It is at times difficult to keep up with these position papers by Xi Jinping. A couple of weeks ago he directly addressed workers at a meeting (29 October 2018) of new trade union leaders. I have yet to find an English translation, since not all are translated immediately, so here is a summary from the State Council website that was widely circulated in Chinese news services. Obviously, with socialism in power, the relationship between the communist party, trade unions and workers moves in new directions.
BEIJING — Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, called for mobilizing the country’s hundreds of millions of workers to make accomplishments in the new era and break new ground in the cause of the workers’ movement and trade unions’ work.
Xi, also president and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks during a talk with the new leadership of the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) on Oct 29.
The Workers’ movement is an important part of the cause of the Party, while trade unions’ work is a regular and fundamental job for the Party’s governance, Xi said.
He urged upholding Party leadership over trade unions’ work, mobilizing hundreds of millions of workers to make accomplishments in the new era, strengthening ideological and political guidance for employees, and advancing reforms and innovations in trade unions’ work.
He told the ACFTU leadership to be brave to shoulder responsibilities, be enterprising and active, and make solid efforts to break new ground in the cause of workers’ movement and trade unions’ work in the new era.
Wang Huning, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and a member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee, joined the talk.
Xi, on behalf of the CPC Central Committee, congratulated the new leadership on the success of the 17th National Congress of the ACFTU and greeted workers, model workers and trade union workers of all ethnic groups.
Commenting on the work of the ACFTU and trade unions at all levels in the past five years, Xi said they made a lot of productive efforts in strengthening political guidance for workers, organizing employees’ work, protecting workers’ rights and interests, keeping the team of employees stable, deepening trade union reforms and innovations, and advancing Party building in the trade union system.
Trade unions should be loyal to the Party’s cause and put the principle of upholding Party leadership and the Chinese socialist system into the practice of workers, Xi said.
He stressed upholding the authority and centralized, unified leadership of the CPC Central Committee, and closely following political stance, direction, principle and path of the committee.
Trade unions should improve their ability to apply the Marxist stance, viewpoint and method to analyze and solve problems, he said.
They should align the firm implementation of the Party’s will with effective efforts to serve the workers, he said.
Xi said the working class should be fully utilized as the main force to accomplish the targets proposed at the 19th CPC National Congress.
He encouraged the country’s workers to devote themselves to their jobs, strive for excellence, and make unremitting efforts to create a happy life and a bright future.
Various competitions should be held with the theme of fostering new development philosophy, promoting high-quality development and building a modernized economy, he said. Faster work should be done to build a team of knowledgeable, skillful and innovative industrial workers, he said.
He also demanded efforts to cultivate more model and highly-skilled workers.
It is the political responsibility of trade unions to guide employees and the people in following the Party, and consolidate the class foundation and public support for the Party’s governance, Xi said. Although the times have changed, the work method of coming from the people and going to the people should not be changed, he said.
Trade unions should adapt to new situations and new tasks, he said. They should improve and strengthen ideological and political work for workers, and make more efforts to inspire the country’s workers to embrace shared ideals, convictions, values and moral standards, Xi said.
Rural workers should be included in trade unions to the largest extent to make them a new staunch and reliable force behind the working class, he said.
Online work should be taken as an important platform for trade unions to link and serve the workers and to raise their penetration, guidance and influence, he said.
Trade unions should adhere to the employee-centered working approach; focus on the most pressing, most immediate issues that concern the employees the most; and fulfill the obligation of safeguarding workers’ rights and interests and sincerely serving workers and the people, Xi said.
Work should also be done to help urban employees in difficulties out of trouble and offer timely assistance to employees who returned to poverty for different reasons, he said.
As the reform of trade unions is an important component of deepening overall reform, trade unions should meet the new requirements on reforming people’s organizations and create a working system of extensive connection to serve the workers, Xi said.
More strength and resources should be put into the community level to unite all workers around the Party, he said.
Meanwhile, the country will reinforce the education, management and supervision of trade union cadres, and improve the mechanism of linking the Party with workers and the people, he said.
Party committees and governments at all levels must implement the Party’s principle of wholeheartedly relying on the working class, and ensure the status of the working class as the master, Xi said.
The country should also improve and strengthen the Party’s leadership on the work of trade unions, move to resolve major problems in the work of those unions, build a quality and professional team of trade union cadres, and support the creative work of trade unions in accordance with laws and regulations, he added.