All Foreign-Funded Companies in China to be Unionized by 2009

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Oct. 8 – According to an official from the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU), ninety percent of foreign-funded companies in China will be unionized by the end of this year; eventually all foreign-funded companies will have trade unions by 2009.

Wang Ying, a division chief of the grassroots organizations and capacity for ACFTU told China Daily that currently 82 percent of foreign-funded companies have trade unions.

In July, only less than 50 percent of the Fortune 500 firms in country had trade unions. There are more than 4,100 major foreign companies run by the Fortune 500 doing business in the country.

China’s national unionization campaign requires employers to set aside 2 percent of workers’ pay for trade union funds. Forty percent of the funds will go to the superior trade union while the rest remains with the company.

The ACFTU is managing the establishment of trade unions in 10 of the Fortune 500 companies. The top foreign-funded firms with trade unions include Maersk Logistics, Lotus, IKEA, TNT, Kodak, FedEx, Home Depot, Emerson, Canon, Sony and ABB.

“Most of the foreign companies have been cooperative, as they know they must abide by China’s laws if they do business in China,” Wang said.

She added, “Some U.S. companies, such as Wyeth, Microsoft, 3M, AstraZeneca and PwC, have been quite uncooperative and have used various means to delay the establishment of trade unions.”

“Workers do not need the approval of their employers to form trade unions, because the Trade Union Law, promulgated in 1992, gives them that right,” she said.

3 thoughts on “All Foreign-Funded Companies in China to be Unionized by 2009

    Beijing Laowai says:

    China’s Imprisoned Workers: Over the last two decades of economic reform, millions of Chinese workers have been laid off without due compensation, while millions of others continue to be exploited, working long hours in hazardous conditions. Many legitimate workers’ protests seeking redress for these rights violations have been branded as “illegal demonstrations.” And, as a result, many ordinary workers have been arrested, detained and sentenced to long prison terms. It seems easier to go after the foreign companies for money and benefits than to fix their own internal corruption problems. Money that was supposed to go for earthquake victims ended up in the pockets of greedy government officials. Why do we think the money paid into this program will go to benefit the people it is supposed to help? It won’t !! In many foreign companies, if not most, management is more responsive to its employee workforce than the government is to it own people, and without a doubt, much more than local “Chinese” companies are to their own employees.

    MATT says:

    WHAT ABOUT THE CHINESE COMPANIES? NOT UNIONIZED? STILL GOING AHEAD IN COUNTERFEIT MODE AND FOLLOWING ALL OUT-OF-LAW PROCEDURES?

    Wuhan-R says:

    Agreed, it’s not the foreign companies that need to be targeted. Some Chinese-company employees don’t even get pay stubs, having no idea where their money is going! And what about the mandatory contributions to disaster relief. Get up to speed fellas!

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