Layoffs outrage staff

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Global Times, May 23, 2011
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Nearly 200 unemployed and employed workers held a news conference in Beijing Sunday demanding their employer offer reasons for shocking overnight layoffs.

Two women staff members who had asked the company to explain their sudden notice on Wednesday had been beaten by two men claiming themselves employees of, said Li Xin, a former Central China planning executive at One was hospitalized till Sunday, Li said.

Li explained that on Wednesday morning about 150 staff were unexpectedly told by the human resources department of video website to sign dismissal agreements and return all office supplies. Their e-mails were closed down the next day and on Friday, the human resources department strongly ordered the laid-off staff to sign agreements.

Owned by Shanda Networking, an interactive entertainment media company, announced 20 percent of workers were being laid off on Wednesday.

All 150 laid-off workers including vice presidents Hao Zhizhong and Zeng Xingye belonged to the marketing departments located in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. A total 40 salespeople were retained, Hao said.

"The company didn't follow the legal procedure to inform us 30 days in advance," Hao said.

"They didn't coordinate with us. While all the salesmen were working hard on the marketing battlefront, our backup was plotting our death."

The 40 surviving marketing department workers also attended the conference in support of their former colleagues.

"We the left workers with a ‘so-called good working performance' are also hurt by the layoffs," said saleswoman Li Rong.

Li said CEO Zhu Haifa had poured praise on the marketing department in April for successfully completing their 105 percent sales task in the first quarter.

"Just one month later, we are abandoned like homeless animals," Hao said.

"We hope the company will open normal channels to communicate with us and give us sound reasons.

"We care more about our dignity than how much compensation we could get." on Thursday announced its actions were "normal and rational" when facing losses and the high costs of marketing, according to the West China Metropolis Daily.

The conflict was caused by rumors from a few people, a company leader told the Chengdu-based newspaper.

The company is collecting evidence against Hao and other Shanghai office members. founder Li Shanyou, who quit the company in March, made no comments on the sudden change.'s gross income for 2010 was US$16.56 million. Marketing cost $16.20 million or 98 percent of total income. Rival earned $58.65 million in 2010 and its marketing costs were about 34 percent of gross income.

"They should have informed the workers 30 days in advance," Shen Binti, a labor law lawyer and partner with United Zhongwen Law Firm, said at the press conference.

"What the company did didn't respect its workers."

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