In shades of Australia’s new industrial relations China has enacted workplace law, perhaps modeled on Australia’s contentious laws, and of no surprise a leading Chinese private company has exploited them.

A new Labor Contract Law comes into effect in China on January 1 next year and that law allows employees to sign open-ended contracts if they have worked continuously with a company for 10 years.

Huawei, a manufacturer of communications equipment in Shenzhen, encouraged the “resignation” of 7000 employees who could reapply for their positions on a fixed-term contract from one to three years. An inducement to secure the resignations was an offer by the company of a compensation package based on length of service. A fixed-term contract however does not guarantee job security because employees can be dismissed for “violating the company’s rules”, among six reasons for dismissal.

In Australia soon after the Federal Government’s Work Choices legislation became effective a meat processor retrenched all workers and then rehired on Workplace Agreement reportedly at lower salary. There have been cases in Australia of employees being intimidated into signing agreements.

The Chinese company has been accused of exploiting the imminent change to the labor laws and there are fears that other private companies will line up. Huawei has invested in research and development in India and Mexico.

The hammer and the sickle enter full-moon orbit

China’s lunar explorer has been successfully placed into “working orbit” and will now be prepared for its one-year study of Earth’s satellite.

It will make three-dimensional maps of the entire surface and conduct an assessment of surface minerals. Pre-launch discussion among specialists touched on the likelihood of China mining the moon for scarce minerals if they were found in abundance. China is planning to upgrade its Long March rockets to enable greater payloads in preparation for the construction of a space station by 2020.

From a Beijing Correspondent

In shades of Australia’s new industrial relations China has enacted workplace law, perhaps modeled on Australia’s contentious laws, and of no surprise a leading Chinese private company has exploited them.