The 2006 International Forum on Economic Globalization and Trade Unions opened on 4 December in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People. ACFTU Chair Wang Zhaoguo stressed in his opening remarks that Chinese trade unions pursue the socialist road with Chinese characteristics and aim to develop friendly relations with trade unions of all countries and regions as well as international trade union organizations under the banner of peace, development, cooperation and workers’ rights and on the basis of independence, equality, mutual respect and non-interference in each other’s affairs.
Wang affirmed that trade union organizations all over the world, whether big or small, should participate in the affairs of the international workers’ movement under the principles of independence, mutual respect, equality and democratic consultation and help build a new order of the international labour movement that is fair and just. Trade unions of all countries should choose development roads according to their own national conditions and give full respect to others’ development model in a bid to bring colour and vitality to the international labour movement.
Trade unions, he said, should uphold the principle of cooperation for mutual benefit and win-win development and build new and harmonious labour relations to ensure that workers can share the benefits of economic and social development. Trade unions should respect each others’ differences, be inclusive with each other, and develop exchanges regardless of ideological differences so as to preserve the diversity of world civilization and the cultural traditions of different trade union environments.
In the past two years, the ACFTU and the international and regional trade union organizations concerned have held the forum twice, in Beijing and Shanghai, reaching consensus on a broad range of issues and producing some positive repercussions in the international labour movement. The latest session focused on building harmonious labour relations, protecting migrant workers’ rights and promoting social dialogue.
The forum attracted 40 union leaders from WFTU, OATUU and ICATU as well as India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Syria, Nigeria, Libya, Sudan, Kenya, South Africa, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Portugal and Hong Kong.