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Shanghai companies train staff amid storm
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Local enterprises and trade unions in Shanghai are working aggressively to limit unemployment following the central government's call for domestic firms to nurture confidence in the face of the global financial crisis.

More than 200 local enterprises, mostly technology and manufacturing companies, promised recently not to lay off employees during the crisis but instead invest more in training and technological innovation.

The move, initiated by Shanghai Minhang district federation of trade unions, is designed to help local enterprises cope with the global economic turmoil and maintain stable social and economic development.

Sun Yaohui, vice-president of the trade union, said: "So far the government has introduced a series of measures to boost confidence among enterprises.

"Surely, trade unions now should unite with workers and business enterprises to overcome difficulties and strive for building a harmonious and stable society," he said.

"That can to some extent help reduce some pressure on the government."

Earlier this month, the ministry of human resources and social security urged state-owned enterprises to avoid large-scale job cuts.

The global financial crisis could worsen the already grim job market, Yin Weimin, the minister of human resources and social security, said.

Sun cited the Shanghai-based Baolima Technology Company, which produces mainly mobile phone keyboards and auto parts, as an exemple of the current fight.

Affected by the rising price of raw materials, the company foresees a sharp decrease in orders this year.

But it has still recruited more than 70 production line workers and engineers, Sun said.

Attributing its current difficulties to an irrational product mix, Baolima quickly set about redressing it.

It also launched a series of staff training programs to help improve productivity.

This year the company will send a total of 150 employees abroad for up to three months training.

One of them, Lu Peipei, a production line worker at Baolima Company, said three months of professional training makes workers much more efficient.

(China Daily November 25, 2008)

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