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Japan's Panasonic to give China expats 'pollution pay'

Published on Mar 13, 2014 3:30 PM
 
Smoke rises from chimneys on a hazy day in Dezhou, Shandong province on March 12, 2014. Japanese electronics giant Panasonic said on Thursday, March 13, 2014, it would give employees sent to China a wage premium to compensate for the country's hazardous air pollution, in a possible first for an international company. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO (AFP) - Japanese electronics giant Panasonic said on Thursday it would give employees sent to China a wage premium to compensate for the country's hazardous air pollution, in a possible first for an international company.

The move was part of a wider deal reached in Japan's annual labour talks which saw major firms, including Panasonic and Toyota, agree to boost workers' salaries for the first time in years, amid concerns about an economic slowdown after a sales tax rise next month.

A Panasonic spokesman confirmed the pollution-linked pay premium for its expatriate workers, but declined to give further details or say how many such workers it has in China, which has extensive trade and business links with Japan.

So-called hardship pay is not unusual for employees of foreign firms sent to work to China, but Panasonic is believed to be the first to announce a premium to compensate for polluted air.

 
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