Legislators Draft Laws to Strengthen Chinese Trade Unions

Six draft laws, including proposed changes to the 52-year-old law on trade unions, were considered at a meeting yesterday of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, the country's top legislative body.

As submitted to the Standing Committee for deliberation, the trade unions law changes are aimed at empowering trade union to act as a strong protector of workers' legitimate rights and interests, Xinhua news agency reported.

"A number of articles are to be added to underline and strengthen trade unions' role in protecting workers' legitimate rights," Zhang Chunsheng, deputy director of the Legislative Affairs Commission of the NPC Standing Committee, told the meeting.

The revised version will have stipulations involving establishment of trade unions in new enterprises, protection of legitimate rights of employees and trade unions workers at enterprises, and punishment for violation of trade unions' rights, Zhang told lawmakers.

Draft laws previously reviewed, including desertification control, prevention and treatment of occupational diseases, management of maritime space utilization, and draft amendments to the criminal law, will be further examined by the legislators during the 23rd meeting of the Ninth NPC Standing Committee meeting.

A draft decision submitted for discussion proposes that the third Saturday of September be designated as the national day for education on national defense.

Li Boyong, vice chairman of the NPC Law Committee, said the draft law on desertification prevention and control would play a positive role in protection of ecological environment.

The draft amendments to the criminal law emphasizes the punishment for illegal activities to destroy forest and abuse of forest, said Gu Angran, also vice chairman of the NPC Law Committee.

During the five-day meeting, the State Council will deliver reports to lawmakers on implementation of plans of the 2001 national economic and social development, and on the work to enhance the status of agriculture and to increase incomes of farmers.

(eastday.com 08/28/2001)

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