Union: China ‘Best Friend of American Worker’

Tuesday, 13 Mar 2012 02:58 PM

By Martin Gould

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America’s biggest maritime union has presented its Best Friend of the American Worker award to the Premier of China, according to official reports from the Communist nation.

The International Longshoremen’s Association made the award to Wen Jiabao to mark China’s “great contributions in creating more job opportunities for U.S. workers,” the semi-official China Daily reported.

Chinese ambassador Zhang Yesui received the award on Wen’s behalf at a ceremony at the Port of Boston, coinciding with the 10th anniversary of the first direct shipment to Beantown made by COSCO, the Chinese government owned shipping giant, the paper reported. ILA vice-president William McNamara presented the award.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin confirmed the award during a press conference, reported on the Chinese Embassy’s website. “The award … is to thank the Chinese Government for its efforts to encourage Chinese enterprises' investment in the U.S. and to promote bilateral economic cooperation and trade,” Liu said. “This gratitude is sincere and heartfelt.”

The ILA, which claims to represent 65,000 dockworkers, mainly on the eastern seaboard, makes no mention of the award on its website.

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