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Employees, Employers Both Benefit in Dalian
Trade unions in the development zone of Northeast China's coastal city Dalian have become powerful backers of workers who get in trouble.

With the help of trade unions and related regulations, thousands of workers have enjoyed stable and friendly relations with employees in the high-tech development zone, local union members said.

"In our zone, there are three rudimentary things that employers must negotiate with trade unions, which act as representatives of employees," said Miao Fengren, chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions of Dalian Economic and High-tech Development Zone.

"When employers decide to cut jobs because of economic reasons, they should consult and negotiate with us, and they can't act until we've got real confirmation," Miao said. "We cannot put deaf ears to cases of recklessly sacking employees in the zone, and workers' labour rights should be well-protected."

In addition, trade unions should keep watch when the enterprises decide employees' pay every April.

Unions also consult with employers to determine how much dividend employees should get at the end of every year.

According to Miao, nearly all the enterprises in the zone have trade unions, and a negotiation system has existed between them since 1990.

Miao also said his federation has hosted regular training sessions of trade union representatives on labour law, negotiating strategies and the development of industries worldwide.

Miao did so because he was not satisfied with various labour disputes and encroachment on labour rights by employers over the years.

"Fortunately, we have been successful acting as a win-win negotiator between employers and employees," Miao said. "And all the accomplishments can be attributed to respectable systems of regulations in our zone and high public awareness of law-abiding employees and employers."

(China Daily November 6, 2001)

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