December 4-6, 2006

We organized our second workshop on the revision of the Draft Labor Contract Law in Kunming in early December 2006, a few weeks ahead of the “second reading” by the NPC. (The “second reading” began on December 24, 2006; the law was expected to win passage after the “third reading,” according to Chinese legislative practice.)

The workshop was held in four sessions. The first three focused on the three most controversial and intractable aspects of the draft law: 1) the duration of labor contracts; 2) situations where no written labor contract is concluded; and 3) labor dispatching or temporary work. The fourth session was devoted to other issues of importance.

We invited the two international experts who participated in the last workshop – Mr. John Fraser from the United States (a former administrator of the DOL Wage and Hour Division) and Professor Alan Neal from the United Kingdom (chairman of Employment Tribunals and an independent expert for the International Labor Organization). Both have studied the draft law in depth and followed its legislative development over the past year; both also worked with us on the project in the past. We also invited 28 Chinese participants, mostly independent experts and scholars and officials from MOLSS and provincial labor bureaus, but also lawyers representing the interest of employers. Mr. Yan Baoqing, director general of the MOLSS Legal Affairs Department, chaired the workshop.

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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