Local Cadres Face Labor Conflicts, Learn from Classes

Outlook Magazine (瞭望) reports on resolving worker disputes with classes on labor contracts for cadres. Translated by CDT:

Ou Yangjun, director of cadre instruction at China Institute of industrial Relations (CIIR), has been unusually busy lately.

“Last month, I spoke 23 times at different global venues. Each had to do with labor relations and the function of labor unions.” He told this reporter that starting from mid-last year, the frequency at which CIIR lecturers were invited to give guest lectures increased. The institute also specially set up “secretary classes” in Ningxia, Gansu, and Qinghai provinces to address labor relations and labor migration issues. “This level of frequency and vigor has never been seen before.”

“Reaction to some lectures at provincial Party schools have been quite spirited — from beginning to end, and for several hours, no one even budged,” Ou Yangjun stated. “Labor conflicts are one of the biggest headaches for cadres in their line of work. Typically, it’s cause for some distress. Now, as systemization and countermeasures provide thorough explanations, [cadres] feel extremely ‘quenched.'”

From the latter part of 2009 to today, China’s labor and capital disputes have become widespread, and labor conflicts have fomented. In the first half of this year, local problems related to work welfare and treatment led to workers stopping production, collectivizing, petitioning, jumping from buildings, as well as other extreme measures. This was especially so in the months of April and May, when these types of mass incidents dramatically increased in number.

[…] Based on past experiences from central and local extensive trainings for cadres to prevent and handle mass incidents, some local Party bureaus have started to strengthen their trainings on how to face labor and capital disputes.

Only since the beginning of this year have Shaanxi and Guizhou provinces, Luzhou and Panzhihua prefectures in Sichuan, and Changde prefecture in Hunan formally placed labor and capital relations and labor migration theories in cadre training classes at Party schools and administrative institutions. Besides these, Beijing and Tianjin have also provided labor union cadre leaders with seminars and training sessions on strengthening collective agreements for labor and capital.


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