ACFTU/OATUU: China-Africa Trade Union Leaders Seminar & Field Visit in Beijing.

Over the years, the Organization of Trade Union Unity (OATUU) and the All China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) have developed a strong relationship through their partnership.  In the framework of strengthening the cooperation and the partnership between the organizations, OATUU and ACFTU hosted a China-Africa Trade Union Leaders Seminar and Field visit from 10th to 17th November 2019 in Beijing-Zhejiang, China.

The seminar which brought together 30 Affiliates members of OATUU was set under the theme: “China-Africa Community with a shared Future and the Role of Trade Unions”.

Opening Ceremony

In his opening remarks,Mr.Jian GuangpingtheVice Chairman and National Secretary of ACFTU welcomed all the participants in Chinaon behalf of ACFTU and their 300 million members-workers.

He mentioned that Africa and China have over the years developed great links or relationship through their mutual support:  Africa in the fight for the independence and China in many different ways.

Talking about the situation of Trade Union in the recent years, Mr.Jian Guangping stated that many workers are still working in bad conditions and extreme poverty. In this regard, China and Africa will continue to cooperate to fight for workers rights.

In his remarks, Mr. Arezki Mezhoud the Secretary General of OATUU welcomed all the participants and thanked ACFTU for the support and organizing such a meeting in China.

He highlighted that the presence of the participants in China shows the interest that African Trade Unions have in the cooperation between China and Africa.

He further congratulated and acknowledged ACFTU as the biggest workers federation in the world which is marked by about 300 million workers-members.

Seminar Presentations

According to Prof. Zhang Jianping, Director General & Senior Researcher from the Institute of West Asia & Africa Studies, Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, Ministry of Commerce, “China is the world first manufacturer: Every sector of activities can be found in China. China literally produces everything now“. From the Chinese model of development, he added that “industrialization is a key for development, once you have increased your infrastructures, your development can now increase”.

Mr. Arezki Mezhoud, Secretary General of OATUU said about the situation of Labor Movement in Africa, “trade unions in Africa must stop thinking but start rethinking from critics.  We must get modernized using new or latest trends in unionism”.

Mr. Du Wenfu, Director of Technology Cooperation & Innovation Division, Labor and Economy Department, ACFTU said in regards to the issue of skills training for trade unions, “it is important and essential for trade union to engage and help the country developing. Empowering workers to be able to respond to the demand of the country is a role of trade unions”. He further added that “African Trade Unions must take part in the continent development. It passes through empowering and skills training for workers”.

Field Visits

The 30 participants, all affiliated members of OATUU visited Beijing MTR Corporation Limited and Hexing Electrical Co.Ltd as part of the field visits. The purpose of these visits was mainly to know more on the relationship between companies and the unions representing their workers. It is important to note that in those companies, all the workers are unionized.

Mr. Jian Guangping, the Vice Chairman and National Secretary of ACFTU closed the seminar by wishing a long lasting friendship between OATUU-ACFTU and Africa-China.