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Kewei Tongchuang lawsuit (re labour rights)

In 2014, 40 senior workers submitted a complaint to the Labour Dispute Arbitration Committee in China, against their former employer Kewei Tongchuang who fired them in response to their going on company strike. The panel held the workers were absent from work with reasonable excuses and that Kewei had illegally dissolved the labour contracts and had to compensate the workers. 



On 10 June 2014, the Xiamen Labour Dispute Arbitration Committee in Fujian Province, China ruled that it was illegal for the electronics company Kewei Tongchuang to have fired 40 workers in March 2014, after they went on a 16-day strike.  

In May 2013, Kewei proposed its relocation plan and began negotiations with 40 senior workers.  The company insisted that although it was willing to offer some compensation for relocation, it was not obligated to provide a “buyout offer” (which means that the company would offer the employee a severance pay based on one’s length of service).  On 13 February 2014, the workers went on strike.  The company suggested that if they did not return to work by 28 February, they would be fired.  When the workers returned on 3 March, they were accused of violating company policy and fired.

The workers took the matter to the Labour Dispute Arbitration Committee.  The panel held that the workers were absent from work with reasonable excuses, and that they had not violated company policy.  The panel ruled that Kewei had illegally dissolved the labour contracts, and had to compensate the workers.  Legal experts commented that this decision is rare because the Chinese Arbitration Committee tends to favour the employer.

Kewei did not accept the decision and filed a lawsuit with a local court.

- AFP: China in rare ruling favouring strikers: report, AFP, 11 Jun 2014
- Rare decision: Xiamen labour panel punishes foreign-run company in dispute over workers' strike, Keira Lu Huang, So. China Morning Post, 11 Jun 2014

- [CH] 内地仲裁委首次裁决开除罢工工人违法”,王婧,财新网,2014年6月9日
- [CH] 内地裁决开除集体停工工人违法”,南华早报中文网,2014年6月10日

- China's labour dispute resolution system, China Labour Bulletin, 30 Oct 2014
- Labor Contract Law of the People’s Republic of China, Database of Laws and Regulations, 29 Jun 2007

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