Some workers at ByteDance, TikTok’s guardian firm, had been shocked to seek out their August wages fell 17% after the corporate adopted a coverage to enhance circumstances for staff by the Chinese language authorities.
Within the final decade, Chinese language tech corporations are recognized for his or her “996” work tradition. Particularly, corporations that undertake this harsh tradition require workers to work from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. six days every week.
However conversely, the 996 can also be thought of a badge of honor and is hailed as a aggressive benefit for the nation towards US and European rivals. That is additionally a assure of wages as Chinese language legislation stipulates that staff are paid double time beyond regulation on weekends and triple on public holidays.
About two years in the past, some staff within the tech sector began complaining concerning the 996 tradition being too drained. The motion has drawn help from authorities who’re concerned about selling socialist values and staff’ rights whereas endeavor wide-ranging regulatory reform. Final month, China’s supreme courtroom declared the 996 tradition unlawful.
“My workload hasn’t modified, however the pay is decrease,” a product supervisor at ByteDance informed Reuters.
Different tech corporations resembling brief video platform Kuaishou and meals supply firm Meituan have additionally just lately lower workers’ obligatory weekend time beyond regulation.
Authorities are additionally asking staff to take extra break day, particularly within the meals supply sector, the place it’s typically accused of forcing drivers to stick to tight supply deadlines. Meituan mentioned it’ll disseminate the state’s coverage extensively to its workers.
Town of Xiamen in southern China has additionally requested corporations to implement a “20-minute break each 4 hours” for supply staff.
When speaking about how drivers are paid for every order, one Weibo person requested: “Is not this going to restrict their earnings? Or have they got to drive sooner to ship?” .
Nevertheless, this coverage additionally has undesirable penalties. Lowering wages may also trigger issues with worker retention, and the query is whether or not corporations ought to elevate wages to compensate staff for misplaced time beyond regulation.