Guangzhou INPEX Metal Product Company Workers Strike

13:26 Oct 20 2010 广州:广东省广州市石井石潭西路118号 广州半导体器件厂内

From China Labour Net:

[Letter from workers]

To comrades in the Japanese union,

We are workers of the Guangzhou INPEX Metal Product Company Limited taking part in a strike since October 20th against the illegal practice of the company.

The INPEX Metal Product Company is a Japanese owned company which was set up on December 12th 2007. (By AMRC: Background information on the company can be found on its website: http://www.j-inpex.com/index_chinese.html. )

Because of the illegal practice and mismanagement of the company, we went on strike once in 2009. Since October this year, around 60-70 of us have been taking part in strikes to demand for better working condition and compliance with the law and regulations. We think the company violated the labour law in the following ways:

1、The procedures for making the employee handbook/ manual staff policy of the company do not comply with labour law. Under the Labour Contract Law, any provision in the company's employee manual, handbook or other set of work rules and regulations can be finalised only after discussion with the workers' council or meeting, and negotiation on an equal basis with the union or workers' council. However, some of the provisions in the employee handbook have not been discussed by the union or workers’council. There are many cash penalities stated in the staff policy which violates the labour law. For example, if workers/employees do not comply with the required dress code, they will be punished with a 20CNY fine each time.

2、The company does not make employment contracts with the workers. According to the Labour Contract Law, a written labour contract should be concluded within one month from the commencement date of employment. Failing this the employer should pay twice the amount of the payable remuneration to the employee as salary. The company can avoid legal liability by forcing or cheating the workers into signing a contact which states the commencement date of the employment. Now many workers have signed the contact under pressure from the company but some of them still insist on signing the contract with the current date.

3、Some workers have been asked to sign out sourcing contracts. Many workers have found out that their employment contracts were not issued by the Guangzhou INPEX Metal Product Company but by some unknown companies outside Guangdong or labour agencies elsewhere. They suddenly become secondary employees of the company and lost all of their labour benefits and years of employment.

4、The company did not pay social insurance premiums for their workers before May 2010. To avoid legal responsibility, the company even asked the workers to sign written agreement of voluntary insurance schemes. This makes the workers bear all the responsibility for social insurance subscriptions. Even though the company started paying social insurance premiums since May this year, they only pay the premium rate of minmum wage instead of the premium rate of the actual wages of the workers. In order words, the company does not make the full payment standard ratio of the workers and will reduce the insurance coverage and compensation amount for all workers.

5、The overtime payment does not comply with the Labour Contract Law. According to the Labour Contract Law, the regular working hour is 8 hours a day and 40 hours a week, and overtime work must not exceed 36 hours a month and at least one rest day a week. However, the working hours in the company are actually more than that. The company comanded all workers to sign an agreement of voluntary overtime work saying that they are willing to work one to three hours day per day upon request of the company. Many workers are working more than 11 hours a day and do not have regular rest days. The Labour Contact Law requires a standard overtime payment of 150% of the hourly rate for overtime work and 300% of the hourly rate for overtime work on public holiday. However, the company set up a different formula to calculate the overtime work that the workers can barely understand or monitor, and this overtime payment regulation has not been discussed by the union or workers’ council.

6、The company does not provide legally required benefits to workers, such as housing subsidies and high temperature subsidies, as well as paid annual leave. Workers are not paid on their annual leave.

We started going on strike to protest against the above illegal acts of the company since October 20th 2010. On October 26th, 2010, the company sent out a notice to workers who took part in the strikes threatening to dismiss all workers in the strikes. 20 of us are still continuing our action and demand for the following:

1. The labour contracts which were signed recently do not date back to the actual commencement date of employment. The company has to compensate twice the amount of the payable remuneration to the employee according to the labour law.

2. The seconded contracts do not have the informed consent of the workers. These contracts are unlawful. The company should declare these contracts invalid.

3. The company should pay the full social insurance premimium based on actual period of employment and wages of each workers and compensate the loss and underpayment to employees.

4. The company must pay overtime work payment according to the requirements of the Labour Contract Law.

5. The company should compensate the unpaid high temperature allowances in 2009 and 2010 to workers.

6. The company should compensate each worker with legal housing insurance allowances and negotiate the allowance rate with workers’ representatives.

7. The company should pay back the annual leave payments of last year to workers.

8. The company should revise the employee manual/ handbook and workers should participate in setting up all these regulations

9. The company must not dismiss or punish the workers who have been taking part in the strikes.

Our struggles need your support. We are calling for more workers to join our action and are calling for your support too. We hope that you can send out a protest letter to the company and to the biggest customer (Imasen Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. ) of the comany to urge the company to comply with local labour law and to protect the labour rights of Chinese workers.
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