Guangzhou Proposes Collective Bargaining Legislation

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Mar. 24 – The Guangzhou Federation of Trade Unions has formulated a draft ruling to regulate collective negotiations of labor relationships through legislation.

The draft, “Regulations of Guangzhou Municipality for Collective Negotiations for Labor Relationships,” specifically regulates collective negotiations on wages and provides for the comprehensive promotion of industry associations, employers and trade unions in collective wage negotiations to determine salary scales. The employing unit shall adjust the matter with the union on wages to conduct collective consultations, and consultations must be held at least once a year.

The bill stipulates both enterprises and workers shall participate in the collective negotiations, and can not refuse without solid reasons. Within 20 days of the collective negotiations being initiated, both parties must carry out the consultation. In circumstances where one party is behind the schedule or refuses to consult, that party will be fined a maximum of RMB2,000 for individuals and RMB20,000 for enterprises.

The bill also clarifies that for workers and enterprises in a labor dispute, staff representatives should refer the situation to the trade union first, after which the union will negotiate with the enterprise on the workers behalf. All representatives that participate in collective negotiations are guaranteed both job title and wages. Should enterprises terminate labor contracts or reduce the wages of these representatives, they will be in violation of the law.

This bill follows a Beijing court ruling awarding an employee of a foreign-invested advertising company RMB400,000 for wrongful dismissal after the employee was fired when she established a trade union using the company’s chop without permission.