> Comment
Letters and Blogs
(China Daily)
Updated: 2009-02-13 07:42

Weathering storm together a better way

Comment on Liu Shinan's column "Crisis can't kill Chinese confidence" (China Daily, Feb 4)

Dear Liu Shinan, I thoroughly agree with your comments regarding the basic confidence that the Chinese people have.

As an international management consultant from the UK, I travel to China regularly. During my current visit I have indeed observed a broad willingness from Chinese enterprises to look to develop strategic alliances as a means of combating global economic concerns.

I believe Western enterprises would cooperate well with Chinese counterparts with a global sense of partnership and community. We can weather the current economic storms stronger together.

John Atkinson

via e-mail

Real number of unemployed higher

Chinese government has taken all kinds of measures to avoid a mass layoff of workers.

Aforementioned requirements are just restatement of the article 41 of the new labor law put into effect on Jan 1, 2008. The emphasis by the state council underpins the urgent and deteriorating environment in the labor market.

Governmental statistics on unemployment until now have shown no large-scale layoff happened. But after listening to conversations on a bus or metro train about layoff news, we know the picture is quite different.

As a human resources specialist, I just want to say the covert layoffs in many companies contribute to the miscalculation of the figures. The mainly used practice in covert cutting is to give long holiday furloughs to their employees, especially in manufacturing factories. These workers often receive even lower than local-minimum payment.

When or if they will return to work depends on whether these factories have enough orders from customers. Those burdened with family members to feed sometimes have to hand in resignation letters in hope of finding another job, very difficult in job-hunter-crowded markets. Migrant workers returning from Spring Festival to cities looking for jobs account for other majorities of covert layoffs.

Migrant workers mostly lacking social security benefits protection and signing no labor contracts were laid off at employers' will especially in privately owned companies. The current economic crisis gives employers excuses not to strictly carry out the labor law.

In consideration of the workers' welfare and social stability, governments at all levels need to pay more attention to the question.

Tony Cai

Via e-mail

Readers' comments are welcome. Please send mail to Letters to the Editor, China Daily, 15 Huixin Dongjie, Chaoyang District, Beijing, 100029 China. Send faxes to (86-10) 6491-8377. Send e-mail to opinion@chinadaily.com.cn or letters@chinadaily.com.cn or to the individual columnists. China Daily reserves the right to edit all letters. Thank you.

(China Daily 02/13/2009 page9)