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China to Monitor Possible Mass Layoffs, Labor Disputes

As mass layoffs and labor disputes become more frequent when global economic slowdown wipes out more companies from business, Chinese government has urged local authorities to make best efforts to properly respond.

The top priority should be given to ensuring stable employment, said China's Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS) in a notice issued on Monday.

Investigation should be carried out concerning individual companies' possible layoffs, especially labor-intensive factories, it said. The labor situation of companies that go bankrupt should be closely monitored.

In October, Local government in Dongguan of Guangdong Province, where many labor-intensive companies located, took out more than 24 million yuan (US$3.5 million) to compensate for the salaries of over 7,000 workers, who was left helpless when a company owner secretly fled.

Emergency plans should be formulated in order to better prevent and deal with incidents involving a large group of unemployed workers, and make sure to report to higher level of the government and make appropriate arrangement as soon as possible, it said.

An efficient and convenient channel should be created for people to appeal for arbitration of labor disputes, so as to resolve major or mass disputes in time, it said.

The notice also required that arrangements be made to guarantee unemployment insurance, encourage reemployment, and better serve the migrant workers.

(Xinhua News Agency November 18, 2008)

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