When chatting with an entrepreneur friend of us, we discussed the Shenzhen Little Bird’s new project, the “Enterprise/Worker Communication Hotline.”(http://www.xxnrx.org/Article/Show.asp?id=1479 ) This is the first time that Little Bird has partnered with businesses, and marks a turning point for the organization. In the past thirteen years, we only provided legal services for individual workers. Now, we will provide targeted services for workers’ groups in certain businesses, while still providing legal services for individual workers as we’ve done in the past. The following questions will try to clarify this new working focus.
1) Will the QQ services provided by Little Bird use QQ Groups?
Similar to the groups, it has the same easy-to-remember number as our independent service hotline, 400-6373885. While catering to the needs of our business partners and factory workers, it also is aimed at providing national coverage to migrant workers. The workers outside Shenzhen shall only pay local fee when they dial it.
2) What about the number of employees at Little Bird, our professionalism, and our future development?
There are fewer than twenty employees at Little Bird and most of them are law majors. We rely on the support of volunteers, our lawyers, psychological health consultants, journalists, and the volunteering strength of scholars and law major students. If Little Bird can successfully create partnerships with businesses, we will recruit new employees to guarantee the success of all our services and programs.
Regarding our future course, we will continue to provide free legal services for individual workers. At the same time, we will strive to expand our “Workers’ Communication Hotline” services to a growing number of businesses. Employees working in this direction could be experts in law, psychology, sociology, social work, etc.
Little Bird has always stressed the importance of openness and transparency, cooperation with the media. Little Bird actively strives to stay relevant to the headlines, by planning meaningful public welfare programs and inviting the media to attend.
Little Bird has hotline services in four cities, and created an “Intercity Space,” – an interactive online mutual-aid platform designed to broaden the scope of Little Bird’s services.
3) How is Little Bird’s “Workers’ Communication Hotline” different from similar services provided by other organizations?
Little Bird’s Beijing office has a “People’s Mediation Committee” authorized by Bureau of Justice in Dongcheng District Beijing (北京东城区司法局授权成立的“小小鸟人民调解委员会”) which can directly negotiate with employers to solve labor disputes without the need for arbitration or litigation. This method is direct, time-saving, and efficient. This kind of “neutral and moderate” rights protection method is acceptable to both employers and workers. Moreover, Little Bird is more capable than other grassroots services organizations to carry out the mission of rights protection.
In the last thirteen years, Little Bird has continually provided legal services for migrant workers, accumulated rich experience, and deeply explored the most common and pressing needs of this group. Regarding businesses and their workers, an NGO with over thirteen years of experience is more likely to be trusted.
4) Is ‘information collection’ or ‘problem solving’ more important to the “Enterprise/Worker Communication Hotline”?
Problem solving is the goal, while information collection is a means to that end.
The communication hotline can collect workers’ suggestions and recommendations regarding a factory’s production, management and operation. After the suggestions are delivered to the business owners, Little Bird can help businesses solve problems to avoid conflicts. This is an effective way of preventing possible labor disputes, promoting harmony between workers and owners, and improving worker enthusiasm and efficiency. This method will bring rewards to businesses, which will benefit from the stability of having long-term workers.
5) As a grassroots organization, how will Little Bird, without power or money, solve problems?
Through the suggestions collected through the hotline and QQ, our volunteer lawyers, psychological consultants, and academics can work together to guarantee the smooth development of our campaigns. At the same time, we compile this information into reports and submit it to the businesses. This mechanism provides an open, equitable way to discuss and solve problems for businesses and workers.
When Little Bird discovers urgent problems, we will directly contact the relevant authorities at the factory. After explaining the nature of the problems, Little Bird strives to help solve the problem as soon as possible.
This said that one cannot rely on Little Bird alone to solve problems. We need a top-to-bottom and bottom-to-top system in which both sides, labor and owners, can profit by cooperation. All labor issues can be solved through communication, discussion, and negotiation. Our role is to analyze the seriousness of problems, discover potential dangers, and point out the rewards that can be gained by solving these issues.
Wei Wei, the Founder of Little Bird, is introducing the Hotline Service to the workers in PCH supply factories.