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Hungry_Hippo

Company broke the contract, getting Chinard hard

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Hello,

I am currently working in a school teaching English. I know - shocking... Anyways, the company broke the contract - didn't pay my wage as scheduled (late for over 2 weeks), paid incorrect wage last 2 months ( however, I was paid in the end). Also, contract says I should only work 30 hours a week, but they want me to do 40+ hours... 

In the contract it says that the party which breaks the contract needs to pay 10 000RMB penalty. They're refusing to do this...

Also, when I said I want to quit, they said I need to pay the penalty AND give 3 months notice...

I have a Z visa. Temp permit is being processed now. The lawyer told me to get the media involved and publicly shame them. I am hesitant to take them to court - costs a lot of time and slim chances of winning (#laowai_life)...

so what should I do? any lawyers you guys could reccommend or maybe anyone went through a similar problem? I don't mind going back home... Also, I thought about not showing up to work until they pay me the money :)

I am still down 10 000RMB since coming to China - and that's after 3 months of work... I have a feeling I'm doing it wrong.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Media would be a smart way. Do you have a Chinese friend that can lie to them and play like a journalist? Ive never been in such a situation but I know getting the media will destroy them. Also let them loose face by making a scene when the parents are there can be a great way. Be ready, they will tell you stuff like that they will cancel your visa and what not. Part of the game. Good Luck.

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Didn't want to create a new thread. I might use this one as a diary or a  log of my "work" in China.
 

A quick update : still have not received my money. I got my salary paid on time, just not sure if it's paid correctly or not. The working environment is increasingly hostile now :)

It's becoming stupidly absurd... TA's are not doing anything during my classes, my scheduled is messed up, even got into a shouting match with my "supervisor"... next day got my PC removed (which has/ had my personal files on it). 

started complaining about these issues, got banned from 2 school group chats :D 

anyone got any ideas what to do? I am quitting so that's that :) I thought maybe to not take my break every day - that's 1 hour less I need to spend in that hell-hole (also messes with their schedule). There are no requirements for me to wear a uniform - so could do that as well... 

 

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Hey San,

 

Thanks a lot for your help. I was already told that exact thing - the agent said he'd cancel my visa immediately if I quit. I guess I have no other choice but to make this public or to just walk away from it. Thanks for the support, mate ;) I owe you a beer - let me know if you want to go for one :)

For those reading this - I'm currently working for one of The Pygos Group (LG & DE limited) schools. They all have the same HR office and it's the same thing. The company is rotten to it's core. And not only the employment side.

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HI, the problem is caused by agent. i have a friend have similar event like you. the agent told you that you just need work for 30 hours. but he also told the school you can accept work for 40 hours. many agent do like this. school pay agent for your salary about 15000 and in time. but the agent just pay you 8000 and delay it. Do not sign contact with agent. find a school directly. in hangzhou  a lot school can give you work visa if you are native speaker. not difficult. the best way is find job from school. not from agent. on this website. lots school need teachers. especially native speakers.

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13 hours ago, Hungry_Hippo said:

Hey San,

 

Thanks a lot for your help. I was already told that exact thing - the agent said he'd cancel my visa immediately if I quit. I guess I have no other choice but to make this public or to just walk away from it. Thanks for the support, mate ;) I owe you a beer - let me know if you want to go for one :)

For those reading this - I'm currently working for one of The Pygos Group (LG & DE limited) schools. They all have the same HR office and it's the same thing. The company is rotten to it's core. And not only the employment side.

LOL no worries dude,  save the money for your beer ;p I'm about to leave this hellhole anyway in 2 weeks yay. 

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oh we definitely need to meet up sometime :) I like listening to survival stories. I mean, it would be my pleasure :)

congrats on leaving, by the way. I hope to follow suit in the next month. 3 tops. 

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hey martel420,

nope, it's still unresolved. The company is still refusing to pay the wage. The only viable option is to get the media involved... This school I work for is a branch of a franchise, and there is a central HQ that deals with payments. The HR said I can sue them, but they won't pay me :D

With my current health issues and generaly being fed up with "life" in China, I'm giving them an ultimatum - honor the contract or find a new teacher. It's a win-win situation for me :)

It's just my coleeagues - honestly some of the best people I've met - will get hit hard, I guess. So I'll stay for a few months and then leave :)

At least, that's the plan. We'll see how it goes.

Legal action will cost a lot of nerves, time and money. not worth it.

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23 minutes ago, Hungry_Hippo said:

hey martel420,

nope, it's still unresolved. The company is still refusing to pay the wage. The only viable option is to get the media involved... This school I work for is a branch of a franchise, and there is a central HQ that deals with payments. The HR said I can sue them, but they won't pay me :D

With my current health issues and generaly being fed up with "life" in China, I'm giving them an ultimatum - honor the contract or find a new teacher. It's a win-win situation for me :)

It's just my coleeagues - honestly some of the best people I've met - will get hit hard, I guess. So I'll stay for a few months and then leave :)

At least, that's the plan. We'll see how it goes.

Legal action will cost a lot of nerves, time and money. not worth it.

Yeah,  this situation suxks man hope it all works out. 

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oh it will work out. I gave them a chance to do the right thing. They chose not to. I'm handing in my notice Friday :) 

for anyone reading this - if you fall into a similar situation, your best bet is to publicly shame those cheating scumbags. To your colleagues, to clients, if you can - get the media involved. This will work. 

Legal measures will take a lot of time, cost a bunch of money, and at the end they can still refuse to pay - more legal bullshit on your hands...

My situation is complicated - I got this job through acquaintances as "a favor" so I can't go all out. 

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Yeah, you got Chinared... as you put it.

The thing you haven't worked out is - they don't give a toss! The fact that this is a 'thing' means that no-one really cares, Legalities?? Meh, who cares?? (unless you get someone in SAFEA to give a shit).

Your only viable recourse is media.... as someone said, get someone in as a 'journalist'. Maybe give a few RMB to some journo students to take a camera into the office.... pay them to go in about 2-3 times per week until you get paid (the school doesn't need to know this). Obviously, they need to wait out front for the boss to walk to his/her car, and start filming and asking questions...

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5 hours ago, sainthood said:

Yeah, you got Chinared... as you put it.

The thing you haven't worked out is - they don't give a toss! The fact that this is a 'thing' means that no-one really cares, Legalities?? Meh, who cares?? (unless you get someone in SAFEA to give a shit).

Your only viable recourse is media.... as someone said, get someone in as a 'journalist'. Maybe give a few RMB to some journo students to take a camera into the office.... pay them to go in about 2-3 times per week until you get paid (the school doesn't need to know this). Obviously, they need to wait out front for the boss to walk to his/her car, and start filming and asking questions...

Someone ?? you mean moi. 

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Did you contact the Foreign Experts Bureau? Aka, SAFEA (State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs)?

They are the ones the government has put in place to deal with this sort of crap. Granted, they normally don't reply to emails, and getting them to answer the phone can be VERY hit and miss.... but, if you do get them, then it should only take a phone call or 2 to get it sorted (not the 10K penalty... that's just a joke... unless, of course, they want it from you!)

If you're hired legally (and you have the right quals etc), then this is something that can seriously stuff up their school... as in, lose their FT license.

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Makes sense that the ta are not doing anything. They all want to push you in a corner so you quit the job.  Just think about the money u make and that's it,  arrive at time and leave at time. F them. 

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14 hours ago, san5324 said:

Makes sense that the ta are not doing anything. They all want to push you in a corner so you quit the job.  Just think about the money u make and that's it,  arrive at time and leave at time. F them. 

This is very true. I wonder why don't they just fire me, if I'm such a pain in the ass... But yeah, I can definitely feel the pressure.

15 hours ago, sainthood said:

Did you contact the Foreign Experts Bureau? Aka, SAFEA (State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs)?

nope, didn't try this yet. Just assumed this whole "teach in China" thing was stacked against me from the beginning, so didn't even consider going to a gov institution.  might be worth a shot. 

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1 hour ago, Hungry_Hippo said:

 

nope, didn't try this yet. Just assumed this whole "teach in China" thing was stacked against me from the beginning, so didn't even consider going to a gov institution.  might be worth a shot. 

I've heard tales of  many who have had good success with them...

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7 hours ago, Hungry_Hippo said:

This is very true. I wonder why don't they just fire me, if I'm such a pain in the ass... But yeah, I can definitely feel the pressure.

nope, didn't try this yet. Just assumed this whole "teach in China" thing was stacked against me from the beginning, so didn't even consider going to a gov institution.  might be worth a shot. 

I don't know why they never do that. I've seen it in different companies with people in the same situation. 

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I have a feeling it has to do something with the agents. maybe if the teacher quits, they can get some money back, but if they fire me - they can't get anything...

but it seems I spoke too soon :D today had a few westerners come and teach classes. Just worried they will cancel my permit and I'll need to leave within a week + steal my last months pay... not sure if I buy a ticket or wait...

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I can't understand why your lawyer tell you to involve media. It's normally a labour contract. The easiest and normal way to solve the issue is go to the Labour Dispute Arbitration Committee of Hangzhou. The law sets out that the first step to resolve the labour dispute is the Committee. Most Chinese labour disputes are also solved at this stage. 

Actually according to Article 31(3) of the Labour Law of PRC, you could end the contract at any time if your employer didn't pay with respect of your labour contract. Meanwhile you shall not pay any penalty. If you have evidence to prove that your working hour passed the agreed 30 hrs, they need to pay 150% of the salary for the extra hrs regarding the Article 44 of the Labour Law.

So if your statements are true, you shall get this issue solved easily. There is no need to find the media at this stage. If you find no relief from the legal system then you can go media. But most of time, small cases like your labour contract dispute could be solved through legal system. Cases involving government would be hard to solve owing to Chinese administrative system.

 

Hope I can help you 

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This helps, however - it takes too much time, it's expensive and even if I win - they can just ignore the coart's rulling. Also, if I go to court - I need to quit my job. That means either I go home or need to find a new job (applying for the visa again, flights and so forth)... 

I am just so tired of all this bullshit. I showed the law articles, I showed the contract - they told me to go to court. And this is exactly why - the whole system is a mess and as a foreigner I'm completely powerless (apart from going public). 

I just want to go home.

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6 hours ago, Haohao Wei said:

I can't understand why your lawyer tell you to involve media. It's normally a labour contract. The easiest and normal way to solve the issue is go to the Labour Dispute Arbitration Committee of Hangzhou. The law sets out that the first step to resolve the labour dispute is the Committee. Most Chinese labour disputes are also solved at this stage. 

Actually according to Article 31(3) of the Labour Law of PRC, you could end the contract at any time if your employer didn't pay with respect of your labour contract. Meanwhile you shall not pay any penalty. If you have evidence to prove that your working hour passed the agreed 30 hrs, they need to pay 150% of the salary for the extra hrs regarding the Article 44 of the Labour Law.

So if your statements are true, you shall get this issue solved easily. There is no need to find the media at this stage. If you find no relief from the legal system then you can go media. But most of time, small cases like your labour contract dispute could be solved through legal system. Cases involving government would be hard to solve owing to Chinese administrative system.

 

Hope I can help you 

You sound like you know a lot that's really great , but we both know that in a situation,  especially in court that the guy who wins (say 97%) is a Chinese person. 

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Since you seem to decide to quit, the best way is solve it first. You can have some consultations with the Labour Dispute Arbitration Committee first. It's totally free and the whole dispute could be settled within a month normally. According to law, if you win, you'll get your pay first from the Committee, then the Committee will ask for compensation from your company.

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3 hours ago, san5324 said:

You sound like you know a lot that's really great , but we both know that in a situation,  especially in court that the guy who wins (say 97%) is a Chinese person. 

I know that legal issues concerning the IP disputes (which accounts for most foreign cases in China) foreigners lose most because of the local protection. But cases involving the labour contract do not have such a situation, most of the disputes are solved at arbitration stage and you don't need to go to the courts with some fee and long time.

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I spoke to a contract lawyer last night.

I'm thinking of setting up a 'business' where FT's (and, for that matter, any other expat) can make monthly contributions (say, 100/month) have the services of a lawyer on retainer. This means, any questions you need to ask can be answered, and any letters from lawyers should be sent without further payment. Obviously, if it goes to the next stage, there will be more money involved, but hopefully even that can be bargained with so it wouldn't cost too much (eg, going to the arbitration stage).

Would those who have commented on this thread like to comment on this idea?

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