Beijing Trade Union Federation and the Beijing Second Intermediate People’s Court have signed an Agreement on Further Strengthening Cooperation in the Mediation of Labour Disputes. Under the agreement, both sides will work together to create a range of mechanisms for information sharing, mediation, personnel exchange and training. The court will also set up a mediation room for trade unions.
Wang, Vice-Chair of the Beijing Trade Union Federation, explains that through collaboration with the capital’s human resources and security bureau, judicial bureau, petition office, higher people’s court, enterprise association and public security bureau, the trade union has over the past five years taken on 116,000 labour dispute cases and won a settlement in 81,000 of them, recouping workers’ financial losses to the tune of 660 million yuan (over US$ 100 million).
The cooperation agreement, the first of its kind, serves as an example for other intermediate and grassroots courts. It spells out the mechanism to be used for mediation by trade unions and in referral procedures: the intermediate people’s court will select the cases to be entrusted to the Beijing Labour Dispute Mediation Centre. Then, after obtaining the permission of the parties involved, the Beijing Trade Union Federation will dispatch its mediators to handle these disputes. The time allotted for mediation is 20 working days, which in special cases can be extended by another 10 days.
Through mediation, the parties concerned can reach a settlement of their own accord. Cases that cannot be settled through mediation will be referred back by the trade union mediation centre to the intermediate people’s court; the parties will be notified and carry on with their litigation.