December 4–18, 2004
Washington, D.C., Houston and San Francisco

The second major activity of our multi-year DOL contract brought a group of ten senior Chinese labor inspectors from the central and provincial levels to the United States for a two-week training program. The key objectives were twofold: 1) to give the participants a comprehensive understanding of how the U.S. Wage and Hour laws and regulations are administered and enforced, and more generally how workers’ rights are protected in the United States; and 2) to nurture inspection leaders so that they can continue to play an important role in future project activities.

The program included Washington, D.C., Houston and San Francisco and focused on compliance with and enforcement of labor laws/standards; administration and governance; training of labor inspectors/investigators; and enforcement mechanism, tools, and coordination. Most of the meetings took place at the Department of Labor’s Employment Standards Administration’s Wage and Hour Divisions (WHD) – at the headquarters, regional and district levels. In addition, Meetings were held with state labor departments and non-governmental organizations involved in labor standards enforcement. During their stay, the inspectors were provided a comprehensive and fairly in-depth look at how the WHD system enforces and assists compliance with labor standards set by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and other laws.

The delegation members also met with representatives from academia (Berkeley Center for Labor Education and Resource) and other non-government organizations (i. e., the International Labor Rights Fund and Solidarity Center) to learn about the role of unions and other non-government sector players in labor standards enforcement.

U.S.-China Labor Law Cooperation Project

U.S.-China Labor Law Cooperation Project

In 2002, a consortium that included the National Committee, The Asia Foundation, and Worldwide Strategies, Inc. was awarded a multi-year contract by the U.S. Department of Labor to run a set of programs to improve Chinese labor laws. The overall goals were to help strengthen the Chinese government's capacity to develop laws and regulations to implement internationally recognized standards of workers' rights, to promote greater awareness of labor law among Chinese workers and employers, to strengthen industrial relations, and to improve legal aid services to women and migrant workers. The National Committee's mandate was to work on legislative and labor inspection issues.

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