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Chris,

It is my understanding that most arbitration cases are decided in favor of the employee.

However, this does not mean that the employee always gets what he or she is due by law: often, a compromise is struck that is below the legally mandated rate of compensation.

Moreover, the process can still be very slow, despite the new Arbitration Law. In fact, a sharp rise in arbitration cases this year has clogged some of the courts.

China's arbitration system is still a work in progress.

I appreciate these conversations about China.

i am able to listen to Anita Chan.


i hope to be able to listen with postings on my http://chriswhiteonline.org

I also cover the unionisation of Wal-Mart and these current developments.

I reported earlier on the new labour laws, the debates, the compliance issue, the changing role of the ACFTU and the changed mediation and arbitration system.

i have had the chance to advise lawyers working for Australian companies in China to comply with the new labour laws, particularly the suppliers.

I do not know but hope that the mass redundancies in China due to the world's capitalist crisis means at least the workers get the new minimum redundancy pay of one month's pay for each year of service...more than the minimum in Australia.

I am intersted to listen to whether the mediation and arbitration system is working to advance workers' interests and solve in their favour workplace grievances.

or is it the same as before?

After the talks, I reflected much about not only Anita Chan's view but also Jeff Fiedler's. Here are my thoughts on the most effective way that Americans can assist workers in China.
We as American citizens have a responsibility for what our own corporations are doing in China. To put it gently, their behavior could be improved. It does little good just to write a letter of protest when a new scandal makes the headlines.
What is needed a campaign to pressure the U.S. congress to hold hearings that lay the groundwork for legislation setting the rules covering the conduct of U.S.-based corporations in China (and elsewhere abroad). Amnesty International has just developed a sound case for such "extraterritorial" legislation, without launching a campaign to achieve it.
I will be doing an article about this on my own Weblog, .
Bob Senser
editor, Human Rights for Workers

I thought the talk went very well. What's important to acknowledge is that there isn't a single way, no single set of "talking points," that can help anyone work on Chinese labor issues---the different perspectives that came out in the talk on Monday and in the audience's questions highlighted this in a great way.

What is needed is more people jumping into all the complexities of China and finding their own way by trial and error, arriving at different positions, of course, sometimes diametrically opposed positions, but hopefully advancing the goal of a more just China and a more just world.

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