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Bc fed union movement china
Bc fed union movement china
Bc fed union movement china
Bc fed union movement china
Bc fed union movement china
Bc fed union movement china
Bc fed union movement china
Bc fed union movement china
Bc fed union movement china
Bc fed union movement china
Bc fed union movement china
Bc fed union movement china
Bc fed union movement china
Bc fed union movement china
Bc fed union movement china
Bc fed union movement china
Bc fed union movement china
Bc fed union movement china
Bc fed union movement china
Bc fed union movement china
Bc fed union movement china
Bc fed union movement china
Bc fed union movement china
Bc fed union movement china
Bc fed union movement china
Bc fed union movement china
Bc fed union movement china
Bc fed union movement china
Bc fed union movement china
Bc fed union movement china
Bc fed union movement china
Bc fed union movement china
Bc fed union movement china
Bc fed union movement china
Bc fed union movement china
Bc fed union movement china
Bc fed union movement china
Bc fed union movement china
Bc fed union movement china
Bc fed union movement china
Bc fed union movement china
Bc fed union movement china
Bc fed union movement china
Bc fed union movement china
Bc fed union movement china
Bc fed union movement china
Bc fed union movement china
Bc fed union movement china
Bc fed union movement china
Bc fed union movement china
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Bc fed union movement china

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  • 1. The workers and union movement in China June 3rd, 2014 BCFL/VDLC Delegation
  • 2. Who leads the workers movement in China?
  • 3. All-China Federation of Trade Unions
  • 4. What kind of workers’ organization is it?
  • 5.  Long history: founded in 1925.  Its predecessor China Labour Secretariat was founded on August 11, 1922.  The Chinese Communist Party has been instrumental in setting up this national trade union body  It has been never far from national politics.
  • 6. Chinese Communist Party (1921)  The First Decision as to the Object of the Communist Party of China (1921) began: “To form industrial unions is the chief aim of our party” (Chen Kung-po, 1966:103).  First Manifesto on the Current Situation (1921): The Chinese Communist Party, as the vanguard of the proletariat, struggles for working-class liberation and for the proletarian revolution.  Manifesto of the Second Congress (1922): At present, in the interest of workers and poor peasants, the Chinese Communist Party must bring the workers to help the democratic movement and get the workers, the poor peasants and the petty bourgeoisie to set up a democratic united form.
  • 7. Leading workers’ struggles 1922-1949
  • 8. The Anyuan Railroad Workers and Miners’ Strike (Sept. 13, 1922) Mao Zedong
  • 9. Liu Shaoqi—President of China 1959-1966 Honorary Chairman of the ACFTU 1948-1957
  • 10. “The Chinese people have stood up!”
  • 11. Structure  Workers would be organized on an industrial and geographical basis rather than occupational lines (the ACFTU’s 6th Congress in 1948)
  • 12. ACFTU  Provincial level  Local (municipal, county-level)  Grassroots level (enterprise, institution)  10 national industrial unions (railway, civil aviation, seaman, ect.)
  • 13. Constitution of the Chinese Trade Unions  Adopted on 21 October 2008  General principle: The Chinese trade unions are mass organizations of the Chinese working class under the leadership of the Communist Party of China and formed by the workers of their own free will. They serve as a bridge and link between the Party and workers and an important social pillar of the state power and represent the interests of the trade union members and workers.
  • 14. Basic duty  The basic duty of the Chinese trade unions is to protect the legitimate rights and Interests of the workers and staff members. In the course of developing the socialist market economy, the Chinese trade unions, in accordance with the regulations of the State’s Labour law and other relevant laws, actively safeguard workers’ political rights, their right to work and their material and cultural interests; participate in coordinating labour relations and regulating social contradictions and make efforts to promote the economic development and a long- term social stability of the country (www.acftu.org).
  • 15. Unions role in the past: 1949-1978  Transmission belt (Leninist transmission belt model of trade unionism): the trade union functions as an intermediary, transmitting Party policy and directives downwards to workers and reflecting workers’ interests upwards to the Party (Howell, 2008 p. 849).
  • 16.  Production  Education  Recreation  Welfare (including welfare units, such as hospitals, clinics, schools and childcare facilities
  • 17.  Overall, harmonized the interests of labour and management; served socialist construction.
  • 18. Challenges after economic reforms (1978-)  Losing core union members as a result of SOE restructuring  Lack of membership in the private sector and particularly foreign-owned enterprises  No experience of organizing workers from bottom-up  Ineffective enterprise trade unions
  • 19. Trade Union Law  1992: new version passed on April 3, replacing the 1950 trade union law  2001: revised on October 27
  • 20. Trade Union representation  Principle: democratic centralism  Article 9: “Trade union committees at various levels shall be democratically elected at members' assemblies or members' congresses. No close relatives of the chief members of an enterprise may be candidates for members of the basic-level trade union committee of the enterprise.’  Article 10 “A basic-level trade union committee shall be set up in an enterprise, an institution or a government department with a membership of twenty-five or more; where the membership is less than twenty-five, a basic- level trade union committee may be separately set up, or a basic- level trade union committee may be set up jointly by the members in two or more work units, or an organizer may be elected, to organize the members in various activities…”
  • 21.  The term of basic- union committee 3-5 years  Members' assemblies or members' congresses should be convened at regular intervals
  • 22. Collective contracts  Article 20: Trade unions shall assist and guide workers and staff members in signing labor contracts with enterprises or institutions managed as enterprises.  Trade unions shall, on behalf of the workers and staff members, make equal consultations and sign collective contracts with enterprises or institutions under enterprise-style management. The draft collective contracts shall be submitted to the congresses of the workers and staff members or all the workers and staff members for deliberation and approval.  When trade unions sign collective contracts, trade unions at higher levels shall afford support and assistance to them.  Where a worker or staff member believes that the enterprise infringes upon his labor rights and interests and therefore applies for labor dispute arbitration or brings the case before a People's Court, the trade union shall give him support and assistance.
  • 23. Dealing with labour grievances and disputes • A three-tier system for handling grievances: internal firm mediation (within enterprise and tripartite consultation); compulsory labour arbitration through labour arbitration committees; civil court litigation • Providing legal services to workers
  • 24. Labour legislation  Article 33 When organizing people to draft or revise laws, regulations or rules directly related to the immediate interests of workers and staff members, the government departments shall listen to the opinions of trade unions. 
  • 25. Voice in decision-making  Involve in government decision-making, including legislation and development policies  When working out plans for national economic and social development, the people's governments at or above the county level shall, where major questions related to the interests of workers and staff members are concerned, listen to the opinions of the trade unions at the corresponding levels.  When studying and working out policies and measures on employment, wages, occupational safety and health, social insurance, and other questions related to the immediate interests of workers and staff members, the people's governments at or above the county level and their relevant departments shall invite the trade unions at the corresponding levels to take part in the study and listen to their opinions.
  • 26. E.g. Labour Contract Law (2007) • Model: greater social protection, less precarious employment • Drafted on October 2005 • Released to public discussion in March 2006; reflects transparency and public participation
  • 27. • The lobbying effort of foreign business associates against the Law (American Chamber of Commerce; EU Chamber of Commerce)
  • 28. • Labour NGOs’ support for the Law: • Global Labour Strategies • Workers Rights Consortium
  • 29. • Major concerns were debated: • Fixed-term contracts (permanent ongoing employment after two fixed-term contracts) • Work rules and enterprise decision making (union veto power over rules) • Trade union rights and responsibilities (setting collective contracts) • Labour subcontracting and informalization • Guideline on layoff • 4 drafts
  • 30. • The Law was passed in 2007, effective since January 1, 2008: • The final draft was a compromise—the debated articles have been revised, e.g. union’s veto power over management removed
  • 31. • Implementation effect: • Labour contracts rate increased • Labour rights consciousness improved – collective consciousness
  • 32. Recent efforts…
  • 33. Unionizing workers  Large scale unionization campaign:  1994 : 17,293 trade unions were set up in foreign-invested enterprises, nearly double the figure for the previous 10 years.  In March 2006, then President Hu Jintao ordered ACFTU to do a better job at building TUs in private sector, especially FIEs.
  • 34.  Hu said, "Do a better job of building (Communist) Party organizations and trade unions in foreign-invested enterprises.”
  • 35.  In 2006, only 26 percent of China's 150,000 foreign companies have unions.  Unionizing employees at 60 percent of China's foreign companies.  1,324, 000 enterprises in 2006  1,845,000 in 2009  Unionize from bottom-up
  • 36. E.g. Wal-mart
  • 37.  Southern city of Quanzhou  Employees voted July 29 to form the company's first Chinese union  Since then, employees at 16 other Wal- Marts in China also have formed unions  After resisting for two years, August 10, 2006 Wal-mart agreed the unionization of 30,000 employees at its 60 Chinese outlets
  • 38.  Workers of Wal-Mart’s Xuanwumen Shop in Beijing form a trade union in August, 2006
  • 39.  Unionize migrant workers – since 2003
  • 40. ACFTU members  Currently, members 290 million; among them 110 million rural migrant workers; members in private sector 170 million
  • 41. Other efforts  1. Democratization of enterprise TU: Guangdong provincial TU pilot direct election, training for workers
  • 42.  2. Establishing a collective consultation (bargaining) system nationwide:  In 2008, the Ministry of Human Resource and Social Security issued a “Rainbow Plan” which set a goal of establishing a collective bargaining system in eastern and central China first, then expanding it to all of China.  According to the 3-year plan by ACFTU in 2011, by the end of 2013, 80% of all companies would be covered by collective wage bargaining agreements.
  • 43. E.g. Beijing MFTU  In 2010, working to establish a special fund to pay grassroots [workplace] trade union leaders. Ensure that they will be paid not by employers, but by unions. Aim to make grassroots trade unions more independent in their negotiations with employers, when workers' rights and interests are violated.
  • 44. International unionism • The new national union in America, the Change to Win federation initiated dialogue with the ACFTU after its split with the AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations), visited the ACFTU in May 2007. • International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) (formed on 1 November 2006, from the former International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) and the World Confederation of Labour), voted to seek engagement with the ACFTU in December 2007. • “Given that approximately one quarter of the global working class is Chinese and that China is the favoured destination of global foreign direct investment, the ITUC’s change of direction is profoundly significant” (Pringle, 2011 p.1)
  • 45. Therefore…  In the last three decades, the labour movement in China has moved to the forefront of global industrial relations, facing the new economic environment, TUs in China have been making efforts to effectively protecting workers’ rights and interests  Still a long way to go

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