When enterprises and workers in Shanghai’s Jing’an District have any questions about collective bargaining or seek help in this regard, they can make a phone call or just visit Jia Hongxiang in his office to get professional guidance and assistance. On May 11, the Lao Jia Workroom, Shanghai’s first office of collective bargaining, was inaugurated by the district’s trade union federation. The office seeks to cater to the needs of grassroots workers, provide them with guidance on conducting collective bargaining and expand the coverage of collective bargaining.
Packed with business centers, shopping malls and service facilities, Jing’an District sits at the center of the metropolis. With a growing myriad of private enterprises moving their operations to the area, the trade union federation has felt it necessary to explore a variety of ways of conducting collective wage bargaining. According to statistics, by the end of 2014, collective bargaining had covered more than 6,000 enterprises and 110,000 workers in the area.
"The office is meant to keep track of the trends of collective bargaining so as to deal with problems arising thereof,"says Ye Jianhua, chair of the trade union federation.
Composed of labour lawyers and headed by Jia Hongxiang, an official in charge of collective bargaining with the Jing’an Trade Union Federation, the Lao Jia Workroom performs a variety of services, ranging from counseling, evaluation and on-the-spot guidance with the aim of enhancing the quality of collective bargaining and expanding its coverage. The office will soon open a hotline to provide guidance services for workers and enterprises.
"By setting up such an office, we aim to cultivate a batch of negotiators under Jia Hongxiang’s guidance" says Ye Jianhua. "Jia and his team shuttle from one shopping mall to another to help grassroots unions to conduct collective bargaining, thus winning acclaim for their work."