Amicus the Union

Amicus the Union

April 27, 2007 11:58 ET

Amicus warns 'We can't ignore China'

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(CCNMatthews - April 27, 2007) - The UNI-Europa conference this week in Athens, Greece endorsed proposals by Amicus to build solidarity with workers in China which is expected to become the world's largest economy by 2020.

Already a factory to the world, China is home to a growing number of multinationals - many of them from Europe.

Amicus Assistant General Secretary, Tony Burke, told delegates:
"Whether we like it or not China has a real impact, either directly or indirectly, on the working families that we represent in Europe.

"We share many of the concerns expressed by some trade unions regarding the structure, aims, objectives and effectiveness of the All China Federation of Trade Unions (AFCFTU). However, our experience tells us that building a positive relationship and engaging in constructive dialogue could potentially lead to reforms in structures, which would help develop into effective trade unions in the future.

"Businesses lobby hard in China to try and prevent improvements in labour laws and I welcome the decision by the European Chamber of Commerce to drop its objections to laws that could help improve rights and working conditions for Chinese workers."

Amicus and UNI Graphical were among the growing list of visitors to China in 2006 where debate is underway with the ACFTU on the best way to respond to foreign multinationals. The debate in China includes those who support economic growth at all cost and those who fear for "rebellion and unrest" if workers are not free to organise.

Contact Information

  • Amicus Press Office
    Ashraf Choudhury
    020 7420 8914 or 07980 224 761.