The New York Times
October 19, 2006
Letters to the Editor, page A26
China’s Labor Law
To the Editor:
Re “China Drafts Law to Empower Unions and End Labor Abuse” (front page, Oct. 13):
American companies support high labor standards in China. Indeed, we are troubled that such fundamental rights as freedom of association are forbidden under current Chinese law and not provided for in the draft law.
As a first step, current Chinese labor law needs to be enforced, which your article rightly notes is rarely done and targets supposedly deep-pocketed foreign companies when it is.
But American businesses believe that the draft law is too rigid and will lead to slower job growth. Making matters worse, ambiguities in the draft law would have to be sorted out in a judicial system that does not always operate fairly or predictably.
And since both foreign and domestic employers need a predictable investment climate, it should come as no surprise that an ambiguous and unpredictable law would give investors pause.
Adam B. Greene
New York, Oct. 13, 2006
The writer is vice president of labor and corporate responsibility for the United States Council for International Business.