April 15th, 2009 | China Daily Unions meet on workers' interests
China and ASEAN trade unions should work together to better protect worker’s rights during the recession, the All China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) said.
“Trade unions should encourage workers to contribute to the nation’s economy, and also help workers find jobs, get paid, and ensure social security,” Wang Zhaoguo, chairman of the ACFTU said.
The union met with 13 trade unions from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to discuss measures for protecting workers’ rights during the financial crisis yesterday.
International Labor Organization figures have predicted another 50 million people would lose their jobs by the end of the year, pushing global unemployment to 230 million, and the rate 7.1 percent.
ASEAN nations, whose economies are more dependent on external demand, face severe strikes, especially in manufacturing, Wang said.
China has 287 million workers, and 212 million are members of the ACFTU, he said.
The ACFTU said it has been helping members sustain jobs, receive employment training and be paid on time.
It launched the Common Consensus Action in December to help workers keep their jobs by deepening understanding between employees and employers, with the coordination of the trade unions, Wang said.
The action included 30 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities. More than 16,000 enterprises in Hebei province joined the action and promised not to lay off workers.
Chuon Mom Thol, president of Cambodian Union of Federation, said he would push for a plan similar to the Common Consensus Action in his country.
By Xie Yu