Many small and medium-sized enterprises in China balk at introducing collective bargaining. To clear the bottleneck, on 10 October 2014 the ACFTU held a meeting in Beijing aimed at hammering out a solution. The conclusion was that pushing for collective bargaining is still a major means of overcoming problems and that it should be extended to emerging and knowledge-intensive industries as well as institutions operating under the corporate management system.
At the meeting, ACFTU Vice-Chair Chen Rongshu gave full credit to trade unions across the country for what they have done to implement collective bargaining over the past three years. As an important component of the socialist market economy, he continued, collective bargaining plays a significant role in adjusting labour relations. Trade unions should work hard to bring it into small enterprises.
Chen emphasized that trade unions should do all they can to enhance the quality and effectiveness of collective bargaining. More efforts are needed to obtain the support of the Party and the government, make full use of the tripartite mechanism, build social consensus, solve pressing problems, enhance the accountability of those at the top and rely on workers to move ahead with collective bargaining.
Since the beginning of this year, the ACFTU has released several guiding documents, including the Opinions on Raising the Quality and Effectiveness of Collective Bargaining and the Circular on In-depth Implementation of Collective Bargaining, clearly defining the tasks for the coming years.
The ACFTU is set to focus its efforts on improving the quality and effectiveness of collective bargaining. To supervise implementation, it will open a supervision hotline. The federation will also launch a system that empowers both worker negotiators to make inspection tours and workers’ congresses to assess whether collective bargaining has been carried out to the letter.