Macao (RAE - China) - Employment relationships one-sided (2012)

It is common practice in Macau for workers not to have formal contracts with their employers. The power of employers to unilaterally change the wages and working conditions of employees or to terminate employment is therefore unchecked. Given this employer power and with no legal-institutional framework for collective bargaining or for employment contracts, workers are easily victimised and discriminated against for their union activities. The use of temporary contracts has also been increasing, making workers even more vulnerable to abuse and intimidation. The use of subcontractors in the construction industry adds to the problem. In a case publicised in July 2011, 33 workers who claimed they were owed wages said they had been told that they were no longer employed by the contractor for whom they had been working (without an employment contract) but were instead employed by a sub-contractor, who had no money to pay them.

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