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Labour welfare measures benefit Chinese textiles sector
Jul '11
Chinese textile industry is increasingly focusing on enhancing welfare of its workers by employing corporate social responsibility (CSR) measures.

In addition to a 20-25 percent annual increase in monthly salaries seen during the 11th Five-Year Plan period (2006-2010), companies are also spending on welfare of their employees. The list of such companies includes Jiangsu Danmao Textile Co Ltd, Yarn producer Bros Holding Limited, and Zhejiang Tiansheng Holding Group Co Ltd.

The textile companies mention the increments and perks given to their employees in their annual CSR reports, in which employee interests and rights protection form the primary basis.

About 44 textile firms have released their 2011 CSR reports by June 30, as against the release by only 10 companies in 2009. This shows the extent to which the textile companies have seriously started taking their social responsibilities.

In fact, rising salaries and employee welfare has become a norm in the Chinese textile industry. The companies are increasingly realizing that a mix of employee rights protection, shorter working hours, technology upgradation, and 'green' working practices can lead to more efficiency and productivity.

When companies take care of their employees by raising their salaries and other welfare measures, the employees feel comfortable and work hard. This, in turn, spurs the growth of the companies; their employees feel proud about it and get motivated to stay on, according to experts.

Some private companies are allowing labour unions to hold regular meetings and negotiate with the company management on various issues like salaries, bonuses, accommodation and working conditions as well as the contribution to a charity fund.

Textile companies are also organizing various sporting and cultural activities to enrich the lives of their employees. In addition, voluntary contributions to the communities are being encouraged where the factories are located.

The CSR office, established at the China National Textile and Apparel Council (CNTAC) in May 2005, formulates CSR standards and oversees its implementation in the Chinese textile sector.

The release of the first annual textile CSR report in 2006 helped the sector to not only raise incomes and improve living and working conditions of their employees, but also to lower carbon emissions and increase efficiency.

In 2010, the turnover of China's textile industry was 4.69 trillion Yuan, a rise of 26.53 percent over the previous year. Simultaneously, the profits also grew 33.69 percent to touch 255 billion Yuan.

The benefit of adopting CSR measures can be gauged by the fact that labour productivity reached 110,300 Yuan per capita in 2010, growing at an annual rate of 15.91 percent from 2005, in China's big-scale textile companies, i.e. companies employing over 600 people and having production value of at least 60 million Yuan.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - China

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