In an unusual labor dispute, the arbitration committee of Pingdingshan in central China’s Henan province ruled Monday against Zhou Xianghua, who accused her employer – the Pingdingshan Branch of China Construction Bank (CCB)- of sexual discrimination for ordering her to retire at 55.
The Committee said in its written ruling that Zhou had failed to provide sufficient evidence and legal basis to support her appeal and would have to bear the total arbitral fee of 420 yuan (about 52 US dollars).
The Committee said its rule was based on Provisional Regulations on Resettlement of the Old and Weak Cadres. The Regulations, promulgated by the State Council, or China’s cabinet,in 1978, set down specifically the retirement ages for women and men employees working for enterprises, including the CCB.
According to the Regulations, the age of retirement for women employees is five years less than that of men. If a person has a worker’s status, a women’s retirement age is 50 and men 55; if a person has a cadre status, a woman retires at 55 and a man at 60.
The Committee said it was not its responsibility to judge whether the Regulations run contrary to China’s Constitution, the Labor Law or related international laws signed by the Chinese Government.
Instead, it said the Branch’s decision to inform Zhou to begin retirement procedures tallied with the current retirement policy implemented in China.