From The Trade Union Law of the People’s Republic of China it can be seen that the workers of “New China” are unable to organise in genuine Trade Unions; that they are not allowed to call strikes whatever their grievances may be, and that the so-called Trade Union affiliated to the “All-China Federation of Labour” are Unions mainly in name only, similar to Hitler’s “Labour Front” in pre-war Germany.
China’s “Trade Unions” are allowed to negotiate. But that is all. Their main functions, according to Article 9, of The Trade Union Law of the People’s Republic of China, are to organise the workers to support the laws of the government, carry out the policies of the government; to get the workers to adopt a new attitude towards labour—that is, to observe “labour discipline,” to organise “labour emulation campaigns and increase production to ensure the fulfilment of the production plans; to protect public property; to oppose corruption and bureaucracy and to fight “saboteurs” in enterprises operated by the State.
In privately-owned enterprises the Trade Unions must help in developing production, “benefiting both labour and capital”—in other words, increasing the exploitation and subjection of the Chinese working-class. The outlook for the masses of China is indeed bleak.
(From article by Peter E. Newell, Socialist Standard, February 1959)