- Coca-Cola is offering hazard pay to its expatriate employees in China, according to a report by the Australian Financial Review.
- The "environmental hardship allowance" reportedly comes to 15% of a worker's salary, and is aimed at helping the company convince employees to accept assignments in the pollution-ravaged land.
- The payments are not made to local employees.
The scale of China's pollution is extraordinary. In much of the country it's become impossible to remain healthy and do simple things, like go outside. In a situation like that, it is becoming very, very difficult to get people to move there. It's even getting difficult to convince employees from other countries to just visit the China office.
Coke now joins Panasonic in offering hazard pay to expats in China. Perhaps such payments will help global corporations solve their recruiting problems. But it won't do anything to solve China's pollution problem.
And how big is that problem? Consider this: A study estimated that there were 1.2 million premature deaths in China from outdoor air pollution in 2010. More than half the days in May did not meet the government standard for air quality in Beijing.