One of China's best known industrial conglomerates, Hua Wei, is encouraging long-serving employees to resign and rejoin the company on a new contract as a means of circumventing provisions in the new Labour Contract Law which make it difficult to dismiss workers employed for over ten years.
The Labour Contract Law, which goes into effect on 1 January 2008, states that all employees who have worked for more than ten years for the same company should be given an unlimited contract. And employers fear this could lead to much higher redundancy payments in the future.
According to the 21st Century Economic Report, Hua Wei has already persuaded nearly10,000 employees who have been with the company for over eight years (since 1999) to accept the offer and sign new one to three year contracts with the company. In return the employees have been given compensation to the tune of one month's salary for every year of employment plus one additional month's salary.
It is unknown at present how many if any employees have refused to take up the company's offer.
Hua Wei is major telecommunications conglomerate that grew out of the state-owned enterprise privatization process in the 1990s. It is based in Shenzhen but has over 100 outlets all over China, employing 62,000 workers.
In a notorious incident in May 2005, Hu Xinyu, a 25-year-old worker at the Huawei factory in Shenzhen, collapsed and died from multiple organ failure after working repeated overtime shifts for an entire month.