Chinese, U.S. trade unions seek closer ties

Via People’s Daily

China’s top trade union leader, Wang Zhaoguo, and a group of visiting U.S. union leaders Wednesday agreed to explore new ways to cooperate.

Wang told Anna Burger, president of Change to Win, a coalition of U.S. unions representing 6 million workers, that Chinese trade unions hoped to strengthen cooperation with Change to Win based on independence, equality, mutual respect and non-interference in each other’s affairs.

“Trade unions around the world should cement exchanges and cooperation amid the global economic downturn, to better safeguard the interests of workers and promote global economic development,” said Wang, president of the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) and a senior Chinese legislator.

Burger hoped to further enhance contacts and cooperation with the 100-million strong ACFTU through the week-long visit to China.

The U.S. union leaders arrived in Beijing Monday. Earlier Wednesday, they signed a memorandum with their ACFTU counterparts to facilitate exchanges and cooperation.

The two sides set up a regular exchange mechanism in May 2007 during Burger’s ice-breaking China tour, ending a decades-long boycott of China by U.S. labor groups.

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