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Foxconn Holds First Union Meeting
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Foxconn Technology Group, Shenzhen's largest Taiwanese-invested enterprise, last weekend held its first ever trade union meeting.


Attended by more than 70 members, it was held to elect a chairman and establish two committees. Foxconn's public affairs manager, Chen Peng, was appointed to the top post.


"It is an honor to be elected as the first chairman of Foxconn's trade union and I promise to do my best," said 37-year-old Chen.


He said that during his term he would strive to strengthen the trade union's coverage and influence at Foxconn.


"We will encourage more colleagues to join the organization under the guidelines of the All-Shenzhen Federation of Trade Unions and the group's party committee," Chen said.


"We will also help them boost their skills through political and cultural education, and training.


"Our trade union will work as a body that represents and protects workers' legitimate rights and interests while facilitating the group's future development," Chen said.


Located in Shenzhen's Longhua industrial zone, Foxconn employs more than 200,000 people. So far, 1,153 of them have joined the union.


"The establishment of the trade union provides an ideal platform for both management and employees to better solve problems and conflicts ... It also creates an effective communication channel between the two," professor Chang Kai of Renmin University of China, said. "It is good to see that Foxconn has finally made a firm step on that."


Foxconn's decision to set up a union came amid calls from the All China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) for joint ventures and foreign-owned companies in China to speed up the establishment of such organizations.


"Our goal is that 80 percent of the foreign enterprises in the country will set up their own trade unions by the end of the year," Guo Jun, vice-director of ACFTU's legal department, said.


More than 5,770 foreign companies based in Shenzhen, including big names such as Carrefour and Metro AG, set up trade unions in late 2006, which now have 1.78 million members.


(China Daily March 29, 2007)


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