Jiangsu trade unions campaign for collective contracts

Since January 2015, the Wujiang District Federation of Trade Unions in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, along with the local human resources and social security department and other labour relations partners, have been stepping up their 2014-16 campaign to implement a collective contract system. The campaign’s overall objective is that by the end of the year, the rate of conclusion of collective contracts between enterprises and trade unions will have reached a steady 95% or more, based on the “three projects” (expanding the collective bargaining mechanism, increasing its quality and efficiency, and fulfilling its commitment), with further improvement in 2016; the rate of registration of collective contracts submitted for review should also be maintained at above 90%.

The Wujiang federation has completed its database of enterprises in the district; this covers numbers of enterprises, workers, trade unions and collective contracts concluded through collective bargaining. In the meantime, at township and subdistrict levels and within the Wujiang Economic Development Zone, it has accelerated the creation of regional and industrial trade unions and set about building a professional grassroots trade union team. It has mobilized in support of collective bargaining while working to make it more sustainable. In encouraging enterprises and their representative organizations to introduce worker consultation, it has shown support for enterprises that do so in line with laws and regulations. In response to those units that refuse, it has issued the Opinion Letter on Trade Union Supervision of the Labour Law, demanding that they rectify such practice.

At the same time, the federation has actively put conditions in place to strengthen the formation of an expert collective bargaining advisory panel and instructor team, persuaded professors and lawyers in the labour relations field to provide coaching on collective bargaining, and stepped up training for worker representatives, enterprise executives, trade union staff and relevant employees of industrial associations and chambers of commerce. Trade unions have provided no fewer than 10,000 work hours of training to worker representatives. During the campaign the federation will choose at least 50 representative enterprises every year to visit and provide coaching services, help with dedicated planning, and delegate consultation tasks to selected individuals. Collective bargaining demonstration models should be set up in at least three enterprises and one industry every year, to include on-site visits and case study activities with a view to strengthening the analysis and study of examples of good collective bargaining practice in the region prior to roll-out. It has taken industrial collective bargaining as the main focus of this expansion, choosing labour-intensive industries like construction, garments and catering as target areas. It will extend the campaign in due course to emerging industries, knowledge-intensive industries and public units with enterprise-style management. It has reinforced its collective bargaining services, guided and coordinated the training and evaluation of labour relations regulators down to enterprise workshop supervisor level, and guaranteed the provision of legal support for the effective application of collective bargaining.

It has also actively advanced its commitment to collective bargaining, seeing strict regulation of the procedure as an important measure to enhance the quality of collective contracts. Establishing a system of preliminary review of the wording of collective contracts, it has actively followed up on their examination and verification in subdistrict and township labour and social security agencies. Meanwhile, internal oversight by enterprises themselves has been emphasized as a way to increase self-discipline. An in-house supervision system has been established, and worker representatives or trade unions should organize at least two examinations of each enterprise’s commitment to follow up on collective wage contracts. The tripartite committee of Wujiang district has conducted a joint review of collective bargaining work, focusing on enterprises’ establishment of the collective wage bargaining mechanism, the advocacy campaign, the demand to introduce worker consultation, completion rates and the development of enterprise collective bargaining models.

  Source: ACFTU  2015-06-10

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