Unions' role in protecting workers' rights recognized
( 2003-09-23 01:15) (China Daily)
The Chinese working class is still the major force in building a well-off society in an all-round way, Vice-President Zeng Qinghong said yesterday.
Zeng, who is also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, made the statement while congratulating trade unionists on behalf of the CPC Central Committee. He was speaking at the 14th National Congress of the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU), which opened yesterday and is expected to close on Friday.
President Hu Jintao and other leaders of the State and the CPC attended the opening ceremony.
During his speech, the vice-president said trade unions must represent and safeguard employees' interests while defending those of the Chinese people.
The working class must promote its initiatives and creativity to play its role in building a well-off society, Zeng said.
He said trade union bodies should give priority to defending employees' rights and interests in income distribution, social security, work safety and health issues.
They should also focus on employment opportunities for laid-off workers and giving real assistance to the needy, Zeng added.
The vice-president urged trade unions to improve their working style and make their members part of their 'family.'.
He also called on the ACFTU, the leading trade union body in China, to co-operate with its counterparts in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan to help unify the country.
ACFTU president Wang Zhaoguo highlighted the major tasks for the national organization over the coming five years in its working report.
Those tasks include training workers, better protecting their rights and benefits, and setting up more grass-roots unions, Wang said.
Addressing the 1,600-plus delegates attending the Congress, Wang called on unions to contribute more to laws and regulations affecting workers so their aspirations and demands can be legally recognized.
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