Business / Companies

Motorola employees demand better compensation

By Cang Wei and Song Wenwei in Nanjing (China Daily) Updated: 2012-08-30 02:29

Motorola Mobility employees in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, said on Wednesday that they will not sign employment termination agreements until the company approves revised compensation packages.

A staff member surnamed Zhang, from Motorola's Nanjing Software Center, said the company has asked employee representatives to file new compensation demands.

Motorola's Asia-Pacific president, Liu Fei, who is in Nanjing for negotiations, refused the employees' previous request to delay the center's closure.

"We want higher compensation because compared with other multinational corporations that lay off employees, Motorola is offering less than it should have," Zhang said.

She added that the employees are collecting information about layoff compensation from other companies.

Except for some employees who were transferred to the United States, none of the staff members has agreed to terminate labor contracts with Motorola since the official layoff notice was released on Aug 20, said an employee surnamed Li.

With more than 500 software engineers, the Nanjing site is the largest of three branches set up by Motorola's China Software Center.

Motorola has provided 40 jobs in the US, Shanghai and Beijing for employees in the Nanjing center.

Besides financial compensation, Motorola has provided outplacement services to help the employees find new jobs, including inviting headhunters and other enterprises to recruit at the software center, and providing professional career counselors to give suggestions and alleviate the impacts of the layoffs.

"But some colleagues who are now employed by other companies were offered lower salaries or poorer benefits," said Li. "Generally, an employee's salary will increase by 20 to 30 percent after finding a new job."

"Some employees are the bread earners of their families," said Li. "Life will be very hard for them if they get laid off."

"A colleague who just became a father in August has to pay a mortgage and take care of his wife who doesn't have a good job. He can't even make the time to find a new job."

Li added that Nanjing's bureau of human resources and social security has not approved Motorola's layoff plan.

The bureau confirmed that Motorola has consulted with one of its deputy directors, but the layoff plan will not receive approval until Sept 13, since one month is needed after the company informed its employees and trade union.

According to the bureau, it has not met employee representatives.

Yuan Shenghan, a lawyer and member of Nanjing's labor dispute arbitration committee, said that under China's Labor Contract Law, staff cuts of more than 10 percent can only be carried out after winning the approval of the workforce, the trade union and the local labor authorities.

"If a company illegally terminates the labor contracts, the employees have the right to appeal to local labor authorities for help, and even file a lawsuit against the company," said Yuan.

Motorola said that it will obey China's law, and the agreement will only be reached with employees under negotiation.

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