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China's Top Legislature Debates Contract Bill Protecting Workers' Rights

China's top legislature, the Standing Committee of the 10th National People's Congress (NPC), debated in Beijing on Tuesday a draft designed to protect the rights and interests of the country's workers through making labor contracts obligatory.

Mandatory articles should be included to make it an obligation for employers to sign labor contracts with their employees, said some lawmakers attending the ongoing NPC Standing Committee session.

Fines should also be introduced to help guide the employers into signing contracts with their employees, they said.

According to an earlier survey, the rate of the signing of labor contracts in small or medium-sized private companies and among migrant workers is under 20 percent.

China introduced labor contract practices 11 years ago, but the situation remains far from adequate. Problems like non-standard articles and inadequate implementation are common.

(Xinhua News Agency December 28, 2005)

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