BEIJING, August 22 (Xinhua) -- The New York Times published a story in its web edition Wednesday deploring workers' welfare in private businesses in China.
It even described two puzzled young women strolling through a sterile factory zone in Dongguan in South China's Guangdong province who were asked if they are members of a trade union.
Trade union? one questioned. And when asked about workers'
What's that? the other responded.
This situation is hopefully going to change as the news report coincides with a legislative decision made in Beijing the same day that the country's 52-year-old law on trade unions will be revised.
According to a meeting of chairman and vice-chairmen of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) held here today, the upcoming legislative session beginning next Monday will examine 6 draft laws, including draft amendments to the trade unions law.
The law was amended once in 1992.
But as the structure of China's
economy transformed and the non-public owned economic sector boomed in
the past decade, economic relations and labor relations have undergone
tremendous changes, Zhang Chunsheng, deputy director of the
Legislative Affairs Commission of the NPC Standing Committee, told the
The work of trade unions is faced with some new and urgent issues
that need to be addressed, and the trade unions law must be revised
accordingly to better protect the rights of workers, and maintain
social stability while promoting reform and economic development,
The draft amendments made it mandatory for enterprises and other organizations with 25 employees or more must set up a trade union.
To counter the ever increasing practices of neglect of workers'
safety, poor work conditions, prolonged work hours and other serious
infringements of workers' rights, the draft amendments empowered trade
unions the right
to make representations with related employers
and pursue corrections by employers.
A draft decision on designating a Day of National Defense Education will also be submitted to the legislative body for the first hearing.
Other previously reviewed legislation to be discussed in the five-day session beginning next Monday will be on preventing and treating desertification, amending two articles of the criminal code, prevention and treatment of vocational diseases and utilization of territorial waters.
The legislature will also hear reports on the enforcement of the annual economic and social development plan, agricultural developments and farmers' income, and on how the organic law of villagers' committees have been enforced in China.