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Article

China's main union is yet to earn its job

The workers' movement in China is at a critical juncture. As last year's wave of strikes and the recent migrant worker riots in Guangdong clearly demonstrate, workers are angry. They are demanding...an end to the social injustice and discrimination they see around them every day...[but have] no real trade union that can articulate those demands...This new era of activism has forced China's official trade union, the All-China Federation of Trade Unions, to re‑examine its role and look for ways to become an organisation that really does represent workers' interests...[The] approach of the international trade union movement needs to change too...Constructive engagement with the ACFTU at this point in history could produce real benefits...for China's workers' movement. Some of the ACFTU's initiatives have already produced results...However, other schemes still betray the old bureaucratic habits of trade union officials more concerned with ticking boxes, meeting quotas and making speeches... [refers to Honda]