According to an article translated by EastSouthWestNorth, a reporter from New Express “received a telephone call from two current university students to say that they have been working part-time at McDonald’s for more than one year and they were just making 4 RMB per hour. That is lower than the Guangzhou city requirement of 7.5 RMB per hour.” As of right now, 7.75 RMB is one dollar, so the proper minimum wage is still less than a dollar per hour.
The newspaper set up a clever undercover investigation, sending university students to apply at McDonald’s and take the below-minimum wage jobs. They used college students because the fast-food places don’t like to hire graduates, and because, as we all know, college students will do almost anything to make a little extra cash. The full description of the sting is here, but the short version is that McDonald’s is in very hot water, both for failing to pay employees Chinese minimum wage and for failing to provide contracts and laying off employees right before their ten-year tenure.
Micah Sittig points out that the newspaper is cleverly calling the McWage scandal “???”, or “Wage-gate”.