Yu Jianrong, Professor and Director of the Rural Development Institute’s Social Issues Research Center at the Chinese Academy for Social Sciences (CASS), advocates reforms and labor protections in a column for China Media Project:
On May 29, the All-China Federation of Trade Unions said in a policy “opinion” that it would further expand protection of the legal rights of workers and intensify development of “harmonious labor relationships” in order that China’s workers could live with greater dignity, and that the stability of labor teams and of society could be promoted more effectively.
This should be the first time that the ACFTU has linked together social stability and the protection of the legal rights of workers and the dignity of workers. And it should also be the first time the ACFTU has defined the idea of letting workers live with dignity as an important work objective of trade unions at various levels. This is a sign that China’s labor organizations and their leaders have finally admitted openly something that has become basic common knowledge — workers cannot have dignity without the protection of their legal rights; and when workers are allowed no dignity, there can be no guarantee of social stability.