05/18/2009, 00.00
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Employees of internet giant Baidu protest. Job litigation up 98%

Thousands present formal complaints spurred on by wage cuts some as much as 30%. The economic crisis hits the sector, as seen in the drop in internet sales. Blue collar workers first to pay the price: in 2008 job litigation has doubled throughout China.
Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Thousands of employees lodged official complaints at the Labour Office in Shenzhen on May 15th to protest the wage cuts introduced by Baidu, the Chinese giant in the internet search engines sector.  The grave global financial crisis is hitting workers hard and in China job litigation has doubled.Baidu is the main search engine in China and has overtaken even Google and Yahoo, who in turn are larger on a global scale.  The site is particularly used for online purchasing.Now the company has slashed the basic wage (around 4 thousand Yuan per month, that’s 400 Euro) by 30% for employees who supervise sales and has even reduced their commission.As a sign of protest on May 4th hundreds of employees in Shenzhen staged a stay-home or sit –in at the office.  In nearby Guangzhou numerous employees presented complaints to their Labour Office.In the first 4 months of 2009 there company faired better then previously forecast but has registered a drop in advertisements.Meanwhile since the beginning of May the Ministry for Human resources and social security revealed that in litigation over work-related issues totalled 1.2 million cases, with an increase of 98% compared to the 693thousand of 2007. But the real number is far higher given that the total number is 22 thousand collective cases, put forward by workers groups (+71% compared to 2007) which counted alone make up 41% of the complaints. The data is also the direct result of the increasing economic difficulties being faced by businesses, which often close without paying wages or redundancy.   There are also numerous cases of injuries sustained at the work place.
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