Third Sino-German Trade Union Forum

Event: Social Justice and Trade Unions

With the support of FES, the Confederation of German Trade Unions (DGB) and the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) jointly held the Third Sino-German Trade Union Forum. Following an invitation by the ACFTU, the DGB convened a delegation of 16 trade union representatives from Ver.di, IG BCE, GdP, Hans-Böckler-Stiftung, as well as chairpeople of workers’ councils from BASF, Bayer and Volkswagen. The delegation was led by Reiner Hoffmann, chairman of the DGB.

The German delegation was greeted by Mr. Li Yufu, General Securetary of ACFTU, as well as Mr. Jiang Guangping, vice chairman for international affairs, Mr. An Jianhua, head of the international department, and Mr. Xu Enyi, deputy head of the international department.

The two sides had agreed to discuss three topics at the forum. In the first session, participants heard presentations on the role of trade unions in life-long learning facing new technological developments. The second and third session were held at the Chinese University for Labour Relations. The topics were the protection of rights and interests of women, and challenges to trade unions through new forms of work, digitalization and automation.

After the forum, the delegation was received by German Ambassador Dr. Clemens von Goetze. The delegates engaged in discussions with representatives of VW and Bayer during visits of the companies’ work sites. Before taking the high speed train to Shanghai, the group visited the Worker Service Center of the Beijing Municipal Trade Union and learned about its grassroots work.

In Shanghai, the delegation was received by German General Consul Dr. Christine Althauser and engaged in a lively debate with representatives of German companies in China. The discussion about German and Chinese approaches to digitalisation continued with professors at Tongji University. After a visit to NIO House, the delegation was received for dinner by the Shanghai Municipal Trade Union Council, which was a fruitful end to an interesting and productive week of meetings and discussions.

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