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Sender: o-imap@webmap.missouri.edu
Date: Fri, 13 Dec 96 21:37:08 CST
From: rich%pencil@VM.MARIST.EDU (Rich Winkel)
Organization: PACH
Subject: ICFTU Calls For Rejection Of WTO China Application
Article: 2340

/** labr.global: 283.0 **/
** Topic: ICFTU Calls For Rejection Of WTO China Application **
** Written 4:32 PM Dec 12, 1996 by labornews in cdp:labr.global **
From: Institute for Global Communications <labornews@igc.apc.org>
Subject: ICFTU Calls For Rejection Of WTO China Application

ICFTU calls on WTO to reject China application

International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), December 1996

Brussels/Singapore, December 11 (ICFTU OnLine): ICFTU general secretary Bill Jordan called on the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to reject China's application for membership to the world body as long gross abuses of workers' rights prevail in that country.

If China wants to join the WTO she should show willingness to accept fundamental workers' rights as a basis for being part of the international trade scene, Mr Jordan told a press conference in Singapore.

Mr Jordan is leading the ICFTU delegation to the WTO first-ever ministerial conference which is to conclude on December 13 in Singapore. The ICFTU and trade unionists attending the WTO event are stepping up their lobbying efforts to see labour standards included in the trade body's future work programme.

The ICFTU has identified 7 ILO key human rights conventions to be part of a social clause to be included in all international trade agreements, including the WTO. In Singapore, the ICFTU is calling for the WTO to establish a working group to discuss the link between trade and these standards which cover workers' rights to freedom of association and to collective bargaining, the prohibition of child and forced labour and an end to discrimination in employment.

The ICFTU's proposals supported by a number of governments is being fiercely resisted by countries, particularly in Asia and the Pacific, on the ground that workers' standards belong to the ILO alone.

China, one of the worst violator of labour rights, has been negotiating its admission to the WTO and its predecessor, the GATT, for more than ten years.