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China's New Labor & Employment Laws and the Three "S's:" Stresses, Straings, and Significance

The Center for Chinese Studies presents a talk with Ronald Brown on the new labor law reforms raising the rights and standards of workers throughout China.

October 27, 2009 3:00pm to 12:00am

Continued economic prosperity in China and its international competitive advantage have been due in large part to the labor of workers in China, who for many years toiled in under-regulated workplaces. Now, there are new labor law reforms raising the rights and standards of workers throughout China. These new laws have been praised for their progressive measures, yet, at the same time, blamed for placing too many economic burdens on companies, especially those operating on the margins, and for being the cause of business failures. This, combined with the recent global downturn and the millions of displaced and unemployed Chinese migrant laborers, has led to on-going debate about the new labor laws. Meanwhile, the Chinese Union has organized Wal-Mart and many of the Global Fortune 500 companies and a form of collective bargaining is occurring. Workers are pursuing their legal labor rights in increasing numbers.

About the Presenter

Ronald C. Brown, a Professor of Law at the University of Hawai‘i Law School, received his law degrees from the University of Toledo and the University of Michigan. He was a former director of the UH’s Center for Chinese Studies; he has worked in China under the USIA’s Professional-in-Residence Program, and served as a Consultant with the World Bank; and he has been a Fulbright Distinguished Lecturer teaching at Peking and Tsinghua University Law Schools. Professor Brown has lectured widely in Asia, authored numerous articles, and recently published a book titled Understanding Labor and Employment Law in China (Cambridge 2009).