It’s good to hear union members come away from a meeting not having felt like they persevered and did their duty to the union by attending. Members at this year’s October meeting left feeling that the union was truly dealing with the issues they were interested in and enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere where they could ask questions freely to learn more about some new, and some old, issues effecting their workplaces.
Over eighty members, and not so few non-members, attended branch meetings and then public workshops.
The first, divided into three languages, dealt with the amendments to the Labour Contract Law and how union members can use this change to switch to unlimited term contracts. There are many concerns that employers will try to subvert this new law, but as union members who know how the law works, we will not be victims to the law and let employers’ wiggle out of the extreme benefits which could come from this law.
For the last set of workshops people had a choice to attend a seminar of particular interest to them.
The ‘workplace rights’ seminar covering basic employment law was especially well attended. Teachers working at elementary, junior and senior high schools attended a meeting about their workplace rights while those teachers currently being dispatched from private employers into the school system (ALTs) had yet another specific meeting.
The last workshop dealt with retirement rights. This group brought together union members with somewhat different concerns. While some were interested in how the pension system will affect them others were concerned about being made to retire from part time work at sixty five.
The union will now look at creating a few FAQs to cover the issues at the meetings, especially the new amended Labour Contract Law.
You know the meeting was well received by the attendance at the after party. About forty union members had a chance to socialise over a drink and no one seemed in a rush to leave.