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Court fines employer for dismissing worker without notifying trade union

A court in Chengdu has taken the highly unusual step of sanctioning a company for dismissing an employee without informing the trade union, as required by law, the Chengdu Commercial Daily (成都商报) reported on 9 October. The Jinjiang District People’s Court ordered a Chengdu electrical appliance company to pay the employee, a Ms Gao, 19,600 yuan in “double compensation” (双倍赔偿金) – that is twice the amount of economic compensation the employee would normally be entitled to if dismissed in accordance with the Labour Contract Law.

CLB mourns the death of Hegang’s miners

China Labour Bulletin extends its utmost sympathy and heartfelt condolences to the families of the more than one hundred miners who lost their lives in the Hegang tragedy early on the morning of 21 November 2009.

State Council’s revised work-related injury regulations need more bite

The government’s revisions to its Work-related Injury Insurance Regulations will go a long way to giving workers the insurance cover and legal protection they need, but lack the clout to force employers to comply.

Is the ACFTU’s response to recent SOE protests anything more than self-consolation? (Updated)

In the wake of two high-profile SOE restructuring disputes – the Tonghua incident, in which a company manager died, and the Linzhou incident in which a manager was taken hostage – the question of who should protect workers’ interests and how that should be done has once again come into the public focus. As the only organization legally allowed to represent workers’ interests, naturally I have been following the ACFTU’s website to gauge their response. However, figuring out what their exact response has been is somewhat of a frustrating experience, and it almost seems as if they’ve made their specific response to be strongly worded but elusive to find, perhaps to maintain a low-profile. And perhaps not unsurprisingly then, upon finding their response, in the form of an Opinion and a Circular, it’s clear that their weakness inside the Chinese bureaucracy has prevented them from doing anything other than sending out ineffective but self-consoling statements.

The Globe and Mail: Hidden toll on China's economic backbone

China Labour Bulletin appears in the following article. Copyright remains with the original publisher.

Carolynne Wheeler
Beijing 19 August 2009

Last fall, Lu Haicheng became a statistic, one of an estimated 20 million to 30 million Chinese migrant workers thrown out of work when his factory, hit by global recession, shut down.


China’s first successfully litigated Hepatitis B employment discrimination case

On 23 May 2008, a Beijing district court awarded Gao Yiming nearly 20,000 yuan in compensation after he was refused employment at a Beijing technology company on the grounds that he was carrying the Hepatitis B virus (HBV). This was the first time a HBV discrimination case had been successfully litigated in China. Earlier cases had been successfully concluded through court ordered mediation or through private agreements between the plaintiff and defendant.

Henan health officials shoot the messenger

Zhang Haichao became something of a celebrity in China after voluntarily undergoing open-chest surgery in a bid to show without doubt that he was suffering from the fatal lung disease pneumoconiosis. The case should have provided the impetus for a radical shake-up, or at least a rethinking, of the country’s work-related illness diagnosis system, but so far all local health officials in Henan have done is give a slap on the wrist to those deemed responsible for the original misdiagnosis, and, incredibly, publicly criticize the hospital that operated on Zhang for making an unlawful diagnosis.

New York Times: Bowing to Protests, China Halts Sale of Steel Mill

China Labour Bulletin appears in the following article. Copyright remains with the original publisher.

Published: August 16, 2009

UN Secretary-General Special Representative on business & human rights portal launched

The Business and Human Rights Resource Centre has launched an information hub providing the UN Secretary-General Special Representative on business & human rights a portal where all the documents, commentaries, and submissions about the framework can be found.

China debates the lessons of Tonghua tragedy

The death of Chen Guojun at the hands of angry workers at the Tonghua Steel works on 24 July prompted a flurry of comment and speculation in the Chinese media. There was one issue however that everyone seemed to agree on; namely the need to better protect the rights and interests of workers during the process of state-owned enterprise reform - the only question that remained was how.
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