Chinese Search Engine Baidu In Dialog With Striking Workers

Executives from the Chinese Internet search engine Baidu talked over the past weekend with striking workers who protested against the company's salary cuts and its new sales commission policies.

News in the Chinese local media states that Baidu's hundreds of employees in southern China have stayed home or refused to go to the office since May 4, 2009.

According to the workers on strike and the officers from Shenzhen Labor Bureau, hundreds of employees from Baidu's Shenzhen office came to the local labor bureau and raised complaints against the company. In addition, the labor bureau in Guangzhou received complaints from dozens of employees of Baidu.

Several representatives of the striking workers told local media that Baidu cut the base salaries of sales staff by about 30% from May 1, 2009. The average base salaries of these sales staff is said to be around CNY4,000 per month. These representatives said that Baidu also raised the sales targets and threatened to withhold commissions or implement dismissals if the sales staff fail to meet the performance targets.

Striking workers asked Baidu to cancel the new policies and fire the executive who launched the policies. The employees are currently waiting for the reply from the company and say if there requests cannot be satisfied, they will continue the strike.

Baidu has several thousand employees in mainland China. Clients of the company are mainly small and medium-sized enterprises whose Internet marketing knowledge is limited and the company relies on its sales team to develop potential clients, to educate clients, and to sell the online advertising.

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