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					Trade Union Training and Information Technology

(Turin, Feb. 19 —Mar. 16)

      Country Report
 People’s Republic of China

                       Cai Yide, ACFTU
Part 1. About our country and society

Position and Area
     People’s Republic of China is situated in the eastern part of Asia, on the west
coast of the Pacific Ocean.
     China has a total land area of 9.6 million square kilometers. From north to south,
it measures some 5,500 kilometers. From west to east, the territory of China extends
about 5,200 kilometers from the Pamirs to the confluence of the Heilong and Wusuli
     China’s land border is 22,800 kilometers long. The nation is bordered by Korea
in the east; Mongolia in the north; Russia in the northeast; Kazakhstan, Kirghizia and
Tadzhikistan in the northwest; Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Sikkim and
Bhutan in the west and southwest; and Myanmar, Laos and Viet Nam in the south.
Across the seas to the east and southeast are the Republic of Korea, Japan, the
Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

Population Situation
     China has more people than any other country. By the end of 2000, China had a
population of 1.28 billion (excluding Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao).
      China’s population density (118 people per square kilometer) is relatively high.
Distribution, however, is uneven: the coastal areas in the east are densely populated,
with 360 people per square kilometer; the plateau areas in the west are sparsely
populated, with fewer than 10 people per square kilometer.
     China is a multi-national country with 56 ethnic groups.

Administrative Divisions
      The administrative divisions are basically a three-level system of provinces,
counties (cities), and townships (towns). The country is divided into provinces,
autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the Central Government. The
autonomous regions (equivalent to provinces in status), autonomous prefectures
(ranking between autonomous regions and autonomous counties), autonomous
counties and nationality townships are all national autonomous areas. China is divided
into 23 provinces, 5 autonomous regions and 4 centrally-administered municipalities.
      Beijing is the capital of the People’s Republic of China, as well as the country’s
political, economic and cultural center. It has a population of 11.02 million. With a
history of 800 years as a national capital, Beijing has many scenic attractions and
historical landmarks.

Structural System of the State
    The state organs of China include:
    Organs of state power—the National People’s Congress and the local people’s

     President of the state;
     State administrative organs—the Central Military Commission;\
     State judicial organs—the Supreme People’s Court, local people’s courts and
special people’s courts;
     State procuratorial organs—the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, local people’s
procuratorates at different levels and special people’s procuratorates.

The Multi-Party Cooperation and Political Consultation System
     China is a multi-national and multi-party country. Before the state adopts
important measures or makes decisions on major issues having bearing on the national
economy and the people’s livelihood, the Communist Party of China, as the party in
power, consults with all nationalities, all political parties, all circles and nonparty
democrats in order to reach a common understanding. This system, called multi-party
cooperation and political consultation system led by the CPC, is also a basic political
system of China.
     The multi-party cooperation and political consultation system adopts two main
forms. One is the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and
the other is the consultative meetings and forums of democratic parties and nonparty
personages held by the CPC Central Committee or local Party committees at different
     The CPPCC has a national committee and local committees at the provincial
(autonomous regional or municipal) level and at the country (city) level, which
consists of representatives from the CPC, democratic parties, nonparty democrats,
people’s organizations, minority nationalities and all walks of life, compatriots from
Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao, returned overseas Chinese and specially invited
individuals. The present chairman of the CPPCC National Committee is Li Ruihuan.
The committees at various levels hold a plenary session once a year and, when the
committee is not in session, organizes the committee members to conduct special
activities, to go on inspection tours to various localities, to hold consultations on
major issues relating to major state policies, important local affairs, people’s lives and
the united front work and to exercise democratic supervision over the work of state
organs and the implementation of the state constitution and laws by offering opinions,
proposals and criticisms. The consultative meetings participated in by leaders of
democratic parties and representatives of nonparty democrats at the invitation of
leaders of the CPC Central Committee are held once a year and the forums are held
once every other month, the former mainly to discuss major state policies along the
democratic line and the latter mainly to exchange information, hear proposal on
policy or discuss certain subjects.

The Communist Party of China
     Founded in July 1921, the CPC has more than 52 million members for the time
being. The present General Secretary of the Party Central Committee is Jiang Zemin.
     From 1921 to 1949 the Communist Party of China led the Chinese people in
arduous struggles and finally overthrew the rule of imperialism, feudalism and

bureaucrat-capitalism and established the People’s Republic of China. After the
founding of New China, the Communist Party of China as a ruling party led the
Chinese people of all nationalities in defending the independence and safety of the
country, successfully completing the transition from new democracy to socialism,
carrying out large-scale socialist construction in a planned way and, consequently, in
achieving an economic and cultural progress without parallel in Chinese history.

Democratic Parties
     In China, the term democratic parties refer to the eight other parties apart from
the Communist Party. The democratic parties have established cooperation with the
Communist Party of China on different levels since their founding days.
     These democratic parties are:
     China Revolutionary Committee of the Kuomintang
     China Democratic League
     China Democratic National Construction Association
     China Association for Promoting Democracy
     China Zhi Gong Dang
     Jiu San Society
     Taiwan Democratic Self-government League

Social Organizations
     Among China’s many social organizations are included:
     All-China Federation of Trade Unions This is the supreme leading body of all
local federations of trade unions as well as national industrial unions in China. It was
founded in May 1925.
     All-China Communist Youth League of China This is a mass organization of the
advance youth of China. It was founded in May 1922.
     All-China Women’s Federation This is a mass organization of women from all
walks of life and nationalities fighting for further emancipation. It was founded in
April 1949.
     All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce This is a popular association
organized by Chinese involved with industry and commerce, functions as a
non-governmental chamber of commerce for domestic and foreign affairs. It was
founded in October 1953.
     Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries The
association aims to promote friendship and mutual understanding between the
Chinese people and those in other countries. On behalf of the Chinese people, it
contacts friendly organizations and individuals in other countries and develops mutual
exchanges, providing a bond of friendship linking the Chinese people with people
throughout the rest of the world. It was founded in May 1954.

Part 2: A Brief Introduction to the All-China Federation of

Trade Unions (ACFTU)

     Founded on May 1, 1925, the ACFTU is China’s largest voluntary agency for the
Chinese worker. It has 586,000 grassroots trade unions and 103 million members. Of
its membership, 38 percent is female.

Mission Statement
     On the principle of representing and protecting the specific interests of workers in
a better way while safeguarding the general interests of the Chinese people as a whole,
fully perform its four social functions of protection, construction, participation and
education, and mobilize the broad masses of workers to strive for the realization of
the country’s socialist modernization.

Social Functions
    1. Safeguard the economic interests and democratic rights of workers;
    2. Mobilize and organize workers to participate in economic construction and
        reforms in order to achieve the objectives for economic and social
    3. Represent and organize workers in the administration of the State and social
        affairs and the democratic management of enterprises; and
    4. Educate workers to constantly improve their ideological and ethical
        awareness and their scientific and cultural competence.

    A wage-earner or salaried employee in the business, the institution or the State
organ within the boundary of China may apply for a membership in the Chinese trade
unions, irrespective of his or her nationality, race, sex, occupation, religious belief and
educational background, provided that he or she recognizes the Constitution of the
Chinese Trade Unions.

Organizational Structure
     The Chinese trade unions are organized along industrial line and with a
geographical principle. Members in an enterprise, an institution or a State organ will
be organized in a trade union. A national or regional industrial union may be
established, where necessary, in an industry or several industries of a similar nature.
Trade union federations will be formed at the levels of provinces (autonomous region,
municipality directly under the Central Government), autonomous prefecture, city and
country to exercise the leadership over lower-level local federations and industrial
unions. The ACFTU is the leading body for local trade union federations and national
industrial unions.
     A trade union committee will be established in a factory, an institution or a State

organ. A trade union sub-committee will be set up in its branch or workshop, and a
trade union group, in a production team.
     The highest decision-making body for the Chinese trade unions is the National
Congress of the ACFTU and the ACFTU Executive Committee. When the Executive
Committee is in recess, the Presidium will fulfill its functions. Under the Presidium, a
Secretariat is set up to attend to the daily business of the ACFTU. The ACFTU has
one President and a number of vice presidents and secretaries. The First Secretary
assumes an over responsibility for its daily operation.

Top Priorities
1. Democratic Participation
    The Chinese trade unions support the reform policy and promote the socialist
market economy. At present, the trade unions get mainly involved in the State-owned
enterprise reform designed to bring about a modern corporate system, reforms in
wage and housing systems and the overhaul of social security systems in pension,
unemployment and medical care. Moreover, they participate in the drafting of policies
and legislation in relation to the interests of workers in an attempt to represent and
safeguard their rights and interests at the source. Over the past 20 years, the ACFTU
has participated in the making of more than 310 pieces of legislation.
    The Chinese trade unions are promoting and improving the democratic
management and supervision system in the State-owned enterprises with the workers’
congress as the basic form. The workers’ congress is the organ where the workers
exercise their right to de3mocratic management. Its major powers are to examine
major decisions concerning production and operation, decide on matters relevant to
the livelihood and welfare of workers and appraise the corporate leadership. The trade
union committee in an enterprise is the working body for the workers’ congress and
looks after its daily businesses. Now, the trade unions are vigorously promoting
corporate transparency as one of their top priorities in order to improve the workers’
congress system in the State-owned enterprises. In addition, they are trying to bring
about new democratic management systems in the shareholding companies where
workers sit in the board of directors and supervisory board.
2. Coordination of Labour Relations
    The Chinese trade unions promote the collective bargaining and collective
agreement system in the enterprises. By the end of June 1999, 319,000 enterprises had
entered into negotiation and signed collective agreements with trade unions, covering
71.859 million workers. Of them, 29,000 were foreign-funded, and 46,000, private
owned. In the meantime, they are trying to establish a system of collective bargaining
and collective agreement at the regional or industrial level and push the government,
the trade unions and the employers to set up a tripartite consultation structure at
different levels.
    The Chinese trade unions get involved in the settlement of labour disputes in
enterprises. The trade union representative acts as the head of the labour mediation
committee in an enterprise in accordance with law and as a member of the tripartite
labour dispute arbitration committee. So far there are more than 290,000 dispute

mediation committees in enterprises. In recent years, 700,000 disputes have been
settled through mediation. Trade unions at various levels have provided legal
counseling and services to workers.
    The trade unions have set up legal supervisory committees in different regions and
enterprises. They supervise over the enforcement by the enterprises of labour laws
and regulations and labour standards, and fight against the encroachments of the
rights and interests of workers.
3. Employment Promotion
      The Chinese trade unions attach great importance to the massive number of
layoffs and unemployed workers. Trade unions at various levels participate in the
implementation of the Re-employment Project, assist the government and the
management in meeting the basic needs of layoffs and jobless workers and in helping
them to find new jobs and push the government to provide ‘three safety nets’ for the
laid-off workers. In other words, they will register themselves with the
re-employment service centers, be entitled to unemployment benefits and enjoy the
minimum living standard. Trade unions have set up more than 3,000 employment
agencies across the country. Over the past few years, they have helped over one
million laid-off workers to obtain new employment. They have launched more than
6,000 skill training institutions where more than 2.2 million workers have undertaken
training. In addition, trade unions have provided job opportunities to 800,000 laid-off
or needy workers through their own business. They have also provided temporary job
opportunities to tens of thousands of laid-off and jobless workers in trading markets.
4. Organizational Capacity-building
      The Chinese trade unions have stepped up their efforts to organize workers
particularly in new economic organizations. Thanks to the unremitting efforts of trade
unions at various level, substantial progress has been made in unionization of
foreign-funded enterprise, private business and township enterprise. In 1999, the
ACFTU has set a goal that, within a period of three years, the greater majority to
workers in the greater part of new economic organizations will be organized. At the
same time, they have intensified their organizational efforts in big enterprise groups or
small State-owned enterprise, as well as in economic development zones, townships
and neighborhood committees.
      The trade unions have attached great importance to training among trade union
cadres. There are 119 trade union colleges across the country, with a faculty of over
4,000. In recent years, trade unions and their schools or colleges have trained 11
million trade unionists.
5. Worker Education
      The Chinese trade unions launch worker education programmes through their
own workers’ schools, workers’ cultural palaces, clubs and media in an effort to
improve their ideological and ethical standards and scientific and cultural competence
and build them into a contingent of well-educated and self-disciplined workers with
lofty ideal and moral integrity. At the same time, they assist the government and the
management in their efforts to develop workers’ training and support workers in their
studies of science, culture and technology. So far, regional trade union federations

have opened 1,033 workers’ universities, workers’ polytechnic schools and workers’
schools, and grassroots trade unions have launched 60,000 or more workers’ schools
or training courses. Trade unions have 33,000 cultural palaces and clubs, 190,000
libraries and 200,000 full-time staffers. In addition, they have more than 150
newspapers and periodicals.
6. Concern for Workers’ Livelihood and Health
      The Chinese trade unions have implemented the Warmth Project designed to help
needy workers out. They launch special services like consumers’ cooperatives,
housing cooperatives and credit unions in an effort to alleviate the hardship of needy
      The trade unions attach special attention to workers’ labour protection,
occupational safety and health and supervise over the enforcement by the enterprises
of legislation in relation to safety production and industrial hygiene. Trade unions at
various levels have set up labour protection bodies and place full-time and part-time
cadres there. In the meanwhile, they have vigorously developed sanatoriums and rest
homes for the workers.
      The trade unions have owned a large number of cultural facilities and sports
centers (gymnasiums or stadiums). Sports and recreational activities have been
developed to enrich the spare-time life of workers.
      The trade unions have launched economic entities and developed the service
sector in order to increase their economic strength and better serve the workers and
the trade union movement. Today, trade unions at various levels have operated 64,800
businesses with a workforce of nearly one million.

Part 3 : About IT in our Trade Union’s Activities.

Present Status and Future Tendency of Computer Network of ACFTU
      In general, the network construction within ACFTU is being in good progress,
with hardware in scale, software development in motion and database in expansion.
Initial connection with provincial trade unions all over the country is almost
completed and connection with Internet is in steady progress. Let’ s share the
following information about computer condition and network status of All-China
Federation of Trade Union.
      The LAN for trade union has been set up inside trade union tower with three
servers running file management software, office automation software and internal
LAN website, some database such as Chinese laws and decrees, books and newspaper
of People’s University has been uploaded on it at the same time. In addition, a remote
network server is connected to terminal computers of provincial and municipal trade
unions. At present, there are totally 395 Computers in All-China Federation of Trade
Unions, most of them are Pentium 586, 50 of them are 486, old type of 386 is being
superseded gradually, 286 has been superseded already. All of the above place a good
hardware foundation for office automation construction. The usage of computer has
developed from simple word processing to comprehensive information service.

    At present, there are 56 computers inside ACFTU tower being connected to
Internet, they are mainly allocated to the International Affairs Department , the
Department of Primary Trade Union Activities, the Chinese Workers’ Center for
International Exchange, the Department of Economic Affairs, the Policy Research
Office, the Department of Business Development, the General Office, etc. These
computers are basically used for downloading software/ hardware data and provide
trade union leaders with information from Internet. Among them, International Affairs
Department has accessed Internet through their own LAN, establish and manage an
English website of All-China Federation of Trade Unions.

    Accessing to Internet is an inexorable trend of office automation. With connecting
to Internet, the computers of these trade union departments can provide more
information, broaden eyesight and increase working proficiency. Anyhow, security
problems follow along at the same time.

    We will strengthen trade union computer network construction work, perfect
database expansion for the LAN of All-China Federation of Trade Unions, so as to
provide the best information service for All-China Federation of Trade Unions and
the whole trade union system; further complete computer connection work to
individual provincial trade union; project for trade union’s Chinese website on
Internet; launch training classes for trade union staff to improve their applied
computer knowledge.

    In the meanwhile, we shall keep an eye on computer network security work to
safeguard our system when getting onto Internet.

Basic Plan On Establishment of ACFTU’s Website
    In the wave of Internet, All-China Federation of Trade Unions will take full
advantage of it by making out corresponding policies to improve working quality and
proficiency. As positioned in highest level of the whole trade union system in China,
All-China Federation of Trade Unions target at each basic-level trade union and every
trade union member all over the country. As an organization of numerous
memberships within the whole country, trade union has formed into a complete
organization system covering from All-China Federation of               Trade Unions,
provincial trade union, municipal trade union to industrial trade union and trade union
team since foundation of new China. Boundlessness of network system is the marrow
of Internet. With developing of Internet technology, trade union encounters a big
opportunity of establishing its image and advocating its policies. Basic-level trade
unions and mass staff can find a better way to get viewpoint and policy, trend and
activity of trade union organization, thus common share the data and information of
trade union system. Leading trade union organization can offer better services to
basic-level trade unions and broad masses of staff by acknowledging their working
status and living standard. On the other hand, we are demanded to establish All-China
Federation of Trade Unions website on Internet and on-line ‘Membership Club’ as

soon as possible to accommodate working status of basic-level trade unions.

    In the meantime, it is very important to complete network system for the whole
trade union organization in this new era of information technology, complete
information aggregation within All-China Federation of Trade Unions as well as the
whole trade union system, improve applied knowledge level and make scientific
programming by utilizing advanced computer technology and network data resources.

    It is a step-by-step procedure to establish a well functioning website, which is a
big event for All-China Federation of Trade Unions right now. The website will be
established systematically with reference to the website establishment status of other
government department.

    First Step: To establish a news release platform for All-China Federation of Trade
Unions with principal function of advocating trade union’s policies, i.e. principles and
regulations of trade union, leadership and organization chart of All-China Federation
of Trade union, major functions of each industrial trade union and updated news
release of All-China Federation of Trade Unions.

   Second Step: To install electronic mail box for All-China Federal Trade Union and
each industrial trade union, link website to those of individual provincial and
municipal trade union. As a result, All-China Federation of Trade Unions website will
become a portal site of Chinese trade union system on Internet, which includes work
report of individual department and linkage to their mail boxes, homepage linkage to
industrial trade unions, non-governmental departments in public sectors and
provincial and municipal trade unions.

    Third Step: To establish trade union online information database, including trade
union theory, trade union laws and policies, collective contract, information of Labor
Model and Outstanding Staff, trade union membership and trade union investigation
system as a basis of online search for trade union data and information.

   Forth Step: To establish online consulting system to realize classified online
communication and consultation according to business situation of All-China Federal
Trade Union.

    In addition, online survey system, online registering system and online payment
system will be established gradually if condition permits. Computer network
technology will bring us more valuable functions with its continual development.


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