,四千蚊想做清潔,有了最低工資便一定無人請,請都請個後生d啦!

藍天蔚 提到...

mlhc:

as you used English, I use English to show my respect, although there're errors from time to time. After all, it's not a paper to professors, pls don't mind, as long as you understand.

Recently, my company wants to recruit some new employees. Just some fresh grad, not those "CEO". I am not the boss but a common worker.

However, my bosses found that it was so difficult, since ppl just quit within several days. Well, I am working in a non-profit organization. This is the difficulty. They have to think about raising the salaries in order to attract ppl!

This is about supply and demand.

Regarding your debate on 陪月. you mentioned experience, but this is exactly the question of supply and demand. For one without experience, she will not be able to "qualify (not necessarily means a cert)". As this one is not qualified, she's not regarded as part of the supply. Still the supply will be less and if the demand is high, the wage will go up. This is supply and demand, why not?

I agreed that if contractors are allowed to hire ppl from South East Asia, the situation will be different. then, being hired will be the dream of Hong Kong's workers. However, this should not be absolute. you know that Hong Kong ppl open a lot of factories in China. And then, wages in China are surging in recent years. Why don't the boss just move it to Vietnam or Cambodia, or Philippines, or even in Africa? Part of the reason is political stability, but if you have chances to talk to these bosses, they will tell you that now, supply of skilled labour in China is higher, although the wage rate in other countries may be lower, skilled labour are not available! Even for construction workers, the situation will be the same. Recruiting manpower from Nepal may be cheaper but there's high opportunities that they don't have the required skills! you know, not anyone knows how to bend the iron!

Iron workers are now asking for higher wages. I personally think it is justified(but I just think it is "funny" to use striking as the means). They are wise to use their bargaining power now since some of the workers went to Macau, making the supply of labour a bit tight and bosses may, at the end of the day, increase the wages.

There's no right or wrong on what kinds of waging system. But different waging system produces different incentive to workers and drives workers to act differently. This is what I wanted to say. It's pity that ppl are not rational. When someone comment, or criticize workers, S/he has to be cold-blooded.


However, I don't agree with you on the concept of so called "deserve".

May be I don't care about wages. I had not been asking for increase in wage rate since I started working. Well, I am not a civil servant and wages rate is not automatically increased. However, my boss still gave me several very substantial adjustments. I always believe that, ppl around you are not stupid. They know what kinds of ppl are good and they have to use wages and other things to preserve good workers.

However, if you find your boss is really stupid and they can't tell who is good, just quit.

For iron workers, do they "deserve" $1200 or $950 or $800? I still think that, it depends on supply and demand. If one day, a whole bunch of Chinese skilled iron workers get the one-way permit to hong Kong, the wage will certainly drop.

Now the bosses are scaring about all kinds of workers want pay rise, not just iron workers. I don't know how many iron workers they have to hire but if all kinds of workers are going to ask a pay rise, i believe they have to loss money on the project.

Why ppl cannot deserve higher wages even if they don't improve?

I use your logic. The boss expects a better quality if they have to pay higher wages. Ppl have to show that they deserve since money is on the hand of the bosses.

You think that it is "fairer" to have standard rate? well, superficially, yes. But those good workers are hurt. Boss has a budget in his plan. If they have to pay higher wage to bad workers, they can't give much more to good workers and efforts are not paid off! And ppl are not going to work hard. This is the problem of standard wage rate.

And one more point. You may think that if there's no standard rate, the workers will be exploited and they may just got $300 a day. Well, I don't think so. I believe the median wage will be somewhat similar.But different workers will have different wage. My wild guess is $700 to 1000. well, not $300. There'll be no one interested, since they can find some more comfortable and less risky work with similar wages.

波蘿游 提到...

人總是喜歡懷緬過去,尤其九七前後。除了扎鐵人工下跌,還有更厲害的。正如藍天蔚兄所言,都是供過於求的結果:

1。樓價:仍跌了45%
2.建築合約價:下跌了20% - 40%
3。電腦:以前二萬一部,而家四千
4。律師樓契:以前二萬一份,而家四千
5。運輸司機:以前月入二三萬,而家一萬
6。清潔及保安:以前月入過萬,而家就。。

經濟不斷轉型,不管老闆或打工仔,都要留意周圍變化,不斷裝備自己,才是生存之道,就好似「Who moved my cheese?」裏面的小老鼠一樣。

因為新落成大廈越來越少,建築業(包括扎鐵)已是夕陽工業,不單供過於求,亦容易被科技(預製組件)所替代。可以的話,應該多學一門手藝,例如:室內裝修,水喉,電氣等,不管新樓或舊樓翻新,都有用武之地,持續有市場需要,

藍天蔚 提到...

贊成波蘿游的講法。

當一個社會發展得越快,薪水差距越來越大是難免。

在原始社會,大家打獵種田,差距有限。但在香港,投資銀行的「高手」,短時間替客戶掙大筆錢,與在東莞幫人車鞋的那位女工,如果薪金一樣則很好笑。有時候,我也覺得很可笑,在報紙寫稿的,少也幾百塊一篇,一個人一個月寫十篇八篇,已經差不多一萬元,但是一個初出茅廬的副學士,也是寫東西,卻只有幾千元一個月。可是,比一比,陶傑那些水平,又不是這些小朋友可比擬,那也沒話可說。

藍天蔚工作了好多年了,一些以前覺得「很勁」的人,現在覺得「很廢」,都有點欷歔,可是,他們不肯比心機做好件事,只想做咗件事,所以工作了很長時間,水平卻沒有進步。學我老細話齋:「佢要死唔通唔比佢死咩?」不錯,我無權要人地同我一樣進取,但我希望我的努力有回報,否則為什麼要開OT,做到最好?

我常常都很怕,有了最低工資,年輕人就不努力了,這樣我會很心痛。年輕人是要經磨練的。現在的小朋友被照顧得太好了。藍天蔚也做過苦工,有個比我大十多年的朋友聽過我做苦工的「事蹟」,說以為在粵語長片才有。但是沒有鍛鍊、沒有要求就沒有進步。

有了最低工資,掃街的也有五千五,那麼,年輕人還會願意讀書考試做文員嗎? 讀完大學只有九千,還會做嗎?

經濟不好的時候,大學畢業等於失業,那時的大學生,比較踏實。今天,一個剛畢業的大學生,還不知有沒有common sense、還不知懂不懂得工作,已經嫌三嫌四。這是很可怕的事。

mlhc 提到...

i meant to beg for your understanding of my bad english, not to criticize yours.

i understand non-profit organizations have an even tighter budget than ordinary companies, so it is even harder to raise salary to retain workers, but i am not so sure whether the fresh grads left becos of low salary or becos they just like job-hopping. positively thinking, their logic is to try different things when they are young; negatively thinking, their butts are sharp-ended and cant sit still for long. you know kids today...

so, i can't be sure whether that's purely supply and demand.

Regarding on 陪月, i am also not convinced that inexperienced 陪月 would be excluded from the supply chain as effectively as you have assumed.

For factories owners in china, you are right the wages are getting higher becos there are more choices for them and staying back home to grow crops might not be such a bad idea when the govt is subsidizing more recently. so to retain the workers, they have to raise the wage. there are 1.3 billion people in china, there will never be a shortage of labor, but if a factory is not willing to pay higher wages, only the less skilled or less disciplined workers would be willing to work at that factory.

i dont think any of those construction workers would strike if they can talk it through. in some foreign countries, when workers of one union strike, they set up picket lines and force other unions to join and fight breaks out some of the time when disagreement happens. it's perfectly normal. my personal view is to lock the representatives of employers, workers and govt in one room and they are not allowed to leave until a resolution reached, well, except for answering nature calls maybe. that'll solve the whole thing, fast.

i never call or think of you as coldblooded. just to make it clear.

i also have not once asked for a raise from my bosses ever, but i am not as good as you are, receiving sizeable raises without even asking for it, and i have quit several times, not becos my boss is stupid (all bosses are stupid) but becos my current boss is less stupid than the former ones. i left not becos of anybody, but becos of my own ambition.

I can agree with most of your argument about the construction workers if they are just being greedy and asking for more. however, they are not asking for more, but only asking employers not to cut their wage that much. this is not a purely supply and demand issue, but a greed issue.

i am not so sure the developers would loss a lot even when all construction workers had their wages raised. just check out the net profit of major developers. i dont think they would even realize how much less they make after giving a rise to the workers. it's a dent to their billions of profit. do u know how many 000000s are there in a billion?

if ur supply and demand theory are in place, with a standard rate, good workers who dont get a raise would leave for better paying companies and the old boss would be stuck with a low-performance bunch of staff. if the boss can live with it, he can keep his budget intact. if he can't, he could fire a couple of the workers and pay higher wages for more capable workers.

standard rate, or minimum hourly pay as i call it, is exactly the lubricant or catalyst for supply and demand to run smoothly, while overall salary and perks for workers would be raised and employers who used to profiting from paying minimal wages would go out of business. these companies, i mean those who rip off the workers to make profit, shouldnt even be allowed to operate.

you last argument is only true when the workers possess skills to look for other jobs, that freedom of choice. yes, i believe some can find other better paying jobs, but some can't. that's not important at all.

what's important here, is that you, like antony leung, are just assuming people who have nothing to eat can go fishing.

these workers, some but not all i assume, have low education qualification and little skill, their work does not allow them to "upgrade" themselves when they are busy raising their family, and they are unlikely to have enough in their savings to spare for them to train up themselve after being laid off. when wages drop, all they can do is suck it up.

i just hope when i can afford to buy a flat, i will not have to feel pity about the construction workers who have helped build it suffering with low wages.

i dont want to comfort myself, saying that these workers deserve to be treated like shit becos they have not improved themselves, that they deserve to work for low wages jobs becos they are low skilled and oversupplied.

if raising wages for the workers shouldnt be across the board, as you suggested, then it also doesn't justify across the board reduction in their wages.

i am supporting them becos they are only trying to right part of the wrong, (and i would support them even if they asking for $1200/day,) unlike the unions in western countries, asking for raise year after year.

to me, it should be all relatively fair. e.g. when H.A. board directors have the right and little hesitation to raise their own salaries by millions, all H.A. workers deserve a raise in similar scale. otherwise, everybody should just suck it up.

藍天蔚 提到...

mlhc:

I can't response point by point any more or this can be a term paper. however, you know my position and I know your position....anyway, thanks.

Lam Tin Wai

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