Unions seeking bigger role in disputes

Updated 2017-03-16 09:31:05 Shanghai Daily

Shanghai's trade unions aim to participate in more labor disputes to provide legal support for local employees, the general trade union said yesterday.

Unions expect to be involved in about 30 percent of Shanghai's labor disputes.

By the end of this year, Shanghai will have a total of 300 legal aid stations, the union added.

Last year, trade unions provided legal aid in some 13,000 cases in Shanghai, including help for migrant workers.

The general trade union has also set up legal aid windows at institutions using an arbitrator to settle a dispute. The legal aid windows will be placed in 15 districts, with the legal aid stations sited in industrial parks and subdistricts that see a higher rate of labor disputes.

“We also launched a mobile phone application last year, making it even easier for individual applicants to register as a member of a trade union,” said Zhang Lu, an official with the general trade union.

Before, most local employees registered as a member via trade unions in their own companies. However some companies do not have unions. From 2015, the general trade union opened registration for individual workers who do not have trade unions at their companies.

The general trade union also aims to attract more workers without formal labor contracts such as migrant workers and hourly workers.

By the end of last year, there were 8.57 million trade union members in Shanghai, including 3.61 million migrant workers.

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