The Common Program of the People's Republic of China 1949-1954

Article 32 of the Common Program

 30-12-1950 Mao Zedong Remarks on the Trade Union Work Report from the Northwest Bureau The main aspects of article 32 are in state-owned enterprises, worker participation in administration through factory committees shall be established. Private enterprises shall adopt collective contracts between trade unions and employers, ensuring benefits for both labor and capital. During this period, a standard eight to ten-hour workday shall generally be enforced in public and private sectors, subject to discretion in special circumstances. Minimum wages shall be set by local governments based on prevailing conditions. Labor insurance will be gradually introduced, prioritizing the protection of juvenile and female workers. Industries and mines will undergo inspections to enhance safety and sanitation. 27-08-1952 GAC Unified Registration Measures for the Unemployed
Improving production & ensuring quality is an expression of love for the motherland 1953
 05-07-1949 Directive on Resolving Labor Disputes in Private Enterprises

"Trade unions which were set up in both factories and offices had women’s sections (funübu) to press the special interests of women. Enterprises with more than fifty female employees were required to have a women’s committee of the trade union, and those with fewer elected a women’s representative to thé general trade union committee. W om en’s representative congresses were to be elected periodically to discuss specific issues in enterprises with a considerable num ber of women employees. Branches of the Women’s Federation were also formed within enterprises to link working women with other women all over China.49 " Davin (1976) Pages 174-175 [Cite]
Fig. 32.1: Female workers and employees* in 1949-1954
Source: Devin (1976). Page 166
*government and administrative personnel etc.
numbers in the 1000s

 09-09-1950 Mao Zedong Regarding the Remarks on the Issue of Relief for Unemployed Workers " The need to restore production, and perhaps the economic innocence of the Party in 1949-51, produced m uch propaganda urging women out to work. The first note of caution was sounded in 1952 when, partly because of the crisis in business confidence which followed the anti-corruption movement, unemployment soared. The State Council issued a document which divided the unemployed into various categories, of which housewives who wished to work were acknowledged to be one.35 The Women’s Federation was urged to seek out such women, make inquiries as to their degree of need, qualification, and experience, and, in suitable cases, help them to find jobs. However, it was m ade quite clear that for the m oment there was no hope of jobs for all who wanted them , and the docum ent pointed out that housework was not to be despised since it had now a far greater significance than in the old society. Six days later, the Women’s Federation issued a directive, couched in very much the same terms, directing all its branches to implement the decision of the State Council.37 Both documents pointed out that the W om en’s Federation could do educational work amongst women which would be useful in case of their eventual em ployment." 37: Directive of the All-China Democratic Women’s Federation to all levels of the organization to co-operate in the implementation of the decisions on employment of the State Council ofthe Central People’s Government’ RMRB (10 Aug. 1952). Davin (1976) Pages 168-169 [Cite]

The insurance company is directly led and managed by the head office of the People's Bank of China, and the capital is proposed to be 20 billion yuan. Regional companies will be established in the locations of the People's Bank of China. The Northeast Insurance Company owned by the Northeast Bank is placed under the leadership of the People's Insurance Company of China. The main tasks are: (1) to ensure production safety, to support the development of trade, and to promote the exchange of materials between urban and rural areas; to improve the welfare of the working people; to defend national property. (2) The state-run insurance company must lead the private insurance company to jointly realize the above tasks, and replace the government to implement the administrative management of the business operation of the private insurance company, reform the pure profit concept and various unreasonable business methods of the private company, and overcome the past dependence on foreign companies. (3) Regarding the issue of accumulating funds, the first is to complete political tasks. (4) At present, attention is mainly paid to the construction, development and expansion of the state-run insurance business, gradually establishing companies at all levels, developing business, accumulating experience, and cultivating talents. In June 1950, the People's Insurance Company of China established 5 district companies, 31 branch companies, 8 branch companies, 25 offices, 4 business departments and dispatched offices, with a total of 73 units. There are also 564 agency offices, of which the People's Bank of China has 385 agency offices. The company has a total of 2,263 employees, among which two-thirds of the old insurance practitioners are accepted and retained. Like the private banking industry is speeding up to be brought under unified management, the private insurance companies are brought under unified management. Public-private joint venture insurance companies (for example: Xinfeng Insurance Company, North China Minlian Reinsurance Exchange Office) were established By the end of 1952, foreign insurance companies operating in China successively applied for closure and withdrew from the Chinese insurance market.
Fig. 32.2: Industrial Sickness and Disability Insurance for Workers and Their Dependents
Source: Kraus (1982). Page 26

Fig. 32.3: Industrial Employees. Classification by Sex, Social Insurance, and Right to Free Medical Care (in thousands)
Source: Kraus (1982). Page 59


The CCP had good relations in Shanghai however, this could not prevent economic and social chaos. See Part 3 In December 1949, there are over 3300 strikes in the city. In the aftermath of the Communist occupation of Shanghai in May 1949, a significant number of labour disputes erupted throughout the city. The workers, who were now being proclaimed as the leading class in the country by the Communists, were eager to put this newfound status to the test by seeking immediate improvements in their economic conditions. However, many of these demands and actions were excessive and irresponsible. The authorities, still in the process of establishing firm control over labour organizations, seemingly hesitated to openly oppose these demands for fear of antagonizing the workers. Nevertheless, they were also aware that the strained economy, especially during the period of economic depression in Shanghai, could not sustain the ongoing pressure caused by these demands. Additionally, this situation posed a challenge to their policy of fostering cooperation with private capital.
Mikoyan has warned the CCP leaders not to prohibit strikes: "…otherwise the CCP may lose the trust of workers. The significance of the working class in the revolution is determined not by its quantity, I said, but by the fact that it is a new class, the carrier of the most progressive ideas. The future belongs to the working class. Its significance in the society will grow unstoppably. The question that one should not prohibit strikes caused a noticeable bewilderment on the part of Mao Zedong and the present members of the CCP CC Politburo. On the whole telegrams with recommendations on the work among workers, youth, women and on the preparation of the Chinese cadres, the content of which was conveyed by me to Mao Zedong and the Politburo members, made a good impression. When they were related, Mao Zedong and the members of the Politburo uniformly nodded in agreement, and Mao Zedong said that the suggestions will be carried out."
Fig. 32.4: Summary of the Labor Protest Incidents Reported by Neibu cankao
Source: Chen (2014). Pages 512-513

Bernard (1953). Page 20 [Cite]
Howe (1981). Page 44-45 [↩] [Cite]

16-08-1949 Interim Measures of the All-China Federation of Trade Unions on the Handling of Labor Relations
22-11-1949 Interim measures of the All-China Federation of Trade Unions on the conclusion of collective contracts between the labor and management of private industrial and commercial enterprises.
09-02-1950 Directive on “body search” approved by the Standing Committee of the All-China Federation of Trade Unions
20-05-1950 The Ministry of Labor issued the general rules for the organization of municipal labor agencies
28-07-1950 GAC decision on the method of payment of statutory holiday wages by factories and mines in various places
12-01-1951 Supplementary Instructions of the Government Council on Dealing with Unemployed Intellectuals
 26-02-1951 Labour insurance regulations of the PRC
07-03-1951 Regulations of the Financial and Economic Committee of the Government Council on the Composition of Total Wages
12-01-1952 The Financial and Economic Committee of the GAC issued the Interim Measures for the Resignation of State-owned Enterprise Workers (Draft)
30-08-1952 Measures of the Labor Employment Committee of the GAC on the Unified Registration of Unemployed Persons
Chapter 4 of Common Program