Nescafe Co Ltd is being investigated by the municipal trade union here over alleged irregularities with the operation of its trade union, an official said yesterday.
"We have received complaints from some of Nescafe's former employees and have approached the firm to begin an investigation," the official, who gave his name only as Li, told China Daily.
"Initial findings indicate there are some problems with the union and we are urging the firm to deal with them in accordance with the law," he said.
Under national law, the members of a trade union committee can serve only for between three and five years, after which they must stand for reelection, Li said.
"Nescafe's practice of keeping its union committees unchanged for the past 12 years is definitely improper," he said.
Former Nescafe employee Wang Jianjun reported the company to the municipal union. The 36-year-old claimed he was sacked in March, after calling for a new election for union committee members.
"Nescafe's trade union has never charged its members fees or organized any activities for them," Wang said.
"That's why I distributed leaflets and sought signatures from my co-workers calling for an election to be held for the posts of chairman and committee members," he said.
"I can't understand why they fired me just because I called for an election to ensure workers' rights and interests are protected."
Wang said he was officially dismissed for "serious misconduct".
China Daily yesterday tried to call Zhang Junfeng, the incumbent chairman of the Nescafe trade union - who also happens to be the head of the Chinese arm of the company - but received no answer.
Nescafe Dongguan was established in 1992 and currently employs 600 people.
(China Daily July 10, 2008)