Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

China- Fighting the System and Losing

Posted by w_thames_the_d on June 22, 2010

This is a few stories within one. Firstly it shows the lack of justice in China, as well as problems that people face in terms of discrimination in employment here.

Judge protests court axing his wife
Feng Bin, wearing a judge’s uniform and holding a flyer with the Chinese character yuan, meaning “grievance” in English, quarrels with the guards of Hubei Higher People’s Court at the court’s front gate on Monday, June 21, 2010. [China Daily]

The move was the latest in his two-year attempt, so far unsuccessful, to help his “illegally laid-off” wife return to her job by suing her employer – another local court.

He asked the Hubei Higher People’s Court in Central China on Monday to accept his lawsuit, but soon was pushed and shoved by three court police officers who turned him and his flyer away.

“Just go. You can’t be here,” they told him.

Xiaogan Intermediate People’s Court sacked Feng’s wife, Hu Min, in June 2008 after her 10 years of service as a cleaner there.

The Labor Contract Law, a new law that took effect in 2008 to protect the basic rights and interests of workers, stipulates that employers must sign open-ended contracts with employees with 10 years or more service.

Another 30 people were sacked along with Hu under a Xiaogan city government directive in 2008 to get rid of temporary workers.

However, Hu was the only one – under Feng’s instruction – to fight for her rights.

“My wife deserves an open-ended contract with the court according to the law. Government and judicial power should never overweigh laws,” Feng told China Daily outside the higher court on Monday.

He sought arbitration in mid-2008. However, the arbitration committee in Xiaogan upheld the court’s decision, saying the law had taken effect for just six months and could not count her nine and a half years service as the full 10 years required.

Feng then filed lawsuits against the Xiaogan Intermediate People’s Court to other courts in the province but was declined many times.

Realizing “it is hard for a court to try another court,” Feng’s frustration escalated.

He had a fight with police when protesting in front of the local municipal bureau of labor. He tried to stop the cars of senior government officials and judges to complain, and he even sneaked into the country’s top court, the Supreme People’s Court, in Beijing to petition.

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