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PACIFIC WATCH

China

July 04, 1994|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Joint Ventures Told to Form Trade Unions: The government has ordered foreign-financed joint ventures to set up official trade unions by the end of the year, blaming a lack of organizations for a spate of deadly workplace accidents. Zhang Dinghua, vice chairman of the state-controlled All-China Federation of Trade Unions, said just 12% of foreign-financed joint ventures had unions, the official Xinhua news agency reported. Zhang also pledged a major drive to put official unions into the 95% of Chinese township enterprises that still have no worker organizations, a move that would bring tens of millions of workers under the federation umbrella. Zhang said official unions are needed to protect workers from unscrupulous or negligent employers, citing "some serious problems" among foreign companies that hire Chinese laborers.

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