Rumbles Over Labor Reform

Beijing's proposed worker protections are giving multinationals the jitters

One reason multinationals love China is its malleable workforce. That looks set to change with the impending passage of a new labor contract law that will make it harder to hire and fire, ultimately boosting the cost of doing business in the country. Under the law, "the hiring cost for employers will rise, the flow of labor will be further restricted, and the employment relationship will be more unstable," says Ma Jianjun, chairman of the Labor Committee of the Shanghai Bar Assn.

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