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Improving the legal system

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail CNTV, October 29, 2012
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Protecting workers' rights in China has been a major topic of discussion over the past decade. But it's not just been talk. In 2008, the country put in place the Labor Contract Law. This has not only benefited hundreds of millions of workers over the past four years, but also signaled gradual improvement in the legal system as a whole.

Improved legal system protects workers' rights.

This is Wang Yan. She lost her job after her company illegally terminated her contract. With no other source of income, she turned to selling small goods in her community to make a living. Then in 2009, she found Zhou Lita, who is well-known for his fierce advocate for low-wage workers. He's helped over ten thousand claim their legal rights against employers. He's also quite a fan of the 2008 law.

Zhou Litai, lawyer of Zhou Litai Law Firm, said, "According to China's labor contract law, if an employer and worker do not sign labor contracts and the employer does not provide insurance, a laborer can claim double pay. If an employer refuses to pay overtime wages and a worker is forced to quit, the employer can be forced to pay compensation. So when the labor contract law came onto the scene, we saw a vast expansion of workers' rights."

Wang Yan and Chongqing Konka Electronics Co., Ltd. signed a labor contract on March 1, 1999. This arrangement shall continue to be performed." Wang Yan says she's glad to see the law held up. Though she has not yet gotten back to work because the company has ceased production, there is at least hope that one day the position may return to her.

Now I feel this is a fair society, we are most deprived workers, but we have legal rights for protection and I am very happy from bottom of my heart."

Since 2008, when China's labor contract law was implemented, the use of labor contracts has significantly increased, and the practices of the law have become standard. Experts say that although the legislation may have increased immediate costs for businesses, the stability and improved labor relations that result will pay off in the long term. But they also say the legal system still demands improvement.

Chang Kai, director of Labor Relations Institute, Renmin University, said, "We cannot rely on the labor contract law alone if we want to continue improving labor relations. If labor law is to be improved, it must recognize the legal status of collective bargaining. Our country's labor laws are weak in this respect and in some areas even blank. The country has begun researching how it can improve collective contract law.

Analysts say that over the past decade, the National People's Congress has enacted a number of laws aimed at improving the labor system, bringing about social justice and the rule of law, and public participation in lawmaking. These are all signs of concrete steps towards the broader project of improving China's system of law as a whole. The question now is whether those steps will continue.

Liu Yang said, "The expert pointed out that in the past decade china has strengthened its legal system construction efforts, such as with the labor contract law to protect workers rights. But they caution the implementation of legislative, judicial, and legal supervision, as well as citizen's legal awareness should also be further intensified. There is still much to do in the legal construction process."


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