China Visit of IG Metall Representative Christian Weis
Event: Social Justice and Trade Unions
Dr. Christian Weis, representative of IG Metall, and Chinese Trade Union actors exchanged ideas, discussed current and future challenges and strengthened cooperation in Beijing and Shanghai between June 28th and July 4th 2015. Mr. Christian Weis, International Secretary among other countries responsible for China at IG Metall met with trade unionists and other experts to discuss about labour relations in China and Germany.
In late June a representative of IG Metall – the trade union in Germany with the largest number of members – Dr. Christian Weis, travelled to Beijing and Shanghai to meet experts and trade unionists of different organizations.
In Beijing Dr. Christian Weis met with representatives of the international department of the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) as well as the China Institute of Industrial Relations (CIIR) in order to deepen the already long-standing relationship and to discuss future cooperation projects.
At CIIR, Dr. Christian Weis presented on the topic of Current Status of Labour Relations in the Metal and Electro Industry in Germany during a roundtable discussion with more than twenty researchers and trade unionists of the CIIR. The Chinese participants of the roundtable discussion used the opportunity to ask Dr. Christian Weis many questions concerning the current labour relations in Germany, such as: How is precarious work defined in Germany and why is it so important to fight against it? What is the new so-called Tarifeinheitsgesetz and why would the government like to introduce it? How does the concept of partial retirement work in Germany? Is it possible for a trade union to favour wage reductions for the workers even during an economic crisis?
Other parts of the programme in Beijing were meetings with representatives of the International Labour Organization (ILO), of Volkswagen Group China and a Chinese labour lawyer. During those meetings both current developments in the Chinese labour relations and labour law as well as the German situation were discussed.
In Shanghai Dr. Weis gave a lecture about the developments of labour relations in the metal and electronics industries of Germany at the School of Social Development of East China Normal University (ECNU) on July 1st.
On July 2nd Dr. Weis attended the joint workshop on trade union work in the ICT-sector organized by FES Shanghai and the Shanghai Municipal Trade Union Council (SMTUC). In the afternoon he visited the company Alcatel-Lucent und talked with the company trade union chairman Feng Laizhou about the trade union work.
On July 3rd Dr. Weis visited the Suzhou Federation of Trade Unions (SZFTU) and held a conversation with Vice Chairwoman Gao Huiqin and other trade unionists from SZFTU and grassroots trade unions. Both sides agreed to further cooperation.