Labor-related lawsuits nearly doubled in China last year mainly due to mass factory shutdowns, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing comments from a senior official with the Supreme People’s Court. The number of labor-related lawsuits rose 95% in 2008 and most were filed in the export hub of Guangdong. Approximately 62,400 businesses — mostly small- and medium-size factories — were shut down in the province last year and more closings are expected in the next few months. "When they face difficulties, these businesses often reduce their costs by cutting the labor force and salaries," said Shen Deyong, vice president of the Supreme People’s Court. Shen also said the new labor contract law which took effect at the beginning of 2008 and the accompanying awareness campaign also contributed to the rise in cases.