Impactt held a workshop on Collective Bargaining and Collective Contracts in Guangdong Province on 30th January 2015. The 30 attendees included government officials, brand representatives, international and local NGOs, and lawyers.
The workshop was timely as a regulations on trade unions in China have proved an obstacle to collective bargaining in the past. However, in recent years, there has been some movement on this, especially in Guangdong Province. There, labour law has recently been amended to include provisions for workers to bargain collectively with their employers. This has meant bargaining agreements between employees and factories are now starting to emerge in the region, some with the ACFTU and others not. This is an interesting shift for workers in the region and could potentially lead to the improvement of working conditions.
Guest speakers at the workshop included labour law experts Ms. Huang Qiaoyan and Mr. Li Libin; Mr. Kong Xianghong, the ex-deputy chairman of the Guangdong Provincial Federation of trade unions, and Mr. Yin Xinjie, Deputy Director of Guangdong Department of Human Resources and Social Security Labour Inspection department. They introduced and explained the current legislation from different perspectives. These included the background of the law and recent amendments, legal practice, labour union efforts and labour disputes situation. Talks included best practice, case studies and practical suggestions for next steps. It was an eye-opening experience for many as for 60% of attendees it was the first time they were participating in the workshop on this topic. Talk was open and everyone actively shared the difficulties and challenges faced when promoting collective bargaining in supply chains as well as proactively discussing practical solutions.
Key topics covered (more details here in Chinese ):
- Overall situation of latest labour disputes and arbitration in Guangdong Province: what are the key challenges faced in labour relationships?
- Key obstacles and challenges to overcome when promoting collective bargaining and collective contract.
- Lessons, hints and tips from previous bargaining cases.
- An insight into government efforts to improve labour relationships and to encourage multi-stakeholder collaboration.
- Suggestions and practical next steps.
Impactt will continue to hold seminars and workshops in China to discuss hot topics and key issues affecting supply chains in the country. We also provide tailor-made consultation services for issues affecting your supply chain. For more info, please contact us at Chinainfo@impacttlimited.com.