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Textile workers see huge wage rises

Textile workers see huge wage rises Source: www.dailynk.com
Date: 01-12-2013
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A large number of textile and clothing company workers in Pyongyang and surrounding areas have been receiving increased wages since September, Daily NK has learned. As with the wages of laborers in steel and mining industries, the improved wage of 300,000 North Korean Won broadly reflects market prices.
 
“Since September, workers in enterprises connected to Pyongyang Potonggang Garment Factory have been getting 300,000 won per month,” a Pyongyang source told Daily NK on the 29th. “Workers from other factories in the vicinity, a machine tool manufacturer and clothing company, are also getting paid at a similar level.”
 
The change is presumably designed to incentivize production and improve company efficiency.
 
“They probably judged that the factory is competitive since some of the material produced there is exported to China,” the source said. “Their goal is to increase export volumes by raising the wages of workers in garment factories so as to increase production.”
 
According to the source, there are a number of textile manufacturers in the region, including Pyongyang Knitwear Factory, East Pyongyang Textile Factory, Potonggang Garment Factory, Sindong Garment Factory, and Jeil Garment Factory.
 
“In Potonggang Factory there are more than 2000 registered female workers, and if you add the rest of them together it adds up to a few tens of thousands,” the source reported. “Although attendance rates have always been better in Pyongyang than elsewhere, it has only been since September when wages went up that a majority of workers have been at their posts.”
 
“I hear that since most of the garment and textile factories there were built in the 1930s and 40s, a lot of the equipment is in poor condition,” he went on. “If they can drive up production by raising wages then they'll be able to get more hard currency to invest in equipment.”
 
The major difference between the 300,000 won wages of workers in steel and mining industries, which are based in provincial areas, is the method of payment. In Pyongyang, the entire 300,000 won has thus far been paid in cash, whereas provincial steel and mine workers have been receiving 100,000 won in cash and the remainder in kind.
 
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