Joint Seminar with the ACFTU
On July 31 and August 1 JILAF held a joint seminar with the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) in the city of Dalian in Liaoning Province, China, on the theme of collective bargaining and the labour-management consultation system.
On the Chinese side, about 40 persons attended the seminar, including Secretariat Jiang Guangping, Collective Agreement Director Zhang Jian Guo, and International Liaison Department Deputy Head Peng Yong from the ACFTU, as well as the deputy head of the Liaoning Provincial Federation of Trade Unions, the deputy head of the Dalian City Federation of Trade Unions, and leaders of trade unions in Japanese companies operating in China.
During the two-day seminar, the Chinese side reported, among other things, that (1) collective bargaining had been recognized in China following the enactment of labour law in 1995, and systems were gradually being established; (2) the twelfth five-year plan of 2011 set a target of actively promoting collective bargaining and raising the ratio of companies with collective agreements; (3) collective bargaining is slowly taking root, and in the past few years wages have risen by 13%–15%; and (4) there are still many problems, however, such as a low awareness of collective bargaining, an inadequate legislative system, and a lack of expert knowledge.
In response, on the Japanese side, JILAF Executive Director Hisashige Danno delivered two reports on “Investment in Human Resources to Survive amid Globalization” and “Collective Bargaining and the Labour-Management Consultation System in Japan,” in which he explained about the labour problems currently facing Japan and the role of collective bargaining and labour-management consultations in Japan. In addition, Takashi Suda, head of the Department of Working Conditions at RENGO (Japanese Trade Union Confederation), delivered a report on wage negotiations in RENGO titled “RENGO’s Role in the Spring Labour Struggle and Movement Reform.”
In the two-day seminar, expert discussions took place between Japan and China, as a result of which mutual understanding between the two countries was deepened and, for the Japanese side in particular, there was recognition again that while it is permeating society in a uniquely Chinese way, collective bargaining is going to play an important role in the future social development of China and that the role of the ACFTU is going to become increasingly important too.
During their stay in China, the members of the JILAF delegation also visited a workers’ support facility run by the ACFTU, where they heard an explanation of its business, and Canon Dalian Business Machines Inc., where they heard about collective bargaining at that company. In addition, they visited the ACFTU Headquarters and the Japanese Embassy to hear about the recent labour situation in China.