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New Chinese law to turn 'lose-lose' labor disputes into 'win-win' negotiation

07-22-2010 09:15 BJT

GUANGZHOU, July 21 (Xinhua) -- Officials in south China's Guangdong Province on Wednesday reviewed a draft of the country's first law that sets the rules for labor disputes and wage negotiations to ease labor tensions.

The new law hopes to "turn the lose-lose labor disputes into win-win negotiations" as it is expected to save unnecessary costs for both workers and employers through orderly negotiations, said Liu Mu, head of the labor law department of the standing committee of the Guangdong Provincial People's Congress, the provincial legislative body.

The Regulation on the Democratic Management of Enterprises in Guangdong aims to solve two major labor issues -- poor welfare and low payment, said Ou Guangyuan, head of the standing committee of Guangdong's People's Congress.

Guangdong first mulled creating such a law about a year ago, but stopped reviewing it amid the global economic crisis for fear of increasing the burden on companies.

But a spate of strikes and worker suicides in Guangdong prompted authorities to relaunch the review of the law, Ou said.

HAUNTING COSTLY LABOR DISPUTES

At least two strikes are currently underway in Guangdong.

An unknown number of workers of Omron (Guangzhou) Automobile Electronics Co. Ltd, which supplies Honda and Toyota vehicles with electronic components, went on strike Wednesday.

They have demanded the company raise their monthly salary from 1,300 yuan (about 191 U.S. dollars) to 1,800 yuan.

At the same time, workers of Atsumitec Auto Parts, a Honda parts supply factory in Guangdong's Foshan City, continued their strike as part of a walkout that began July 12, and is the longest walkout reported in the series of strikes that hit Guangdong this year.

Previous strikes at different auto-parts suppliers forced Honda and Toyota's assembly plants in China to halt production. Most of the companies compromised with striking workers by increasing wages.

Although Honda and Toyota's China branches refused to comment on the strikes, analysts estimate significant losses caused by the work stoppages.

Workers at several plants hit by strikes told Xinhua that their leaders were sacked by the companies as retribution.


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