Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 November 2017, 15:02 GMT

2013 Annual Survey of Violations of Trade Union Rights - China

Publisher International Trade Union Confederation
Publication Date 6 June 2013
Cite as International Trade Union Confederation, 2013 Annual Survey of Violations of Trade Union Rights - China, 6 June 2013, available at: [accessed 22 November 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Labour law reform: China still does not have a national law on collective bargaining. In its place, local legislation has been passed since 2010 to enable the government and the trade unions to establish a collective wage mechanism. To date, 25 provincial and municipal governments have introduced local legislation on collective wage negotiation.

Workers in the state and public sector excluded from collective bargaining: The local legislation on collective wage negotiations does not cover employees in the State Owned Enterprises, the public service units (PSUs), or employing units for the party and civil servants.

60 million agency workers excluded: All the local wage negotiation legislation excludes agency workers. The only exception is Wuxi city in Jiangsu province, which allows the agency workers to take part in the collective negotiation with the company where they work. Although there is no provision barring agency workers from joining a trade union in Chinese law, they are allowed to join the trade union only in the agency company as stated in the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) Directive passed in 2009.

Dismissal of strikers is not deemed an unfair labour practice in China: On 28 December 2011, all the workers from Shihe Wood (Shanghai) staged a three-day strike to demand that management negotiate a settlement plan for the layoffs. The management put up a warning on 29 and 30 December requesting that workers return to work and subsequently fired 400 workers. Some of them took the company to court for illegal dismissal demanding compensation. Yuan, one of the plaintiffs, lost the case in the Court of First Instance and then in the intermediate court on 24 August 2012. Yuan was condemned for having broken company rules prohibiting absenteeism for three days, as well as participating in an illegal strike and inciting others to strike.

Coercing strikers to return to work: Flextronics's factory in Shenzhen demanded that strikers sign a no-strike agreement before they were allowed to return to work. The management posted a warning letter on 30 October 2012 declaring that they would dismiss all workers who refused to return to work on 31 October 2012 for violating the company code and the Labour Law and offering a cash reward of RMB 200 to those who had not participated in the strike.

Copyright notice: © ITUC-CSI-IGB 2010

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