In April 2015, the Suzhou Municipal Federation of Trade Unions published its “Five-year work plan for grassroots unionization”. By the end of 2019, it aims to have established a total of 100,000 unions in all kinds of legal entities across the city, with 3.8 million union members. The plan targets the following areas for improvement.
Union coverage and employee participation rate. The overall average unionization rate should be maintained above 85%, with the rate in legal entities with 25 employees or more being at least 90%, while those with fewer than 25 employees should ensure coverage through membership of regional or industrial unions at the grassroots level.
Quality of unionization. Efforts will be made to standardize the establishment of unions in compliance with laws and procedures, ensuring organizations and systems are in place, raising awareness and exercising dynamic management.
Workers’ care centres. The establishment of care centres will be stepped up to ensure they are available wherever there is a trade union. By the end of 2019, more than 85% of grassroots unions should have developed functioning care centres, and 30% of these should be good enough to be considered examples of best practice.
Organizational systems. Efforts will be made to standardize the establishment of unions at the rural township (urban neighbourhood community) and Development Zone (industrial park) levels. Regional and industrial federations of trade unions set up at grassroots level will be strengthened based on favourable geographic or industrial conditions. In consideration of geographical jurisdictions, the union systems within transregional or industrial enterprises or groups will be reviewed and improved. The union systems at rural township (urban neighbourhood), village (community), Development Zone (industrial park) and enterprise levels will also be improved.
Workforce development. At least one full-time union official will be placed in every locality with more than 100 enterprises or 2,000 employees. Full-time union officials will also be placed in all legal entities with more than 200 employees. By the end of 2019, the total number of union officials will be more than 250. All grassroots union officials will be provided with training at least once every three years. A minimum of 90% of union officials will have certification.