Submitted by globalmon on Thu, 08/18/2011 - 00:00
16 August 2010, a group of ex-GP workers gather at the entrance of Huizhou City Court
In September 2010, 152 former workers from GP's Huizhou factory all with excessive cadmium levels won their lawsuit against Gold Peak Ltd. The court found in favour of the workers' claim for RMB 6.03 million cash compensation. Apart from the 152 workers who filed the claim, the award also included a further 110 workers with excessive cadmium levels who did not file the lawsuit but were in a similar situation. Each worker received between RMB 15,000 - RMB 25,000 making it the largest amount of compensation awarded since 2004. Most of the workers involved consider the award a victory. At the time of writing, the total compensation won by the GP workers amounts to more than RMB 50 million.
Inspired by the compensation package GP won by affected workers following the closure and relocation of GP's Jet Power plant in 2009, the 152 workers filed their claim on 27 January 2010. In June 2010, the lawsuit came to a stalemate and both the court and the Huizhou government insisted that GP and their former employees negotiate an agreement. However, on 19 August 2010, GP left the negotiation table leaving the workers with little option but to organise collective action. During the following weeks, the workers petitioned the GP plant, the court and the city government office and occupied the Huizhou City Petition Bureau for two weeks.