Joining the company
Well-educated workers are not exempt from labour rights violations. In 2004, Fu arrived from a city in northern China to take up a job at the Shenzhen Chuanhua Company as a senior engineer in the research and developmemt department.
After three years' employment, Fu was fired in January 2007 on the pretext that he was browsing the internet for non-work-related material during working hours. The company refused to compensate him for terminating his contract which was due to expire three months later in the end of March 2007. It also refused to pay Fu's overtime from 2005 to 2007 and workers' bonus of the previous year.
We took up Fu's case on 7 January 2007 and brought it before the Shenzhen Municipal Labour Arbitration Committee, claiming a total of 279,880 yuan for the following five items:
1. Compensation for unreasonable termination of contract
2. Payment in lieu of notice;
3. Bonus for the year 2006;
4. Unpaid overtime salary between 1 Jan 2005 and Jan 2007 and compensation for payment in arrears;
5. Reimbursement of expenses accured from annual visits to his hometown
6. Insurance premium payment in arrears between Jan 2005 and April 2006
7. All costs incurred from arbitration
The arbitration committee found that the company did not have an adequate reason to dismiss Fu. It fully supported Fu’s claims on items 1, 3 and 5 amouting to more than 260,000 yuan, in addition to item 6, and the large majority of arbitration fees.
Chuanhua filed an appeal in a Shenzhen district court in an attempt to overturn the arbitration committee’s decision. Yet, on 29 June 2007, before the trial opened, it decided to enter into an agreement with Fu to pay him a one-off award of 235,000 yuan (145,000 unpaid overtime wages and 90,000 yuan as compensation) on condition that Fu waived all his rights to pursue the matter further.
Shenzhen Chuanhua Co specializes in producing office equipment. It has about 3,500 staff and has won a lot of management awards in China. It was selected as one of the 500 well-established exporting and importing enterprises in China