Private enterprises are increasingly driving economic growth in China, but a rising concern is on labour disputes.
The central government has drafted laws and regulations to help reduce such disputes and better protect workers' rights.
Ding Jiangning works in a privately-owned furniture firm in Beijing.
He says that the private enterprises of today are a great improvement on those of the past and that development has also been to the benefit of the staff.
"Guided by China's practical policy on workers' rights, the boss is a lot of attention to the rights and interests of the staff in terms of medical and accident insurance. Moreover, overtime payments have never been delayed. The company is also willing to adopt our suggestions, as long as they are rational."
When private enterprises first appeared in China two decades ago, the basic rights of the employees were not so adequately protected.
There were cases of salary payments being defered, overtime rarely being paid at all, and insurance not attended to.
In 1994, China instituted a Labor Law to address the problems. A number of national and regional regulations have also been issued, which have effectively dealt with the labor disputes.
Addressing the current situation, the Chairman of the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce (ACFIC), Huang Mengfu, points out that that a vigorous private economy also leads to a more people-oriented development strategy.
"At present, Chinese private entrepreneurs have taken on the concept of establishing a harmonious relationship between staff and management. They have put more and more stress on occupational health, pay scales, professional training and other employee issues."
He also notes that the establishment of legal contracts with staff and a more incentive management system also plays an essential role in the development of the enterprise and its staff as well.
By the end of September this year, over 4 million private enterprises had registered in China, accounting for more than 50 percent of China's total enterprises.
(China Daily November 14, 2005)