While the “human cost” of goods made in China have been criticized for quite some time (incredibly long work days, insufficient pay, isolation…), many consumers have been willing to look the other way in order to purchase items like sneakers, toys, and household goods at a low cost. Consumers who were not willing to look the other way–those who vowed not to buy anything made in China–had to be pretty darn dedicated since that little sticker seemed to affix itself to the majority of available retail goods.
According to a recent New York Times article, Chinese workers can expect to start seeing a little bit more in their wages…from a minimum wage of $125./month to a minimum of $140/month in Beijing. And workers for other industries, like one southern China Honda plant, can expect to see even larger salary increases of 24-32 percent (you can read the full article here ).
While it’s too soon to speculate how the increased cost of wages will impact consumers, it seems only logical that the world will start to see price tags go up. Hopefully, this will also mean that the human cost of manufacturing all of those disposable goods will start to go down. To learn more about the global impact of Chinese business, check out some of the Rentschler Library books listed below.
- Poorly Made in China : An Insider’s Account of the Tactics behind China’s Production Game (Midler 2009)
- One Billion Customers : Lessons from the Front Lines of doing Business in China (McGregor 2005)
- China, Inc. : How the Rise of the Next Superpower Challenges America and the World (Fishman 2005)
- The State of China Atlas: Mapping the World’s Fastest Growing Economy (Benewick & Donald 2009)
- Challenging China: Struggle and Hope in an Era of Change (Hom & Mosher 2007)
Image taken from flickr .