Shenzhen trade union promises more direct elections

27 June 2019

Direct elections at enterprise trade unions will become increasingly commonplace in Shenzhen, the deputy head of the city’s trade union federation, Wang Tongxin, predicted following the highly publicised election of a new trade union chairman at the Ohms electronics factory in Shenzhen this weekend.

Although relatively few enterprise trade unions have direct elections at the moment, Wang said, the union federation would heavily promote direct elections so that in the future such events “will not be news, nor pioneering, but rather just normal work practice.”

The union is already targeting some 163 enterprises in the city, each employing upwards of 1,000 workers, for direct elections over the coming year, he told the Southern Metropolis Daily.

The union election at Ohms took place on the morning of 27 May and featured 14 candidates, in addition to the serving union chairman, with the eventual winner being a production line worker.

The election came about as a direct result of a strike by several hundred workers at the plant two months earlier on 29 March demanding better pay and benefits as well as a more representative and effective trade union at the plant.

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