Chinese unions target new breakthroughs in 2014


The 16th National Congress of the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) in October 2013 brought clarity to the various important tasks assigned to it. Among these are continuing to promote collective wage bargaining and increase its coverage and quality; and strongly underlining the fundamental role of labour contract and collective agreement systems in the coordination of the labour relationship, based on guidelines for consolidating the results of system-building and emphasizing the improvement of bargaining quality. The starting point is sectoral and regional bargaining aimed at comprehensive and sustained development that focuses on the promotion of harmonious and stable labour relations and the fundamental role of collective bargaining based on workers?trust of and support for trade unions. Pay is identified as the main issue, non-public small and medium-sized enterprises as the focal area, sectoral agreements as the means, and frontline, migrant and agency workers as the subjects. Efforts have been made to address the problems of formalism and lack of substantiality around collective bargaining in some enterprises while promoting collective bargaining and consolidating system building. In this way it will be possible, in a direct and practical manner, to increase effectiveness and efficiency and so help workers realize their interests and solve the problems that most concern them. ACFTU work priorities for the year to come are as follows.

Improving quality

Efforts will be made to research ways of improving the quality and efficiency of collective bargaining, develop the five-year plan for the establishment of collective bargaining systems and put in place practical arrangements to achieve these ends. In particular, methods of boosting collective bargaining through all-encompassing, thoroughgoing and multi-faceted worker participation will be further explored. Incentive measures will be taken, including a nationwide annual appraisal of trade union work on collective wage bargaining based on upscaled research into improving the evaluation system, including experimental trials in the evaluation of collective bargaining quality. Efforts will continue to ensure that collective bargaining penetrates all industrial sectors and large enterprises, as well as the China operations of the world top 500 multinational corporations. In the spirit of the Third Plenary Session of the 18th Communist Party of China Central Committee (CPCCC), this will be done by addressing the difficulties and seizing the opportunities thrown up by the intensification of income distribution reform.

Sectoral bargaining

Research will be intensified to address the main problems undermining the development of sectoral bargaining. These include incomplete subject matter, sparse specifications, lack of substance, ineffectiveness and non-compliance with the agreement. Through training programmes and international seminars on sectoral collective bargaining, best practices will be exchanged and learned. Establishing contact points for sectoral collective bargaining will facilitate regular participation in the bargaining process for certain sectors so as to follow up and research bargaining developments year on year and collate shared practices and experience. In accordance with the instructions of ACFTU Vice-Chair Chen Hao that 搃ndustrial unions have their own advantages and therefore should play an even more central role in promoting the work of collective bargaining, and every industrial union has its own good examples that can be promoted to push forward the healthy development of collective bargaining? efforts will be made to strengthen communication and consultation with national industrial unions, better manage the good examples in sectoral collective bargaining and press ahead with determining sectoral labour quotas. Consideration will be given to selecting model texts of sectoral collective agreements nationwide and encouraging those in the same sectors to follow their respective models.

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  Source: ACFTU  2014-05-15

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