Speech at an Event to Celebrate the “May 1st” International Labor Day

As an old saying goes, every trade has its master. To gain a strong foothold in the strong tide of competition, claim the advantage in an ultra-competitive environment in which the weak are left behind, and make a difference through a lifetime of serving the motherland and people, workers must rely on tireless learning and an enduring commitment to work. Any worker who is willing to learn, to do, and to probe, and who can master a set of genuine abilities and skills, will surely excel in their position of work. Through their work, these people can broaden their horizons, prove their worth, demonstrate their charm, and find their joy.      

Fellow countrymen:

The working class represents the CPC’s strongest and most reliable class foundation. China’s working class has a glorious tradition of standing at the forefront of the times and bearing the burden of duty. Historically speaking, the workers’ movement in China has always been tied closely to the core tasks of the CPC. In today’s China, the working class and working people continue to be the fundamental force for advancing economic and social development and preserving social stability and unity. Despite this, however, some people have failed to acknowledge the growth and progress of our country’s working class, showing no regard for their role as the leading force in the country and believing that their importance is diminishing with the advancement of science and technology. These views are wrong, and they are harmful. Regardless of how the times change and how our society evolves, the CPC must never forget its fundamental principle of relying wholeheartedly on the working class, and it must never allow this commitment to fade. The status and role of the working class in China can never be compromised or neglected.    

Relying wholeheartedly on the working class is not only a matter of perception; it is also a matter of practice. CPC committees and government authorities at all levels are required to integrate the fundamental principle of fully relying on the working class into all work involving the economy, politics, culture, society, ecological progress, and Party strengthening; into all policy-making and initiatives of the Party and the state; and into all aspects of production and operation in companies. By fostering conditions, building platforms, opening channels, and adopting new approaches, we need to create more opportunities for ordinary working people to nurture their talents, secure employment, launch business ventures, repay the motherland, and serve society; and we need to provide broader channels for them to participate in the democratic management of companies and government-affiliated institutions, and get involved in national and social governance.   

Fellow countrymen:

This year marks the 90th anniversary of the founding of the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU). Under the leadership of the CPC, the All-China Federation of Trade Unions, together with its various affiliated organizations, has made a major contribution to China’s revolution, development, and reform over the past 90 years. On behalf of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to union veterans who have made outstanding contributions to the CPC-led workers’ movement; to trade union organizations and their staff throughout the country; and to all workers and people actively involved in trade unions. 

Trade unions are a bridge linking the CPC with ordinary working people. Their work represents an important part of the CPC’s interactions with popular organizations and the public, constituting a routine and foundation initiative in the CPC’s governance of the country. Under new conditions, the role of trade unions can only be strengthened, not weakened; and their initiatives can only be carried forward, not left behind. I hope that trade union organizations at all levels, together with their staff members, can remain committed to China’s socialist approach to the development of trade unions, uphold the key areas of trade union work, focus on the priority tasks of trade unions, set an example in carrying out the political responsibilities of trade unions, and better exert the organizational role of trade unions. Continuing their fine tradition of consciously adhering to CPC leadership, and with a firm grasp of the correct political orientation and the contemporary theme of the workers’ movement, trade unions must lead millions upon millions of working people in resolutely following the CPC. Trade unions must perform their basic function of safeguarding the lawful rights and interests of working people. Seeing it as their fundamental purpose and ultimate goal to serve working people with sincerity, they should aid ordinary employees in lawfully expressing their demands through proper channels, and allow working people to feel the care of the CPC and the government, thereby winning their trust and support. Trade unions need to regard working for the people as both the lifeline and the fundamental approach to their mission. Placing the focus of their efforts on ordinary working people, they need to enhance their services, raise their capacity to safeguard rights and interests, improve their style of work, discard all bureaucratic practices, and resolutely resist the tendencies to behave like government departments and become divorced from the public, so as to ensure that working people genuinely see trade unions as a “home for workers” and view union staff as their most trusted “family members.” Trade unions should also draw on the spirit of reform to plan and advance their various initiatives, adopting new organizational models, operating mechanisms, activity methods, and working approaches in order to take their work to a new level. Lastly, by making use of their advantage in people-to-people diplomacy, trade unions should advance friendly exchanges between China’s working class and those in other countries, develop ties with various national, international, and regional trade unions, and make a larger contribution to the preservation of world peace and the promotion of common development.  

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  Source: ACFTU  2015-10-22

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