In the course of establishing and
improving the socialist market economy system, labor relations in
Instituting a Labor Contract System
Establishing a Group Contract System
The Chinese government encourages
enterprises to continuously strengthen the functions of the workers' congresses and trade
unions, and improve the system of employees' democratic participation. To form a
self-coordination mechanism of labor relations in enterprises,
In recent years, the group contract system has not only been popularized in non-state enterprises, but also been gradually carried out during the reform of state-owned enterprises. By the end of 2001, the number of group contracts signed by enterprises nationwide and submitted to the labor and social security administration departments for the record had reached 270,000.
Setting Up a Tripartite Coordination Mechanism
China has made active efforts to
establish a government-trade union-enterprise tripartite coordination mechanism in
conformity with its actual conditions. In this mechanism, representatives from government
labor and social security departments at all levels, trade unions and enterprises
constitute a coordination organ to conduct communication and consultation on major
problems relating to labor relations, and put forth suggestions on the drafting of labor
and social security regulations, major reform programs, policies and measures concerning
the interests readjustment of the three parties.
In August 2001, the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, All-China Federation of Trade Unions and China Enterprise Association jointly established the State Tripartite Conference System of Labor Relations Coordination, and convened the first national tripartite conference of labor relations coordination, setting a standard and stable operating mechanism for
Bettering the Labor Standard System
The Chinese government attaches
great importance to rationally determining, legally promulgating and timely adjusting
labor standards to guarantee the lawful rights and interests of workers and promote
economic and social development. At present, a labor standard system is basically in
place, centering on the Labor Law of the People's Republic of China and covering areas
such as working hours, rest and vacation, wage, prohibition of the use of child labor,
special labor protection for women employees and under-age workers, work quotas and job
safety and hygiene. The system has been adjusted and improved along with the country's
economic and social development.
To ensure that all workers enjoy the right to work, rest and vacation,
The state prohibits hiring people under the age of 16, and punishes the illegal employment of child labor. The state prohibits all employers from hiring women and minors (ages 16 to less than 18) for tasks explicitly prohibited by state regulations.
To ensure that labor standards
are scientific and rational and that they are implemented smoothly, the government
solicits suggestions from trade unions, enterprises, specialists and scholars while
formulating, promulgating or adjusting labor standards. The Chinese government has always
maintained that labor standards must be in sync with the country's level of economic and
social development, that they should guarantee basic human rights and promote economic
development and social progress, and on this basis should be gradually improved.
Improving the System for Handling Labor Disputes
The Chinese government holds that
all labor disputes should be handled according to law and in a timely fashion, and that
the lawful rights and interests of both parties involved should be protected. It
encourages both parties in a dispute to solve their problems through negotiation and
consultation. Chinese laws and regulations clearly define the procedures and organs
responsible for the settlement of labor disputes. According to the regulations, whenever a
labor dispute arises between a worker and an enterprise, either party may apply to the
labor dispute mediation committee at the enterprise for mediation. If the mediation fails
or if neither party wants mediation, then they may apply to the local labor dispute
arbitration committee for arbitration. If either party is not satisfied with the decision
of the arbitration committee, he or she may file a lawsuit with a people's court.
By the end of 2001
Setting Up a Labor Security Supervision System
According to the principle of promoting law-based administration and enforcing laws strictly, labor and social security administration departments at all levels have constantly strengthened their law enforcement and established or improved labor security supervision organizations. By the end of 2001,
Reforming the Wage and Income Distribution System
The Chinese government adheres to
a diversified distribution system with distribution according to work as the main form.
The principle is to give priority to efficiency with due consideration to fairness.
Reforms are being made to the wage system so that market mechanism can play its regulatory
role in the distribution of income and that workers' incomes can increase as the economy
develops and enterprises' economic returns increase. The Labor Law of the People's
The Chinese government formulates minimum wage standards according to law and makes timely adjustments to them, standardizes wage payment methods, and regularly issues information regarding wage guidelines, guidance wage levels for the labor market, and labor costs. It encourages enterprises to trial-implement the system of collective wage negotiation and guides them to adopt diverse wage systems and distribution forms. While safeguarding enterprises' right to independent decision-making in the matter of wage distribution, the government also guarantees workers' right to receive the remuneration for their work according to law. At present, a minimum wage system has been basically established across the country, and more than 10,000 enterprises have started to experiment with pilot wage schemes through collective negotiations. Twenty-six provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government regularly release wage guidelines, and 88 cities publicize guidance wage levels for the labor market.