CHINA

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

State Workers Get Big Raises: While their factories go bankrupt because they're cranking out useless products, Chinese state workers have received a huge pay raise. Forty thousand of the largest state enterprises gave workers a 14% increase the first half of the year. Meanwhile, productivity rose only 10%, the China Daily reported. In addition to the raises, workers received 18.5% across-the-board bonus increases--money handed out on the factory floor regardless of effort. Meanwhile, the government acknowledged that state wages are rising too fast. It said it is studying ways to reform the system. But observers say it is unlikely to take measures that would upset state workers used to life-long employment and benefits.

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