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July 28, 2010

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Man sues firm for wrongful dismissal

A MAN who was fired because he refused to work off the coast of Somalia, where pirates have wreaked havoc on international shipping, asked his former employer to pay 240,000 yuan (US$35,402) in compensation in an appeal hearing yesterday.

The Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People's Court didn't reach a verdict in the appeal yesterday.

The original lawsuit was rejected by Minhang District People's Court. The court ruled that Yan Airong didn't have a good reason to refuse the company's arrangement, nor did he perform legal procedures to ask for leave.

Yan, 33, was hired by S.B. Submarine Systems Co Ltd in August 1997 as a cable jointer.

The company informed Yan on April 29, 2009, to bring his passport to work the next day as he was being transferred to Singapore.

He asked for leave the next day, saying he suffered from chronic gastritis. He sent the company his medical records a few days later.

S.B. Submarine thought Yan was trying to avoid work because he didn't bring his passport as requested and he wasn't too sick.

Yan was asked to have a physical examination at an appointed hospital to confirm his sickness. He refused, S.B. Submarine told the court.

The company warned Yan that he would be fired if he made the same mistake again, it told the court.

S.B. Submarine notified Yan on June 3, 2009, to prepare to be transferred for work off the coast of Somalia.

Yan said he wouldn't go unless the company withdrew the warning punishment and made a written promise allowing him to get off the ship before it entered the area where pirates operated.

The company told the court Yan didn't bring his passport again. Yan was fired two days later.


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