ICU 996 Workplace situation protest

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ICU 996 is a protest against the 996 work system which is referred to the situation where employees work from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM for 6 days a weeks for overtime payment and enforcement. In short, it means Work 996, sick ICU suggesting that if you work 996, then you will be sick in ICU (Intensive Care Unit).

In the term ICU 996:

  • ICU stands for Intensive Care Unit
  • 996 refer to the work system from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM for 6 days a weeks

This is important as:

  • Developer/ Human life matter
  • Corporations induce workers to hard for long hours which detacts them from social life
  • Physical and Mental Health suffers greatly

icu996

This protest started in China where the standard working hours is 8 hours for 5 days a week with a overtime limit of 3 hours a day or 36 hours a month with maximum working hour per week is 48 hours.

Thus, the standard working rule permits 48 hours per week but the 996 system goes to 72 hours per week.

This intensive work system has resulted in severe health issues including the death of some people.

History

In September 2016, the company 58.com officially declared the 996 working hour system and it was widespread on the internet, which caused disputes and condemnation.

Then 58.com responded that the business was very active during September and October, leading to the 996 system being encouraged, but not compulsory.

However, when media interviewed the employees from 58.com, it was found that 996 working hour system was very common, with employees very often working overtime with overtime salary.

After 58.com's 996 schedule was exposed to the public, an email screenshot from JD.com spread on the internet that showed that He Gang, the vice-president of JD.com, implementing the 996 schedule.

On 19 January 2019, the social platform Maimai showed an employee from Youzan stating that their supervisor had enforced the 996 schedule.

Over 40 companies implement the 996 system or most intensive systems. Companies include:

  • Huawei
  • Alibaba Group
  • JD.com

Rise of new license: 996ICU licence

The 996ICU licence is an open-source license that prohibits companies that follow 996 system to use the concerned open-source code.

The statement of the license is as follows:

Anti 996 License Version 1.0 (Draft)

Permission is hereby granted to any individual or legal entity
obtaining a copy of this licensed work (including the source code,
documentation and/or related items, hereinafter collectively referred
to as the "licensed work"), free of charge, to deal with the licensed
work for any purpose, including without limitation, the rights to use,
reproduce, modify, prepare derivative works of, distribute, publish 
and sublicense the licensed work, subject to the following conditions:

1. The individual or the legal entity must conspicuously display,
without modification, this License and the notice on each redistributed 
or derivative copy of the Licensed Work.

2. The individual or the legal entity must strictly comply with all
applicable laws, regulations, rules and standards of the jurisdiction
relating to labor and employment where the individual is physically
located or where the individual was born or naturalized; or where the
legal entity is registered or is operating (whichever is stricter). In
case that the jurisdiction has no such laws, regulations, rules and
standards or its laws, regulations, rules and standards are
unenforceable, the individual or the legal entity are required to
comply with Core International Labor Standards.

3. The individual or the legal entity shall not induce or force its
employee(s), whether full-time or part-time, or its independent
contractor(s), in any methods, to agree in oral or written form, to
directly or indirectly restrict, weaken or relinquish his or her
rights or remedies under such laws, regulations, rules and standards
relating to labor and employment as mentioned above, no matter whether
such written or oral agreement are enforceable under the laws of the
said jurisdiction, nor shall such individual or the legal entity
limit, in any methods, the rights of its employee(s) or independent
contractor(s) from reporting or complaining to the copyright holder or
relevant authorities monitoring the compliance of the license about
its violation(s) of the said license.

THE LICENSED WORK IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND,
EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF
MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT.
IN NO EVENT SHALL THE COPYRIGHT HOLDER BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM,
DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR
OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN ANY WAY CONNECTION WITH THE
LICENSED WORK OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE LICENSED WORK.

Browser blacklist

On 2 April 2019, it come to notice that browsers have blacklisted and categorized the official protest site 996.ICU. Browsers include:

  • QQ Browser (product of Tencent)
  • UC Browser (product of Alibaba)
  • 360 Browser (product of Qihoo 360)
  • Other Chromium-based Chinese browsers

Suggested actions

Negotiate with company leaders

According to the relevant provisions of China's "Labor Law", enterprises can not force employees to work overtime, they must obtain the consent of the employees in advance, and the time for overtime work should not be too long, and it needs to be controlled within a reasonable range. The 996 working system is actually a violation of the Labor Law. Enterprise employees can first report the situation with the company's leaders and negotiate to solve the problem. After all, this kind of work system is unpopular and only appeals. If enterprises want to develop, they must face up to the problem.

Report to the labor administration

If you reflect with the senior leadership of your company, you still can't solve the problem. Then report it to the local labor administration. The labor administration department is generally the local human resources and social security department. The labor administration can warn the company, and if the company does not correct it, it can be punished.

Call the mayor's hotline to reflect the situation

In order to promote the rationalization of the city, many cities now have a special hotline for complaints. The mayor hotline is one of the more common ones. By dialing the mayor's hotline in the city where the company is located, it reflects the company's illegal overtime work, and the situation will be answered and resolved within one week.

The party applies for mediation according to law

Enterprise employees can also apply for labor mediation, and let the dispute mediation agency help them to mediate with the company. This is the need to fill out the mediation application. Moreover, the mediation agency only plays the role of mediation and does not have any mandatory.

Apply for labor dispute arbitration

In the case that the employees and the company cannot reach a consensus, the employee can apply for labor dispute arbitration, and let the arbitration institution urge the company to abide by the relevant provisions of the Labor Law and avoid the work system of forcing employees to work overtime.

File a civil lawsuit with the court

If the above does not solve the 996 work system problem, then the employee can sue the company to the court, violate the relevant provisions of the Labor Law, and demand financial compensation from the company. If the court wins the case, then the company must perform.

Help the media to report the matter

Nowadays, the Internet is a very important tool for public opinion. Many things will be paid attention to through the spread of the Internet. Therefore, you can ask the media for the media to report on the company's 996 work system. In order to avoid trouble, the company will quickly solve the 996 work system problem.

  • Accidents caused by 996, resulting responsibilities, and comrades who have been laid off and retained evidence under the 996 system are invited to separate labor arbitration.