Chinese State-Owned Enterprises Withholding Salaries, Asking for Bonuses to be Returned, Worker Says

The extent of the economic downturn in China is evident from the real-life experiences of people across the country. Citizens from various regions of China have shared with the Chinese language edition of The Epoch Times their personal experiences, such as layoffs, local governments getting loans from civil servants with no intention to repay it, and civil aviation companies demanding employees return bonuses paid in previous years.All Sectors in Dire Straits“All industries and businesses have fallen into distress, except for monopolistic sectors relying on government funding,” said Mr. Qiu, an employee of a state-owned enterprise (SOE) from north China, Shanxi Province, “even civil servants’ salaries have also been withheld.”Under normal economic conditions, Chinese civil servants’ salaries should ideally see only upward adjustments, not reductions. However, the prevalent cutting of benefits reflects the significant economic pressure China is currently under.Mr. Zhang, a civil servant from Wuwei, Gansu Province in northwestern China, revealed that there’s been a widespread benefit cut for civil servants.“Except for departments like the Tax Bureau, Finance Bureau, National Security Bureau, and Public Security Bureau, benefits for other government departments have been completely eliminated,” said Mr. Zhang.He indicated that the neighboring Baiyin City officials have demanded civil servants pay back welfare benefits previously disbursed. “We were also told that a similar policy will be enforced in Wuwei City,” said Mr. Zhang.Mr. Xu, an employee of an SOE in Fuzhou, Fujian Province, on the southeastern coast of China, said that salary cuts were a trend a couple of years ago. Now, the prevailing trend is direct layoffs, buyouts of years of services, or simply driving employees out of the company.Related Stories“State-owned enterprises are all downsizing, probably cutting about half of the workforce. This is our main threat,” he said.He explained that the extensive layoffs just happened after the Chinese New Year. “I figured the company fears causing turmoil,” he said, “Everyone has been mentally prepared; the units are facing a downturn, and there wasn’t much income to begin with. Now, with imbalances in supply and sales, businesses are dry and there’s no cash.”He indicated that finding new employment is very difficult after being laid off, “I have little choice but to rely on my savings,” said Mr. Xu.Civil Aviation Reclaiming BonusesMr. Jin, a retired civil servant from Gansu, said that salary cuts, unpaid wages, and layoffs in China are extremely severe and that they, too, have been asked to return bonuses.“We are asked to return welfare benefits and bonuses that were paid previously. Several banks have initiated this process, and government agencies have also followed suit,” he said, “It was done before Chinese New Year. They wanted to see if there’s any resentment.”Mr. Jin stated that it did not affect just civil servants, civil aviation enterprises, in particular, have resorted to reclaiming bonuses and benefits issued during the last three years, for they have endured severe losses over the last two years. He said, “If employees claim they couldn’t repay, deductions will be made from their salaries.”Moreover, the wages of retirees, especially retired teachers, have been significantly reduced, according to Mr. Jin.Borrowing Money from Civil ServantsMs. Xie, an education professional in Anshan, Liaoning, a coastal province in Northeast China, said that salary reductions for civil servants are inevitable.She was told that some civil servants are being compelled to donate money, but it’s done under the pretext of borrowing money. Essentially, they’re coercing civil servants to lend money, with some borrowing tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands.“Everyone knows that once you lend it, you won’t get it back. If you refuse to lend, you won’t be able to retain your job. We know that it relies on good connections to get a job as a civil servant, who enjoys better benefits. Their families are affluent, they have money, so borrowing from them shouldn’t pose a significant problem.”Ms. Xie also revealed that a provincial official recently called and asked her, “What do you think about the current public security situation?” She responded, “I'd rather not answer that question.”Ms. Xie believes that the government is uneasy about the current situation and fears public uproar, hence conducting surveys on ordinary citizens.“They are especially fearful, afraid of people stirring up trouble. Such phone calls have never been made before,” said Ms. Xie.All names were withheld for fear of the regime’s reprisal.Fang Xiao and Xiong Bin contributed to this report.

Chinese State-Owned Enterprises Withholding Salaries, Asking for Bonuses to be Returned, Worker Says

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The extent of the economic downturn in China is evident from the real-life experiences of people across the country. Citizens from various regions of China have shared with the Chinese language edition of The Epoch Times their personal experiences, such as layoffs, local governments getting loans from civil servants with no intention to repay it, and civil aviation companies demanding employees return bonuses paid in previous years.

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All Sectors in Dire Straits

“All industries and businesses have fallen into distress, except for monopolistic sectors relying on government funding,” said Mr. Qiu, an employee of a state-owned enterprise (SOE) from north China, Shanxi Province, “even civil servants’ salaries have also been withheld.”

Under normal economic conditions, Chinese civil servants’ salaries should ideally see only upward adjustments, not reductions. However, the prevalent cutting of benefits reflects the significant economic pressure China is currently under.

Mr. Zhang, a civil servant from Wuwei, Gansu Province in northwestern China, revealed that there’s been a widespread benefit cut for civil servants.

“Except for departments like the Tax Bureau, Finance Bureau, National Security Bureau, and Public Security Bureau, benefits for other government departments have been completely eliminated,” said Mr. Zhang.

He indicated that the neighboring Baiyin City officials have demanded civil servants pay back welfare benefits previously disbursed. “We were also told that a similar policy will be enforced in Wuwei City,” said Mr. Zhang.

Mr. Xu, an employee of an SOE in Fuzhou, Fujian Province, on the southeastern coast of China, said that salary cuts were a trend a couple of years ago. Now, the prevailing trend is direct layoffs, buyouts of years of services, or simply driving employees out of the company.

“State-owned enterprises are all downsizing, probably cutting about half of the workforce. This is our main threat,” he said.

He explained that the extensive layoffs just happened after the Chinese New Year. “I figured the company fears causing turmoil,” he said, “Everyone has been mentally prepared; the units are facing a downturn, and there wasn’t much income to begin with. Now, with imbalances in supply and sales, businesses are dry and there’s no cash.”

He indicated that finding new employment is very difficult after being laid off, “I have little choice but to rely on my savings,” said Mr. Xu.

.

Civil Aviation Reclaiming Bonuses

Mr. Jin, a retired civil servant from Gansu, said that salary cuts, unpaid wages, and layoffs in China are extremely severe and that they, too, have been asked to return bonuses.

“We are asked to return welfare benefits and bonuses that were paid previously. Several banks have initiated this process, and government agencies have also followed suit,” he said, “It was done before Chinese New Year. They wanted to see if there’s any resentment.”

Mr. Jin stated that it did not affect just civil servants, civil aviation enterprises, in particular, have resorted to reclaiming bonuses and benefits issued during the last three years, for they have endured severe losses over the last two years. He said, “If employees claim they couldn’t repay, deductions will be made from their salaries.”

Moreover, the wages of retirees, especially retired teachers, have been significantly reduced, according to Mr. Jin.

.

Borrowing Money from Civil Servants

Ms. Xie, an education professional in Anshan, Liaoning, a coastal province in Northeast China, said that salary reductions for civil servants are inevitable.

She was told that some civil servants are being compelled to donate money, but it’s done under the pretext of borrowing money. Essentially, they’re coercing civil servants to lend money, with some borrowing tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands.

“Everyone knows that once you lend it, you won’t get it back. If you refuse to lend, you won’t be able to retain your job. We know that it relies on good connections to get a job as a civil servant, who enjoys better benefits. Their families are affluent, they have money, so borrowing from them shouldn’t pose a significant problem.”

Ms. Xie also revealed that a provincial official recently called and asked her, “What do you think about the current public security situation?” She responded, “I'd rather not answer that question.”

Ms. Xie believes that the government is uneasy about the current situation and fears public uproar, hence conducting surveys on ordinary citizens.

“They are especially fearful, afraid of people stirring up trouble. Such phone calls have never been made before,” said Ms. Xie.

All names were withheld for fear of the regime’s reprisal.

Fang Xiao and Xiong Bin contributed to this report.

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