Upturn in Chinese Labor Dispute Filings Continues

The global financial crisis, additional statutory protections, and heightened awareness of workers' rights have contributed to a rise in labor dispute case filings in China, The New York Times reports. Specifically, 295,000 cases were filed in 2008 (an increase of 95% from 2007); 318,600 in 2009; and 207,400 in the first eight months of 2010. Moreover, a judicial interpretation recently issued by the Supreme People's Court--its third in the last two years--expands the types of labor-related claims that courts must hear, increasing the likelihood of yet another surge in filings. Legal scholars have suggested that filings would decrease if China permitted truly independent labor unions to operate, thereby providing an additional forum for resolving workers' grievances. 


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