The People's Daily (27 February, 2002) reported that 37 workers at a mining firm in Anhui Province filed litigation against their company for its decision to lay them off without compensation. The group of 37, all belonging to an extended family named Xu, had been employed by the Zhongshan mining company for over ten years. In August, 1999, the loss-making company went through re-structuring and decided to lay off its entire workforce. Among the firm's 85 emloyees, the 37 members of the Xu family were retrenched with no compensation.
The 37 laid-off workers lodged a complaint with the local Labour Dispute Arbitration Committee (LDAC) for unreasonable dismissal and made a claim for compensation. The Committee ruled against the workers, declaring that the management practice was in line with the central government's policy on the re-structuring of loss-making state-owned enterprises.
Unhappy with the LDAC ruling, the workers took their case to the local People's Middle Court. On 19 November, 2001, the court ruled that the case was not a labour dispute over terms of employment, but was a "special phenomenon resulting from staff changes in a company which was undergoing re-structuring".
The workers then took their appeal with the provincial high court. At a hearing on 26 February, the court failed to resolve the dispute.
(Source: People's Daily)