from International Business Daily
Law-abiding is where a multinational enterprise stands and grows
Messer: Making Chinese employees have a strong sense of belonging
When talking about the Law on Employment Contracts newly implemented in China, Helmut Schneider, CEO of Messer China, said "The survival and growth of any multinational enterprise in China cannot be away from the social environments in China, such as politics, economy, legal system, and etc. It is unreal for an enterprise only caring about its business growth while neglecting local laws and regulations." "Being an eligible Chinese Citizen, which means abiding by the laws in China, following Chinese customs and respecting Chinese culture, is a premise for a multinational company to have a foothold and growth in China." 

According to the introduction of Schneider to the reporter, Messer China carries out an "Employee-oriented" HR management system, one of whose bases is to strictly abiding by the labor law in China. It is its HR management concept that makes its Chinese employees regard the company as a big family and have a strong sense of belonging. A good proof is that Messer has kept a low employee turnover rate among its peers. At present, many of its employees are those who joined Messer 10 year ago when it entered China.

"Messer China has always complied with the local labor law, so the new law won't have a big impact on our company." Schneider expressed. If an enterprise always obeys law, the new law will not increase its labor cost greatly and it doesn't need to rack its brains to make countermeasures. As long as it takes the employment risk and slightly adjusts its personnel policies after the new law is implemented, everything will go right as before. However, for an enterprise which infringes on the employees' rights, its labor cost will increase greatly.

When asked about the incident made published recently, in which some China-based foreign-invested enterprises suddenly cut down their employee numbers to avoid the social responsibilities before the new law was implemented, Schneider thought it was an unsuitable and very unwise strategy. Employees are the wealth of an enterprise. If it does not treat its employee nicely, it will be possibly eliminated out of the Chinese market in the long term. "At least, a foreign-invested enterprise, which treats its employees nicely, is more responsible in public, and it will be easier for its products to gain high market reputation and the recognition of customers." Schneider said. 
German-based Messer Group has invested in China for more than 10 years. It focuses on the production of industrial gas and at present has 12 big investment projects across China with 1,200 employees and a total investment of more than $270 million. It is learned that labor disputes are inevitable for such medium sized company, but its leaders have settled most of them after friendly communication by strictly following the labor laws and the employee-oriented spirit. Even if a few are submitted to the labor arbitration, the arbitration rewards are no breach of the labor law. "I hope the implementation of new law will contribute to more harmonious labor relations so that employees will be more loyal to good employers." Schneider said.
It is also learned that Schneider not only required its subsidiary companies to strictly obey the labor law, but also encouraged them to pay more attention to the growth of their employees, especially those young professionals, to act as a responsible Chinese Citizen. "I hope we Messer will make its contribution to the construction of a harmonious society in China."
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Jasmine Yan
Corporate Communications
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