No pay raise for Carrefour Shanghai workers

Updated: 2011-01-21 13:41

By Yu Hongyan (

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Carrefour China Inc failed to raise salaries for its 6,000 employees in Shanghai, the National Business Daily reported Friday.

"Salaries at Carrefour (Shanghai) failed to increase, but fell during the 11 years between 1998 and 2009. The situation did not change until 2010, when Shanghai raised the minimum wage level," the paper said, citing an unnamed source who used to serve as an HR manager at several Carrefour outlets in Shanghai.

The source said Carrefour operates 20 stores in Shanghai (Carrefour China's website gives information on only 19 stores). Tally clerks, making up 30 percent of the total staff, receive the lowest pay. Actual wages for security guards and cashiers, accounting for 40 percent of its workforce, averaged 1,160 yuan, according to the source.

Carrefour did not respond to inquiries from the paper.

Carrefour was included in the top 10 news of China's retail sector in 2010. The list was compiled by a retail industry portal,, which said that it is an indisputable fact that the retail industry offers low pay, and that it is no surprise to see a 20 percent dropout rate in the industry.

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The Shanghai Municipal Trade Union approached Carrefour on a collective labor contract in 2008, but failed to reach agreement with the supermarket chain operator, the paper said.

In contrast, US fast food giant KFC signed its first collective contract on the Chinese mainland with its employees in Shenyang, capital of Liaoning province, in June 2010.

Under the contract, more than 2,000 workers of the 66 KFC and Pizza Hut outlets, under the Yum! Brands Inc in Shenyang, are entitled to a minimum monthly wage of 900 yuan ($131.70), up from 700 yuan.

In order to follow KFC's move, Carrefour would have to expend another 1.2 million yuan for its staff in Shanghai each month, which would amount to 14.4 million yuan a year, the paper estimated. The total sum for the whole country would shoot up the French company's expenses.

Carrefour operates 176 supermarkets across the country as of the end of 2010, the paper said.



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