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Over 300,000 labour lawsuits filed in 2005, ACFTU survey says

Published by MAC on 2006-05-15

Over 300,000 labour lawsuits filed in 2005, ACFTU survey says

The number of labour disputes and incidences of worker unrest leaped in 2005, with more than 300,000 labour dispute lawsuits filed, according to a survey recently released by the official trade union.

The report, done by the All China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU), said that the number of labour disputes in 2005 was 20.5 percent higher than in 2004 and 9.5 times more than the number in 1995.

While more than two-thirds of the disputes lodged last year were of cases occurring in the seven most developed economic areas in China – Guangdong, Jiangsu, Shandong, Shanghai, Beijing, Zhejiang and Sichuan, most cases occurred in Guangdong, where 61,200 labour lawsuits were submitted. Jiangsu was second with 50,800 cases and Shandong third with 26,000.

According to the report, the two most common issues dealt with in the lawsuits were the failure to honour contract terms and disagreements over wages, insurance and welfare fund payments. The report said there was a trend towards more confrontations over labour issues, but it did not give any further details.

The survey also said that employees won almost half of all cases last year, while employers succeeded in only 15.8 percent of the cases. But the report did not specify the outcome of the other remaining cases.

Hu Xingdou, a professor of economics at the Beijing Institute of Technology, was quoted by the South China Morning Post as saying: "Many disputes happen because governments go ahead with development of the local economy regardless of labour rights. This is a very dangerous mistake for the nation."

Source: South China Morning Post (12 May 2006),
Xinhua News Agency (11 May 2006)

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