The Dispatch Labour System is a Trap

On September 2011, a public letter written by 5 workers from Gucci’s retail shop in Shenzhen listed more than 100 forms of “abuse” relating to their treatment by the company. These allegations include how some pregnant women workers miscarried because of the highly stressful working requirements. The company was also using a large number of dispatch workers.

The dispatch labour system has become a contentious issue in China. According to official Chinese figures, the number of dispatch workers has increased to 60 million. Dispatch workers in China usually sign labour contracts with dispatch agencies and then work for and are supervised by third parties. Although China’s Labour Contract Law clause 66 states that, “dispatch labour is generally for filling temporary, auxiliary or substitute job positions”, in practice many dispatch workers work for more than two years, with some even working up to ten years.

The article summarises the reasons for the growth of the dispatch labour system in China and discusses the use of dispatch labour in Gucci’s shop. It is only available in Chinese.