Note: In a meeting with Globalization Monitor (GM) held in Hong Kong on 6 April 2009, Maersk made the following response to GM's demands. (Browse for details http://www.globalmon.org.hk/en/01news/04report-on-maersk/a-response-to-m... )
As for the last 3 demands, regarding the 15 minutes before work meeting, fines and apology for 16 May 08 dismissals, which were raised during the meeting, Maersk gave no response.
A.P. Moller - Maersk response to Globalization Monitor
1. Reinstate all unlawfully dismissed workers, including but not confined to thefollowing categories [...]
We are reviewing all dismissals at MCID in 2008-2009. Dismissals will be reviewed in line with the recently amended handbook and compensation, if any, will be handled accordingly. Furthermore, should a case review leave any doubt about the fairness of the dismissal, we will give the dismissed person the benefit of the doubt and compensate accordingly.
2. Make public the [working] environmental investigation report and occupational hazards report
We will make the report public and ensure availability to employees. We will also provide more training to employees on H&S to prevent accidents.
3. All medical investigation reports of employees must be released to the latter immediately when the company gets them from the occupational diseases hospital
We will implement a leaner process for employees who have a suspected occupational disease as well as those under medical supervision. Each such employee will be assigned a personal case officer in HSE, who will help them throught the process and expedite matters at the hospital and in MCID administration. Case officers will regularly, and with relatively short intervals, communicate with the individuals to keep them informed of the current status.
4. Workers who have been on paid leave now should be paid in accordance to their average wages rather than the present arrangement of basic wages ples a 13.5 yuan daily subsidy, with which workers are not able to live on
Employees on paid home leave receive 100% contract salary (legal minimum is 80% of the minimum wage of the area, or RMB 616). However, since employees' social insurance deductions principally are based on last year's salary levels with more overtime the calculation basis will be changed to the current salary level commencing April/May. Irrespective of the deductions MCID will ensure that no employee on paid home leave will receive a payout less than RMB 616 commencing May salary payout.
5. Workers who have been on paid leave now should have their severance pay calculated in accordance to their average wages rather than the present basic wages, if the company decides not to renew their contracts when they expire.
Severance pay, if applicable, follows Chinese law and is basically calculated based upon the last 12 month average salary. It is the company's choice to terminate employees' contracts or send them home on paid leave. We have chosen the latter, not least because we expect to call some of them back on duty.
6. Workers who have medical investigation in hospitals other than the occupational diseases hospital should have their results recognized by the company
MCID will take a more proactive approach to help employees with suspected or identified occupational diseases (see point 3). We must have a system to ensure that the right tests are conducted by qualified doctors at accredited Chinese hospitals. Also, we cannot just pay for any test taken by employees. However, the new system should ensure that employees are being treated the best possible way and are well informed during the process.
7. Workers who are still on duty should have their wages raised because with a 9 hour working day, the wages they get now are too low to survive on
MCID recognizes that these are hard times for employees in the factory; for this reason factory employees' salaries have been raised effective April 1, 2009 with at least 10%. In addition, on April 10, 2009 a "hard time" one-off bonus of RMB 500 will be given to all employees, including those on paid leave.
8. Maersk must deal with corruption and graft impartially
Corruption is naturally not accepted and MCID deals firmly and impartially with corruption, theft, illegalities etc. when identified. New processes have already been put in place and more will follow to minimize the risk for corruption.
9. Abolish all penalty clauses which are unlawful and unreasonable
The Employee Handbook has been through a thorogh review based on Chinese law and ILO conventions. The handbook has been adjusted accordingly.
10. One month notice should be given to workers if the management decides not to renew their contracts when they exprire.
This is a fair notice and will be implemented as soon as it has been approved by the Labour Union representatives.
11. The management of Dongguan Maersk must maintain open and fair dialogue with workers and Chinese must be used as the medium language.
Management is very open to this. Various options are being considered to expand the dialogue opportunities. We will try out what works. It is both in the interest of management and employees to have a good and trusting dialogue.
12. The headquarters of Maersk must open negotiation with workers
The factory is run by a local management and HQ should not intervene in this process. HQ's role is to ensure that local management runs the factory in a way consistent with Maersk's global CSR commitments.
Maersk Container Industry Dongguan Ltd.
Dasheng Village, Machong Town, 523 146, Dongguan, China
Tel: +86 (0) 769-8882 6668 Fax: +86 (0) 769-8882 4251
For MCID Action plan: browse: http://www.globalmon.org.hk/en/01news/04report-on-maersk/mcid-action-pla...