February 1, 2023

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Leading 100 Chinese internet companies form labor unions

A food delivery courier is seen at work in Harbin, northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, Dec. 5, 2021.Photo:Xinhua

A food delivery courier is seen at work in Harbin, northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province, Dec. 5, 2021.Photo:Xinhua

All of the top 100 Chinese internet companies, including Meituan, JD.com and NetEase, have formed labor unions, a move aimed at protecting the legitimate rights and interests of internet industry workers and promoting the high-quality development of the industry, according to the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU).

The ACFTU has demanded that internet companies build the labor unions into the “homes of employees” that focus on protecting the most direct and realistic interests of the employees of internet enterprises.

The ACFTU urged the labor unions to take the initiative to participate in dispute mediation and settlement involving overtime payments and other labor issues, and guide and urge internet enterprises to further standardize employment management.

In response to the diverse needs of the employees of internet enterprises, labor unions at all levels should actively implement targeted services, such as building special rooms for nursing mothers, providing childcare services, arranging matchmaking and dating events, sponsoring psychological lectures, and offering healing activities to take care of employees’ social lives and physical and mental wellbeing.

More internet platforms in China have been helping workers to establish unions under the guidance of the national labor union since 2021, as the country is making every effort to mobilize its platform-based economy and ensure that no one is left behind on the road to realizing common prosperity.

In July 2021, China issued a guideline to improve protecting the rights of company workers engaged in new forms of employment, according to the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.

The guideline, for the first time, made clear that platform companies should shoulder their responsibilities in protecting the lawful rights and interests of their workers.

With the rapid development of the platform economy, the number of workers engaged in new forms of employment, such as online car-hailing drivers and internet marketing specialists, has increased greatly.

The guideline said that China will carry out pilot programs to offer occupational injury insurance for the flexibly employed in ride-hailing, food delivery and instant delivery platform-based enterprises.

By the end of June this year, 6.87 million employees engaged in new forms of employment had joined labor unions, said the ACFTU.