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Trade Union Law of the People's Republic of China - 1992

(Promulgated on April 3, 1992 by the fifth session of the seventh National People's Congress)



Table of Contents:

Chapter I.

General Principles

Chapter II.

Organization of Trade Unions

Chapter III.

The Rights and Obligations of Trade Unions

Chapter IV.

Grass-roots Trade Union Organizations

Chapter V.

Funds and Assets of Trade Unions

Chapter VI.

Appendix


Chapter I.   General Principles

Article 1.


This law is enacted in accordance with the nation's Constitution to ensure trade unions' position in the country's political, economic and social life; to define trade unions' rights and obligations; and to enable trade unions to serve socialist modernization.

Article 2.


Trade unions are mass organizations of the working class voluntarily set up by staff members and workers.

Article 3.


Both manual and mental laborers of enterprises, institutions and organs in China who rely on wage income as a main source of living expenses, regardless of their nationality, race, sex, occupation, religious beliefs and educational level, have the right to participate in and organize trade unions in accordance with the law.

Article 4.


Trade unions must abide by and uphold the Constitution, use the Constitution as the basic norm for their activities and conduct their work independently in accordance with trade union regulations. The national congress of trade union members enacts or revises the ''China Trade Union Constitution''. This constitution must not contravene the nation's Constitution and the law.

The state ensures that trade unions' legal rights and interests are not infringed upon.

Article 5.


Trade unions should organize and educate staff members and workers to exercise their democratic rights in accordance with the nation's Constitution and the law; to play a role as the master of the nation; and, through various means and in various forms, to participate in managing state affairs, in managing economic and cultural activities and in managing social affairs. Trade unions should assist people's governments in conducting their work and should uphold the socialist state political power of people`s regime, which is led by the working class and founded on the alliance of workers and peasants.

Article 6.


In addition to safeguarding the overall interests of the people of the whole nation, trade unions should safeguard the legal rights and interests of staff members and workers.

Trade unions must maintain close contacts with staff members and workers, heed and reflect their opinions and requests, show concern for their livelihood, help them solve their difficulties and serve them wholeheartedly.

Article 7.


Trade unions of enterprises and institutions of public and collective ownership should organize staff members and workers to take part according to the law in democratic management of and supervision over their respective enterprises or institutions.

Article 8.


Trade unions should mobilize and educate staff members and workers to regard laborers as being masters of the nation, to treasure the property of the state and enterprises and to abide by labor discipline; and should motivate and organize staff members and workers to apply themselves to accomplishing production and other tasks.

Trade unions should organize staff members and workers to launch socialist emulation campaigns, to launch mass campaigns on offering rationalization proposals, to conduct technical innovation and cooperation activities, to raise productivity, to improve economic efficiency and to develop social productive forces.

Article 9.


Trade unions should conduct among staff members and workers education in patriotism, collectivism, socialism, democracy, rule by law, discipline, science, general knowledge, as well as technical education, to enhance staff members and workers' ideological and moral sense; to raise their scientific, cultural, technical and vocational level and to enable them to become laborers with lofty ideals, good moral sense and good education, who maintain good discipline.

Article 10.


The All-China Federation of Trade Unions should strengthen friendly and cooperative relations with trade union organizations of all countries on the basis of the principles of independence, equality, mutual respect and mutual non-interference in each other's internal affairs.

Chapter II.   Organization of Trade Unions

Article 11.


Trade unions at all levels should be established on the principle of democratic centralism.

Committees of trade unions at all levels are to be democratically elected by the congress of trade union members or the congress of the representatives of trade union members.

Committees of trade unions at all levels work under and report their work to the congress of trade union members or the congress of the representatives of trade union members at the same level and should subject themselves to their supervision.

The congress of trade union members or the congress of the representatives of trade union members has the right to replace or recall its elected representatives, as well as members of trade union committees.

Trade union organizations at a lower level are under the leadership of trade union organizations at a higher level.

Article 12.


Trade unions of enterprises, institutions and organs that have 25 or more members may set up a grassroots trade union committee; trade unions with less than 25 members should elect one organizer to organize activities among members.

Localities at and above the county level may establish regional trade union federations at various levels.

Enterprises of some industries or industries of similar nature may set up national or regional industrial trade unions as circumstances require.

Trade union organizations across the country form the All-China Federation of Trade Unions.

Article 13.


Establishment of grassroots trade unions, regional trade union federations at various levels and national or regional industrial trade union organizations must be approved by trade unions at a higher level.

When an enterprise ceases to exist and when an institution or organ is abolished, the trade union organization of that enterprise, institution or organ is to be abolished accordingly.

Article 14.


The All-China Federation of Trade Unions, regional trade union federations and industrial trade unions have the status of a legal person of a social body.

Grass-roots trade union organizations that meet the conditions for a legal person specified in the general civil law may acquire, according to the law, the status of a legal person of a social body.

Article 15.


Chairmen and vice-chairmen of trade unions must not be arbitrarily transferred before their terms expire. If circumstances necessitate a transfer, the consent of the trade union committee at the respective level and of a trade union at a higher level must be obtained beforehand.

Chapter III.   The Rights and Obligations of Trade Unions

Article 16.


If enterprises or institutions in public or collective ownership violate the system of staff members and workers congresses or other democratic management systems, their trade unions have the obligation to safeguard staff members and workers' legal rights to exercise democratic management and have the right to question the matter.

Trade unions have the right to assign representatives to investigate infringement by their enterprises, institutions or organs upon staff members and workers' legitimate rights. Concerned units should provide assistance to such investigations.

Article 17.


If an enterprise or institution violates labor laws or regulations or infringes upon staff members and workers' legitimate rights, the trade union of the enterprise or institution has the right to ask the enterprise's or institution's administrative department or other concerned departments to look into the matter.

If an enterprise or institution violates the state's regulations on labor (work) hours, the trade union of the enterprise or institution has the right to ask the enterprise or institution to administratively correct the situation.

If an enterprise or institution violates laws or regulations on protecting the special rights and interests of female staff members and workers, the trade union of the enterprise or institution and its female staff members and workers' organization have the right to ask the enterprise or institution to administratively correct the situation.

Article 18.


Trade unions should assist and provide guidance to staff members and workers in signing labor contracts with the administrative departments of enterprises or institutions.

Trade unions may represent staff members and workers in signing collective contracts with the administrative departments of enterprises or institutions. Draft collective contracts should be submitted for discussion and approval by the respective congresses of staff members and workers or by all the staff members and workers of an enterprise or institution.

Article 19.


Trade unions have the right to voice their opinions if they deem that staff members or workers are inappropriately dismissed or penalized by enterprises or institutions.

Before enterprises in public or collective ownership decide to expel staff members or workers or to remove their names from the rolls, they should inform their trade unions of the reasons for their decision. If enterprises administratively violate relevant laws, regulations or contracts, their trade unions have the right to ask enterprises to restudy the cases.

If parties concerned dissent from enterprises' administrative departments' decisions to dismiss or expel them or to remove their names from the rolls, they may ask that the cases be handled according to the state's regulations on handling labor disputes.

Article 20.


Trade unions take part in enterprises' mediation of labor disputes.

Trade unions should be represented at regional labor dispute arbitration organizations at the same level.

Article 21.


If enterprises infringe upon staff members and workers' labor interests, their trade unions may voice their opinions on mediation. If staff members or workers file lawsuits at People's Courts, their trade unions should give them support and assistance.

Article 22.


Trade union federations at or above the county level may provide legal counsel services to their subordinate trade unions and staff members and workers.

Article 23.


A trade union has the right to submit suggestions, in accordance with state regulations, on working conditions as well as the safety and public health facilities in an enterprise that is newly- established or undergoing expansion, and in technical transformation projects. The enterprise or competent department should earnestly deal with these suggestions.

Article 24.


The trade union has the right to suggest solutions when it discovers that management has issued illegal orders and compelled workers to do dangerous work, or when there is obviously a hidden danger of serious accidents and vocational hazards in the process of production. When it discovers situations that endanger the lives and safety of workers, it has the right to suggest to the management that the workers be evacuated from dangerous sites, and management must promptly make the decision to deal with the situation.

A trade union has the right to participate in the investigation of accidents resulting in injury or death, as well as in cases where the health of workers is seriously jeopardized, and forward suggestions to deal with them to relevant departments. It also has the right to demand that management leaders directly responsible as well as relevant responsible personnel be held accountable.

Article 25.


When there is a work stoppage or a slow-down in an enterprise, the trade union should work with the management or relevant parties and consult on settling those workers's demands that are reasonable and can be resolved, and restore production to normal as soon as possible.

Article 26.


A trade union should assist the enterprise, public institutions and offices properly to manage the collective welfare of workers and to handle well matters on wages, labor protection and labor insurance.

Article 27.


The trade union will work with management to organize educational and technical classes after working hours for workers to improve their education and skills. It will organize recreational and sports activities for workers.

Article 28.


Economic and social development programs drawn up by people's governments at the county level and above, and laws, rules and regulations drafted by cities that are the seats of provincial and autonomous regional people's governments and by relatively large people's governments at the city level and above, approved by the State Council, should hear the views of trade unions at the same level when they involve major issues relating to workers' interests.

People's governments at the county level and above and relevant departments should invite trade unions at the same level to their deliberations and listen to their suggestions when they discuss and formulate important policies and measures such as those on wages, prices, production safety, labor protection and labor insurance.

Article 29.


Local governments at the county level and above may adopt suitable ways of notifying trade unions at the same level of important government work plans and administrative measures related to trade union work, and of discussing solutions to the issues of complaints, workers' demands and people reported by the trade unions.

Chapter IV.   Grass-roots Trade Union Organizations

Article 30.


The workers' enterprise congress owned by the whole people is the basic form by which the enterprise practices democratic management. It is the organization whereby workers exercise their power of democratic management in accordance with the ''Law of Industrial Enterprises Owned by the Whole People of the People's Republic of China''.

The enterprise trade union committee owned by the whole people is the working organ of the workers' congress. It is in charge of the daily work of the workers' congress and inspects and oversees the execution of resolutions adopted by the workers' congress.

Article 31.


The trade union committee of a collectively-owned enterprise should support and organize workers to participate in democratic management and democratic supervision and safeguard the right of workers to elect and dismiss management personnel and to decide on important issues concerning operation and management.

Article 32.


The enterprise management committee owned by the whole people should include representatives from the trade union.

When an enterprise owned by the whole people convenes a meeting to discuss issues like wages, welfare, production safety, labor protection and labor insurance, which are of personal interest to workers, trade union representatives should take part.

The factory director (manager) of enterprises owned by the whole people should support the trade union in conducting work according to law, and the trade union should support the factory director (manager) in exercising his authority according to law.

Article 33.


When a Sino-foreign joint venture or a Sino-foreign contractual joint venture deliberates and decides on issues such as wages, welfare, production safety, labor protection and labor insurance, which are of personal interest to workers, it should hear the trade union's suggestions.

The trade union of a foreign-owned enterprise may put forth suggestions on issues like wages, welfare, production safety, labor protection and labor insurance that concern the workers, and consult management on their handling.

Article 34.


When the grassroots trade union committee convenes meetings or organizes activities for workers, it should do so outside production or work hours. When such activities take up production or work hours, the committee should seek management approval first.

When the committee members of enterprise trade unions owned by the whole people and by collectives, who are not engaged in production, attend meetings or activities organized by trade unions during production work hours, they will receive their usual wages and other allowances.

Article 35.


The wages, bonuses and allowances of full-time workers in enterprise undertakings owned by the whole people and by collectives and in official trade union committees, who are not engaged in production, will be paid by the units they belong to. They will enjoy labor insurance as well as other benefits and allowances similar to those of workers in the same unit.

Chapter V.   Funds and Assets of Trade Unions

Article 36.


The source of trade union funds

    (1) Membership fees paid by trade union members.

    (2) Funds allocated to trade unions by undertakings and organs of enterprises owned by the whole people and by the collectives that have established trade union organizations, based on two per cent of the total wages of all workers each month.

    (3) Incomes handed over by enterprises and undertakings belonging to trade unions.

    (4) Subsidies from people's governments.

    (5) Other incomes.

Sino-foreign joint ventures, Sino-foreign contractual joint ventures and foreign-owned enterprises that have established trade union organizations will allocate funds to the trade unions in their own enterprises according to relevant state regulations.

Trade union funds will be used mainly for educating ground-level workers and other activities conducted by trade unions. Specific rules on the usage of funds will be drawn up by the All-China Federation of Trade Unions.

Article 37.


Trade unions should set up a system for auditing and overseeing the budget, final accounts and outlays, according to the principles of an independent fund.

Trade unions at all levels should set up committees to audit their funds.

Trade union incomes and expenditures at all levels should be examined by audit committees at the same level. They should be reported to general meetings or congresses at regular intervals and be subjected to supervision. The general meetings or congresses of trade unions have the right to state their views on the use of funds.

Article 38.


Governments at all levels, enterprises, public institutions and organs should provide the necessary facilities, venues and material requirements for trade unions to run their offices and to conduct activities.

Article 39.


No organization or individual is allowed to occupy, divert or transfer at will the assets and funds of trade unions and properties set aside by the state for their use.

Article 40.


The subordinate relationship of enterprises and undertakings belonging to a trade union and for the service of workers should not be randomly changed.

Article 41.


The salaries of retired personnel of trade unions at the county level and above will be same as those of working personnel in state organs.

Chapter VI.   Appendix

Article 42.


This law comes into force on the day of its promulgation. At the same time, the ''Trade Union Law of the People's Republic of China'', promulgated by the Central People's Government on June 29, 1950, is abolished.

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