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1 Oct 2006

China labour law reform

China's proposed labour law reform


Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited several US & European companies to respond to concerns about the positions taken by industry assocations regarding China's proposed labour law reform.  In particular, we sought responses to the following items:

- "China Drafts Law to Empower Unions and End Labor Abuse", David Barboza, New York Times, 13 Oct 2006

- “Behind the Great Wall of China – U.S. Corporations Opposing New Rights for Chinese Workers”, Global Labor Strategies, Oct 2006

- “Multinationals Accused of Hypocrisy over China Labour Law Reform”, Intl. Textile, Garment and Leather Workers’ Federation (ITGLWF), 26 Oct 2006

The three industry associations highlighted in the report are: European Union Chamber of Commerce in ChinaAmerican Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, and US-China Business Council.  Click here for further reports about this issue & the full text of some of the industry association submissions to the Chinese Govt.

Links to a follow-up report by Global Labor Standards, including analysis of the company responses, are below.


Company responses / companies that declined to respond (as of 6 Feb 2007)

ABB declined to respond

AT&T declined to respond

Carrefour declined to respond

DuPont declined to respond

Ericsson response [PDF]

General Electric response [DOC]

Google response [DOC]

Intel response [DOC]

Maersk declined to comment on the draft law specifically but referred to Maersk's Fundamental Business Principles [PDF], saying that they would apply in this case.

Microsoft stated it had no comment at this time


    - ITGLWF statement: “Nike Repudiates AmCham Position on Chinese Labour Law Reform
    - Nike letter to American Chamber of Commerce in China [PDF]

Nokia response [DOC]

Procter & Gamble response [DOC]

PSA Peugeot Citroën response [DOC]

Sara Lee stated that it is no longer a member of the US-China Business Council

Shell response [DOC]

Tesco response [DOC]

Total declined to respond

UPS declined to respond

Wal-Mart declined to respond

Walt Disney response [DOC]


Follow-up report by Global Labor Strategies

"Undue Influence: Corporations Gain Ground in Battle over China's New Labor Law" - Mar 2007


commentary: "In Fear Of Chinese Democracy", Harold Meyerson, Washington Post, 4 Apr 2007.  US-China Business Council response to Harold Meyerson, 5 Apr 2007.

Company Responses


No Response


No Response


No Response


No Response

Ericsson View Response
General Electric (GE) View Response
Google (part of Alphabet) View Response
Maersk (part of A.P. Moller - Maersk)

No Response


No Response

Procter & Gamble View Response
PSA Peugeot-Citroën View Response
Shell plc View Response
TotalEnergies (formerly Total)

No Response


No Response


No Response

Walt Disney View Response