All-China Federation of Trade Unions

All-China Federation of Trade Unions

Infobox Union
name= ACFTU
country= People's Republic of China
members= 193 million in 2008 [ Membership required:Trade unions in China] , The Economist, Jul 31st 2008]
134 million in 2005cite book
year = 2005
title = Trade Unions of the World
editor = ICTUR et al,
edition = 6th
publisher = John Harper Publishing
location = London, UK
id = ISBN 0-9543811-5-7
full_name= All-China Federation of Trade Unions
native_name= 中华全国总工会

founded= May 1, 1925
office= Beijing, China
people= Wang Zhaoguo, chairman
website= []

The All-China Federation of Trade Unions ("'ACFTU"; zh-stp|s=linktext|中|华|全|国|总|工|会|t=linktext|中|華|全|國|總|工|會|p=Zhōnghuá Quánguó Zǒnggōng Huì), is the sole national trade union federation of the People's Republic of China. It is the largest trade union in the world with 134 million members in 1,713,000 primary trade union organizations. The ACFTU is divided into 31 and 10 .


Officially founded May 1, 1925, from the second conference of the All-China General Labour Federation, the ACFTU was restricted in 1927 by the newly established KMT rule of Chiang Kai-shek. Many trade unionists were executed in this period, and government-sponsored "yellow" unions were installed.ref|ICTUR

By the rise of Mao Zedong in 1949, the ACFTU had been re-established as the sole trade union centre, but was again dissolved in 1966 in the wake of the Cultural Revolution.

Following Mao's death in 1976, in October 1978 the ACFTU held its first congress since 1957. Since the early 1990s it has been regulated by the Trade Union Law of the People’s Republic of China.

In 2008, a new labor law in China is forcing most companies - including most foreign owned ones - to create an ACFTU chaptered trade union within them.


ACFTU has a monopoly on trade unionizing in China and creation of competing unions is illegal. As a tool of the government, ACFTU has been seen as not acting in the best interest of its members (workers), bowing to the government pressure on industry growth and not defending workers' rights. This, however, may be changing in 2000s.

List of Chairmen

*1st (1922.5 - 1925.5)
**Deng Zhongxia
*2nd (1925.5 - 1926.5)
**Lin Weimin (ACFTU officially formed)
*3rd (1926.5 - 1927.6)
**Su Zhaozheng
*4th (1927.6 - 1929.11)
**Su Zhaozheng
*5th (1929.11 - 1948.8)
**Xiang Ying
*6th (1948.8 - 1953.5)
**Liu Shaoqi (honorary)
**Chen Yun
*7th (1953.5 - 1957.12)
**Liu Shaoqi (honorary)
**Lai Ruoyu
*8th (1957.12 - 1966.12)
**Lai Ruoyu (1957.12 - 1958.5)
**Liu Ningyi (1958.8 - 1966.12)
*9th (1978.10 - 1983.10)
**Ni Zhifu
*10th (1983.10 - 1988.10)
**Ni Zhifu
*11th (1988.10 - 1993.10)
**Ni Zhifu
*12th (1993.10 - 1998.10)
**Wei Jianxing
*13th (1998.10 - 2003.9)
**Wei Jianxing (1998.10 - 2002.12)
**Wang Zhaoguo (2002.12 - 2003.9)
*14th (2003.10 - )
**Wang Zhaoguo

World relations

The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions maintains the position that the ACFTU is not an independent trade union organisation, and states in its policy:

5. There are differing approaches among ICFTU affiliates and Global Union Federations concerning contacts with the ACFTU. They range from “no contacts” to “constructive dialogue”. The ICFTU, noting that the ACFTU is not an independent trade union organisation and, therefore, cannot be regarded as an authentic voice of Chinese workers, reaffirms its request to all affiliates and Global Union Federations having contacts with the Chinese authorities, including the ACFTU, to engage in critical dialogue. This includes raising violations of fundamental workers’ and trade union rights in any such meetings, especially concerning cases of detention of trade union and labour rights activists. [cite web
title=ICFTU China policy


* The Workers' Daily, the ACFTU newspaper.


External links

* [ ACFTU official site]
* [ The ILO in China]
* [ Workers' Daily ("gongren ribao") Official newspaper of the ACFTU]


* [ When will we have Free Unions in China ?] Online video of speech given by Chinese labour activist [Han Dongfang in February 2007 in Montreal.

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