Trade Union Forum

Declaration of the 11th BRICS Trade Union Forum (China. July 13, 2022)

Declaration of the 11th BRICS Trade Union Forum


1. National trade  union  organizations  of the  Federative  Republic  of Brazil,  the Russian Federation, the Republic of India, the People's Republic of China, and the Republic of South Africa jointly established the BRICS Trade Union Forum (BRICS TUF). During China's presidency of the BRICS countries in 2022, the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) hosted the  11th  BRICS Trade Union  Forum.  The  Forum,  themed  on  "Deepening  Partnership  for  a  Better Future", held its plenary meeting virtually on July 13th, 2022.

2. Our world is facing a pandemic and drastic changes both unseen in a century. Economic globalization is experiencing headwinds, and the world is entering a period of volatility and transformation. All countries have been severely impacted, which is  especially  true  for  the  emerging  markets  and  developing  ones.  The world   of  work   faces   unprecedented   challenges.   The   International   Labour Organization(ILO) predicted that in 2022, the global unemployment population reaches  207  million,  and  the  global  working-hour  deficit  is  equivalent  to  52 million full-time jobs. The labour and business incomes decrease, many micro, small  and medium-sized  enterprises  (MSMEs)  struggle, underemployment  and informal employment increase, poverty grows, and inequality in gender, economy and society widens.

3. Guided by the BRICS spirit of openness, inclusiveness, and win-win cooperation, and upholding  the  theme  of  our  times  of peace  and  development,  we,  the representatives of workers from the BRICS countries, focus our efforts on skills upgrading and safeguarding workers’ right to development, aiming at exploring a common  solution  for developing a high-quality partnership among the BRICS trade unions and for creating a better future of work.

Adapting to industrial transformation and enhancing workers’ skills

4. The start  of the  21st  century  marks  the  unprecedentedly  fast  development  of global  technological  innovations.  Information  technology,  new  energy,  new materials, and biotechnology are gaining momentum and deeply intertwined. Any economy  that  cannot  keep  up  with  the  global  industrial  upgrading  would  be abandoned by the market, thus leading to shrinkage and decline of its industries. In  the  meantime,  rapid  transformations  in  the  world  of work,  such  as  those resulting from the challenges of climate change, exacerbate skills mismatches and skills shortages, requiring people of all ages to reskill and upskill continuously in order to promote full, productive and freely chosen employment and decent work. All countries, developing ones in particular, should increase investment in skills training  of  their  workers.  Vocational  training  programs   should  be  closely integrated   with   the   national   economic   and   livelihood   plans   as   well   as employment promotion policies. The governments, employers and trade unions should strengthen social dialogue in this respect.

5. To adapt to the new round of scientific and technological revolution as well as the changes and challenges in the world of work, we urge the governments in the BRICS countries to reform vocational and educational training systems, expand the scale of vocational training colleges step by step, align vocational training with industrial needs and promote cooperation among universities, colleges and enterprises; rapidly respond to the drastically changing skills demand, establish a public service system of digital education resources, and build online platforms for life-long  learning.The  governments,  employers  and  trade  unions  should conduct social dialogue in this respect.

6. The International Labour Conference 2022 (2022ILC) had its first discussion on the formulation of a new International Labour Standard (ILS) regarding quality apprenticeship and protection of apprentices. We underline the relevance of the ILO Declaration  on  Fundamental  Principles  and  Rights  at  Work  ( 1998),  as amended in 2022, the ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization (2008), as amended in 2022, and the ILO Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work,  2019,  for  the  promotion  of  quality  apprenticeships  and  the  effective protection of all apprentices. Meanwhile, we stress that BRICS members should take measures in accordance with national laws to promote equality, diversity and social inclusion in apprenticeships. Special attention should be given to persons in vulnerable situations or disadvantaged groups and their legitimate rights and interests should be guaranteed.

7. We urge enterprises to pay close attention to industrial frontier knowledge and technology advances,  reinforce  enterprises’  role  in  occupational  skill  training, explore an interactive mechanism to match skill upgrading with payment increase, optimize  skill  ranking  assessment  standards  and  skill  cultivating  system,  and actively respond to the training needs of workers and trade unions.

8. Trade unions should adapt to the requirements of global scientific, technological and industrial revolutions, step up efforts to motivate workers to concentrate on new trends of technology development, organize workers to  carry  out various forms of labour and skill competitions, and make these competitions important platforms for workers’ innovation and creation. Efforts shall be made to establish innovation studios for model workers and craftsmen, so as to provide new space for  information  exchange  and  experience-sharing  among model workers,  craft men, technicians, experts and scholars. Governments and companies must create conditions and provide necessary support for workers and unions in this respect.

Safeguarding workers’ right to development and increasing workers’ well-being

9. The full realization of human rights is one of the great dreams of all humanity. The BRICS countries pursue a people-centered view of human rights, integrate the universality of human rights with national  conditions, regard the rights to subsistence and development as primary human rights, safeguard social fairness and justice, and promote all-rounded development of the people. Trade unions in BRICS countries should respect and secure workers’ right to development and guarantee workers' access to universal, fair and genuine human rights.

10. Employment promotion shall  always be  strategically prioritized.  Trade unions should make efforts to explore new models and channels to provide workers with employment services, advance income distribution system reform and strengthen participation in the minimum wage  standard-setting; to  carry out efficient and effective collective bargaining at the levels of industrial and local trade unions and strengthen the training of collective bargaining trainers. Trade unions should involve  in  formulating  national  occupational  safety  and  health  policies,  and actively conduct awareness-raising and public knowledge campaigns; strengthen liaisons  with  relevant  government  departments  and  social  partners  such  as entrepreneurs’  associations  and  build  tripartite joint  meeting  mechanisms  for industrial relations.

11. Social security  is  the  fundamental  institutional  guarantee  to  safeguard  and improve people's livelihood, uphold social equity and enhance overall well-being of  the  people.   The   coverage  of  basic   social  insurance   schemes,   such  as endowment    insurance,   medical    insurance,   unemployment    insurance    and occupational  injury  insurance,  should  be  further  extended.  We  welcome  the decision of the ILС2022 to include safe and healthy working environment in the ILO’s framework of fundamental principles and rights at work, as well as the resolution  concerning  decent  work  and  the  social  and  solidarity  economy. Continuous attention should be paid to workers in difficulty and a comprehensive social  assistance  system  should  be  established  in  order  to  ensure  workers  in informal and precarious employment enjoy full social protection .

12. We notice that entering the 21st century, new forms and models of business keep emerging due  to  technological  evolution,  demographic  change,  labour  market supervision,  macroeconomic  fluctuations,  etc.  We  call  on  the  governments  to better protect workers in new forms of employment through laws and systems, and promote relevant industries to improve industrial  standards and strengthen self-regulation. Trade unions should spare no effort in organizing workers in new forms of employment by innovating ways according to the forms of employment and specific demands of the workers to protect their rights and interests.

13. We call on the international labour community to pay close attention to the right to development  of emerging markets  and  developing  countries. We resolutely oppose any country or organization to promote its biased, unfair and unjustified values,  ideology,  political  standards  and  development  model  in  the  name  of human rights, or use human rights as a pretext to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, especially the labour affairs of developing ones.

14. We express  our  concern  about  the  climate  change  crisis  and  the  global  food security crisis. We believe that the BRICS countries should lead the process of debates  and  actions to  secure  sustainable  development,  environmental balance and food security for all people in the world.


15. The BRICS mechanism is of significant importance for deepening collaboration among emerging  markets  and  developing  countries,  promoting  post-pandemic global  economic  recovery,  and  creating  a  favorable  environment  for  shared development.  We  should  strive  to  translate  the  BRICS  spirit  of  openness, inclusiveness,  and  win-win  cooperation  into  concrete  actions,  adhere  to  the principle  of independence,  self-determination,  objectiveness,  and  impartiality, promote  peaceful   development,  uphold   fairness   and  justice,   and   advocate democracy and freedom, in order to inject more BRICS dynamism into global development.

16. Ten years have passed since the BRICS TUF was initiated, and we take pride in the journey we have traveled. The  Forum represents the voice  of the  BRICS workers,  strengthens  cooperation  amongst  the  labour  circles  of  the  BRICS countries, and contributes to the BRICS mechanism and other major multi-lateral mechanisms.  We believe  that  the  BRICS plus  cooperation  model will  further enrich  the  content  of the  BRICS  cooperation  and  expand  the  BRICS  global partnership network.We shall closely follow the new developments of our times, support the BRICS Plus  cooperation model, build more  extensive partnership, safeguard common interests and promote shared development, so as to build a better  future of solidarity and  cooperation  among trade unions  from  emerging markets and developing countries.