Win workers' trust

Updated: 2012-03-21 07:58

(China Daily)

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It is reported that the Shanxi All Federation of Trade Unions requires that 100,000 officials of company trade unions should make public their mobile phone numbers, which has stirred up wide debate. Though the regulation may help build trade unions' power of speech and social influence, it would be better to strengthen the power of the trade unions themselves, says an article in Southern Metropolis Daily. Excerpts:

The reason why the All Federation of Trade Unions fails to play its due role is not because workers are unaware of its existence, but because of the incompetence of the trade union itself. It is difficult for many officials in the trade union to protect their own rights, let alone those of the workers.

Worse, since the financial power of many trade unions is in the possession of the employers, it has become rather a common phenomenon that trade unions not only fail to speak for and protect the legitimate rights of the workers, they also do the bosses bidding.

With the failure of many trade unions to protect their rights, the majority of workers have lost faith in trade unions and rights protection and regard them as mere formalities that make no difference.

Under such circumstances, even if trade union officials make their phone numbers public there will be few workers that contact these officials or even think of asking for their help in safeguarding their rights and interests.

Therefore, such an "innovative" measure is just empty talk and a farce in practice.

The primary and urgent task is to restore the power of the unions so they can fulfill their role in protecting workers' rights and win back public confidence and trust.

Only then will workers be willing to seek help from union officials.

(China Daily 03/21/2012 page9)