Unionists in Hebei have reacted strongly to a new incident involving companies in the northern province punishing female employees who got pregnant.

The local general labor union made a public appeal for employers across the province to improve women’s rights and to fight against pregnancy discrimination in the workplace.

The Hebei General Labor Union said it would talk with local government departments – personnel and social security officials, plus health and safety departments – about pregnancy discrimination among small private companies, the Paper reported.

Local media outlets have recently exposed many cases in which female employees were forced to “queue up” or “take turns” to have children – or face punishment or being sacked for getting pregnant. They said this showed that Chinese women’s rights and employment security, maternity protection and labor protection were not respected much.

So, the union wanted to raise awareness about women’s rights and fight workplace discrimination by organizing seminars, discussion forums, and posting material on websites and Weibo accounts about laws on China’s two-child policy, the Anti-domestic Violence Law, Protection of Women’s Rights, Special Rules on the Labor Protection of Female Employees and Hebei provincial laws on Women’s Rights and Labor Protection.

Any employees who suspected that they suffered workplace discrimination because they got pregnant should file a case to the general labor union, which would try to intervene properly and could even lodge lawsuits to try to remedy such problems.