A strong requirement to protect the rights of working people and a focus on promoting opportunities for Australian manufacturers are some of the major union concerns regarding a possible free trade agreement between Australia and China says ACTU President Sharan Burrow.

In a speech opening a symposium on China, trade liberalisation and labour rights, Sharan Burrow urges critical and constructive engagement with China and argues for social dialogue between China and its trading partners that also involves the International Labour Organisation to ensure respect for the rights of working people.

The speech is titled ‘Australias Social and Commercial Engagement With China:

New Directions For The Relationship’ and is the opening address to a ‘Symposium on China, Trade Liberalisation and Labour:

Racing to the Bottom or Building a Foundation for Labour Rights?’.

The Symposium is presented by the Australian Council Of Trade Unions, New Zealand Council Of Trade Unions and the Monash Institute for the Study of Global Movements on 14 and 15 February 2005.

The Symposium is not open to the public or media.

For more details contact: Alice Vickerman ph 03 9663 5266. Download the Opening Address and Program below: