China's top legislature will launch a nationwide supervision campaign to exam the implementation of trade union law in an effort to protect laborers' interests during the economic downturn.
It was revealed at a meeting held by the National People's Congress Standing Committee Friday to prepare for the month-long campaign which will start from early July.
China has received shrinking overseas trade contracts after the international financial crisis, which has brought business difficulties to export-oriented and labor-intensive companies.
The downturn also worsened the employment opportunities for laid-off laborers, and increased labor disputes and complaints.
Labor dispute arbitration commissions throughout the country had received more than 960,000 cases in 2008, a 98 percent increase over the previous year, said Sun Chunlan, vice chairperson of the All China Federation of Trade Unions.
With millions of unemployed migrant workers coming back to their hometowns, labor dispute mediation organizations also received more than 440,000 cases, Sun added.
The top legislature will send supervision teams to Liaoning, Jiangsu, Hunan, Guangdong and Sichuan provinces, and Shanghai Municipality. The NPC will also mandate its local committees in a further seven provinces and municipalities to conduct the supervision.
The supervision campaign will focus on reviewing how local trade unions defend laborers' interests such as wages, insurance and investigating what kind of measures local governments have taken to protect the laborers' rights and interests.
The teams will also investigate how the global economic downturn has impacted Chinese industries and companies and the nature of the labor disputes between employers and employees.
"We will support local trade unions to help laborers and enterprises pass through the difficult period and promote the social security system by expanding the basic pension insurance," said Li Jianguo, secretary-general of the 11th NPC Standing Committee.
Top legislator Wu Bangguo has told the supervision teams to research the new problems and difficulties found by the local trade unions amid the economic downturn, and urged trade unions to play a key role in protecting workers' legitimate rights and interests and make contributions to the stability of labor relations.
China's trade union law was enacted in 1950 and was revised in 2001. The NPC Standing Committee previously conducted a supervision campaign over the law's implementation five years ago.