Workers protest against “redeployment” and demand reelection of the union,
BYD may face class action lawsuits if unable to solve dispute.
Yesterday, October 14, about three hundred “redeployed” BYD’s sales workers protested against BYD at the front gate of its plant in Pingshan, Shenzen. The protest was soon stopped by the company security (Please refer to the picture below). BYD, the Chinese battery and auto maker backed by billionaire Warren Buffett, started to restructure its sales department and “redeploy” its employees to other departments or stop their duties in September this year.
The “redeployed” employees are still very angry with BYD’s arrangement and its refusal to admit and announce its layoffs openly. Recently, BYD called the employees to offer them back their positions; however, the employees do not trust BYD anymore and think they will be laid off after they come back to work.
The workers raised the following questions and demands to the management, as follows:
1. The company should admit that it has violated labor Contact Law when the management unilaterally modify labor contract to repositioning employees.
2. The management must fix the above problem by:
a. paying financial compensations to those leaving the company because of its decision to redeploy them.
b. for those who wish to stay in the company BYD should ensure that their wages and work post should remain the same as enshrined in the contract.
3. Employees who have joined protest shall not be penalized by BYD
4. Re-election of union representatives is needed to ensure trade union representing employees’ interest.
The employees claim that BYD has violated the Labor Contract Law as they were unilaterally “redeployed” without their prior consent. At first the employees wanted collective bargaining with the management to force BYD to give a concrete response to their complaints, but there was no reply from BYD.
BYD employees have called for a joint class-action lawsuit against BYD. They also call for the reelection of the workplace union.
BYD’s share price has fallen significantly since June this year, dropping from 33 yuan (US$5.17) to 17.98 yuan (US$2.81), falling below its issuance price of 18 yuan (US$2.82). If BYD does not address the workers’ grievances properly, it may face another big financial crisis.
The video below is made by workers after the second strike: