Workers’ Struggle, Trade Union Reform and Collective Bargaining in China

2010 was a year of turbulence for labour relations in China. The wave of strikes sparked by the Honda workers in the Foshan city of the Guangdong province have aroused immense concern among Chinese policy makers, legal and labour scholars, as well as the Western media, over the urgency of carrying out democratic trade union reform and implementing workplace collective bargaining, or what is more commonly known as “collective consultation” in the Chinese context. Thereafter, the Chinese government and the All China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) have tried to step up their effort in legalizing and promoting workers’ rights to collective bargaining, which is not so much emphasized under the current “individual rights based” labour regulatory framework. Against this changing social and policy context, this paper aims to examine the impact of labour strikes on the development of workplace trade union and collective bargaining in China. We argue that, driven by growing labour protests, collective negotiation in China is undergoing a trend that moves beyond the “collective consultation by formality”, passes through the stage of “collective bargaining by riots” and approaches the “party state-led collective bargaining” ; however it is still unlikely to reach the stage of “workers-led collective bargaining” in the near future.

Collective consultation by formality

Regulations related to enterprise collective consultation have existed in China for many years. The Trade Union Law in 1992, the Labour Law in 1994, the revised Trade Union Law in 2001 and the Labour contract Law in 2008 all provide a legal justification for collective consultation. Besides, many administration decrees have been issued to guide its implementation. Despite the legal provisions, collective consultation in China has remained largely a formality. Previous studies on the topic have drawn the following conclusions [1] :

1. Collective consultation in formality takes a number of forms in practice. For instance, in some cases the trade unions and the managements meet without carrying out real bargaining and the trade unions simply accept what is proposed by the managements. In other cases, the managements do not even meet the trade unions and only send them a collective contract for “approval”. In some other occasions, once a collective contract is signed, the managements take no initiative in renewing the contract in the years to come.
2. Collective consultation was more a result of top-down requirement from the government or higher-level trade unions, instead of “growing out of struggle and a process of institutionalization” [2] .
3. Ordinary workers or trade union members did not have active participation in the process of consultation ; neither were they being consulted by trade union cadres. In other words, workers were not properly represented by trade union officials during collective consultations.
4. Significant negotiation between workers’ and enterprise’s representatives was usually absent. Clarke et. al., for example, conclude that “no evidence to support [that] ...any significant wage bargaining [exists in China]’ [3] .
5. The collective contracts “agreed” upon by both parties seldom involved wage negotiation. And the terms and conditions of employment as stated in the contracts very often did not deviate much from the minimum legal standards because trade unions tended to make proposals that they thought would be acceptable to the management. In this way, enterprise trade unions were simply performing a state function “as part of a system of juridical regulation of labour relations” [4]. by ensuring enterprises not to violate labour laws, instead of advancing their members’ interests.

Evidently, collective consultation in China does not fit into the Western definition of collective bargaining as widely understood in the field of industrial relations. The reasons for such a discrepancy are largely related to the malfunction of enterprise trade unions that have an ambivalent institutional identity. On the one hand, they are under the leadership of the ACFTU, which in turns are subject to the Party-state’s control. On the other, workplace trade unions are very often subordinate to the management as in many cases trade union committee members were part of the management [5]. Therefore, representing and protecting workers’ interests is never on top of its agenda, though it has been given greater pressure by the party-state to mediate the escalating labour conflict in the country. Clarke et. al. hold that collective consultation does not “provide the framework for a new industrial relations system” [6]in China and it could only do so when plant trade unions fully rid themselves of the management’s control and properly represent their members’ interest. They further contend that “a change is not likely...until unions at a higher level recognize the need for the change and develop their capacity to support genuine collective bargaining at the enterprise level” [7].

Collective bargaining by riot

The term “collective bargaining by riot [8] was firstly introduced by Eric Hobsbawm when he studied the widespread action of machine-breaking by the British workers in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Hobsbawm contends that such action was “a means of coercing their [workers’] employers into granting them concessions with regard to wages and other matters [9]. In a like manner, the 21st century Chinese workers who are not protected by effective and democratic trade unionism have to resort to “riot-like” actions to force a more efficacious form of wage negotiation upon their employers. Although official statistics on workers’ stoppage and strikes are absent, ethnographic studies have suggested that migrant workers’ collective actions bypassing the official trade unions have become more commonly seen lately [10] . Clarke and Pringle have attributed the ACFTU’s reform effort to the growing labour activism in recent years, which usually takes the form of wildcat strikes [11]. C. Chan adds that some of these strikes are with an increasingly clear demand for wage increase going beyond the legal minimum standard and the establishment or reform of workplace trade unions [12] . Against this larger socio-political context, we borrow the term “collective bargaining by riot” to expound in this section how wild-cat strikes, which have become a more commonplace phenomenon in China, further expose the defects of collective bargaining by formality. We will illustrate our argument with the Honda strike and other strike cases.

The Honda workers’ strike in 2010 perfectly exemplifies how workers’ collective defiance in China has forced management to come to the negotiation table, a situation similar to Hobsbawm’s idea of “collective bargaining by riot”. The Honda workers did not literally resort to machine-breaking to pressurize their employers as their British counterparts in the 18th and early 19th centuries did ; however, their recalcitrance, as will be elucidated, seriously derailed the operation of the factory in a similar fashion, if not to the same degree. We therefore adopt the term “collective bargaining by riot” to highlight Honda workers and other Chinese migrant workers’ increasing discontent, heightened rebellion, and their immense pressure driving employers to collective bargaining. To be sure, the Honda strike is not the first “riot-like” action that has enabled workers to wring economic concessions from the management. As a matter of fact, there are numerous cases before 2010 in which workers’ strikes were able to lead to collective bargaining by riot. However, the year 2010 has witnessed a stronger proliferation of, and a higher level of workers’ self-organizing in, cases of collective bargaining by riot.

The Honda strike took place in the Honda Auto Parts Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (CHAM) in the Foshan city of the Guangdong province in May 2010, which specializes in transmission productions [13] . The strike involved about 1,800 workers and lasted for 17 days. Workers’ two major demands were (i) a wage increase of 800 yuan for all workers and (ii) a democratic reform of trade unions, as the existing trade unions barely represent their interests. The enterprise at first was reluctant to hold any negotiations with workers, but resorted to intimidation to deal with the strike. And the enterprise trade union was not on workers’ side, but backed the management. On 31st May, a physical confrontation between trade union members and the strikers took place. That morning, many workers resumed work after meeting with the CEO of CHAM, the local government representatives, Zeng Qing Hong, the CEO of Guangqi Honda Automobile and a member of the National People’s Congress. However, about 40 workers refused to work and gathered together in the factory grounds. They were then beaten up by about 200 people mobilized by both the town-level and district-level trade union (Shishan town and Nanhai district), but the company management and the riot police stationed outside the factory did nothing to intervene. A few of the strikers were hurt and sent to hospital. The 200 “trade unionists” wore yellow caps and carried a “trade union membership card” . Official sources did not declare where they had come from, but one reliable source said that they were mobilized by the local government. This incident served as a turning point, after which the company, trade unions and the government had come under great pressure and sought to resolve the dispute with stronger initiative. Later with the intervention of Zeng Qing Hong, the company initiated a democratic election in all departments and altogether 30 strike representatives were elected in the evening of 3rd June and the morning of 4th June. And a wage bargaining took place between the workers’ and enterprise’ representatives on the 4th June. At the end, both parties reached an agreement of raising workers’ wages from 1,544 yuan to 2,044 yuan and intern students’ wages from about 900 yuan to around 1,500 yuan.

The CHAM workers’ strike has exerted a significant ripple effect on labour activism in China at an industrial and national scale. Shortly after the Honda strike in Foshan, workers from another Honda factory in Zhongshan struck to request higher wages and an enterprise trade union reform. Also strikes were taken place in four automobile spare part factories in the district of Nansha in Guangzhou from 20th June to early July 2010 [14]. In North China, almost at the same time as the Honda strike, it was reported that workers from a supplier to Hyundai in Beijing also launched a strike to demand higher wages [15]. Adding to this, workers from two Toyota factories in Tianjin, Atsumitec Co (a supplier to Honda) and Ormon (a supplier to Honda, Ford and BWM) [16] , followed the example of their counterparts and were on strike at different time in June and July. For the electronic industry in Northeast China, 70 thousands workers from 73 enterprises in Dalian development zone were on strike from May to August 2010 to demand 800 yuan pay rise [17] . A wage increase of 300 yuan was agreed by the strikers and the management in the collective bargaining took place while the strike.

This new pattern of collective bargaining by riot is intrinsically distinct from the collective consultation by formality expounded in previous section. First, while collective consultation by formality is often a result of top-down instructions from the government or higher-level trade unions, collective bargaining by riot is growing out of workers’ struggles, thus can impose greater pressure on employers. Second, ordinary workers are not properly consulted or represented by trade unions in collective consultation by formality, whereas the foundation of collective bargaining by riot is entirely built upon workers’ collective power and class solidarity ; therefore their commitment is comparatively higher. Third, while genuine negotiation seldom takes place between workers’ and company’s representatives in collective consultation by formality, it does occur in collective bargaining by riot due to the bottom up pressure from strikers. Fourth, while wage level is not often discussed in collective consultation by formality and the terms and conditions “agreed” upon are usually adhered to the minimum legal standards, wage level is an important agenda in collective bargaining by riot and the results of negotiation is usually well above the legal minimum wage.

Moving towards the party state-led collective bargaining ?

Subsequent to the wave of strikes in 2010, trade unions reform and the establishment of a better collective consultation system have seemingly come to top of the agenda for the ACFTU and the government. Regarding the implementation of collective negotiation, the Xinhua agency, the official press agency, emphasized that it is a matter of great urgency to push forward collective wage consultation in enterprises in order to further safeguard workers’ legal rights and promote harmonious labour relations [18]. Moreover, the local and central governments have sought to introduce a legal framework for workplace collective negotiation. The Guangdong provincial government debated the second draft of the Regulations on the Democratic Management of Enterprises in August 2010 after a suspension of almost two years while the Shenzhen Collective Consultation Ordinance (amended draft) that had also been suspended since the world economic crisis was under public consultation at around the same period. Alongside this, 13 provinces have issued documents in the name of the CCP branch committee or the local governments to promote collective wage bargaining shortly after the Honda strike [19].

Pertinent to trade union reform, the ACFTU issued a document entitled “Reinforcing the building of workplace trade unions and giving them full play [20]. It advocates that the election of workplace trade unions should be conducted in accordance with the law and they should ensure effective implementation of the Labour Law, Trade Union Law and the Labour Contract law in enterprises. It also emphasizes workers’ right to information, participation, expression and monitoring in workplace trade unions. Also, Wangyang, the CCP secretary of the Guangdong province, stressed that when handling workers’ collective grievances, workplace trade unions should position themselves as workers’ representatives and help to safeguard workers’ legal rights [21]. In addition, the Deputy Chair of the Guangdong Provincial Federation of Trade Unions (GDFTU), Kong Xiang Hong, confirmed that it would speed up the democratization of plant trade unions so that members could elect their own president in future. He also announced that a pilot scheme for democratic elections of workplace trade union president would be conducted at ten factories, including CHAM [22].

Do all these official declarations suggest that democratic trade union reform and authentic collective bargaining that serves workers’ interest will be materialized in China in the near future ? Would the collective bargaining by riot be gradually replaced by a new form of collective bargaining, as the party-state and the ACFTU intend ? If yes, what are the characteristics of this new form of collective bargaining in China ? Again we endeavor to shed light on these questions by evaluating the post-strike development in CHAM. In late June 2010, the GDFTU officials went to meet CHAM strikers’ representatives. Although trade union reform and collective wage bargaining were promised by them, the GDFTU delegates ruled out the call of workers’ representatives to remove the existing trade union chair, who supported the management during the strike, as they thought workers should give him “a chance to correct himself” [23] . Trade union elections were subsequently organized from the level of Ban (division) to Ke (department) to Chang (factory) from September to November 2010 with GDFTU’s active involvement [24]. There are altogether seven departments in CHAM, with each of them consisting of four to five divisions. At the first stage of the trade union reform, workers in each division of a department elected their own division representatives (gonghui xiaozu daibiao). At the second stage, enterprise trade union branches were set up on a departmental basis and elections were held to elect one branch chair and two committee members by all workers in that department. However, workers’ direct participation in trade union election stopped at this stage and only the elected branch representatives had the right to nominate candidates and vote for 12 enterprise trade union officials. By manipulating the candidateship and isolating active workers’ representatives who had close contact with the civil society during the strike, most newly elected enterprise trade union officials are from the managerial or supervisory level. While the union Chair remained unchanged, two vice-chairs were elected in February 2011 ; one of them is a department head, the other a vice-head. Not much information, if there is any, regarding the pilot scheme of direct election of trade union presidents in other nine factories has been made public. But the CHAM’s experience suggests that while direct election of workplace trade union officials has been introduced to the factory, rank-and-file workers are intentionally excluded, especially the active ones who are not trusted by the company and the trade unions.

Alongside trade union reform, progress regarding collective bargaining has been made in CHAM. From 25th February to 1st March 2011, almost a year after the strike, wage negotiation took place between the trade union and the management in CHAM with the facilitation of the GDFTU. The former demanded a wage rise of 880 yuan for production workers in 2011, a 46.1% increase according to the company. Rejecting the trade union’s demand, the management proposed a 27.7% increase of 531 yuan, saying that the union’s demand was too aggressive. A stalemate occurred and no parties would make a compromise. Kong Xiang Hong, who has been deeply involving in the Honda workplace issues in the capacity of the Deputy Chair of GDFTU after the strike in 2010, played a key role in driving both parties to reach an agreement. That was why in the end both parties agreed to a pay rise of 611 yuan [25]. Kong’s strong intervention into this collective bargaining reflects the serious intention of the party-state and the higher-level trade unions to prevent what happened in 2010 from occurring again. The state attempts to pre-empt CHAM workers’ collective actions by pro-actively facilitating collective bargaining between workers’ and enterprise’ representatives through the state organs—the ACFTU, the provincial and city level trade unions. This constitutes what we called the “party state-led collective bargaining”.

Kong later noted that the wage bargaining in CHAM will become an “exemplary case of Chinese trade unions’ model” [26] (中国工会 MBA 式的案例). As a matter of fact, there are signs that a significant trend of party state-led collective negotiation is emerging in which higher level trade unions have forcefully driven the workplace or industrial collective bargaining. Another popularly reported wage bargaining case took place in Wuhan in North China, which is known as the “Wuhan model” (Wuhan moshi) [27]. Most catering workers in Wuhan used to earn the legal minimum wage. Being driven by the Wuhan Municipal Federation of Trade Unions, which represents the employers, and the Wuhan Municipal Federation of Trade, Finance and Cigarette Trade Unions, which represents the employees, have started wage bargaining in early 2011. They have reached an agreement that covers 450,000 catering workers in April 2011 [28], according to which the minimum wages of catering workers will be increased to 30% above that of the Wuhan city, and catering workers will be entitled to no less than 9% wage increase in the coming year. This collective contract has covered the largest number of workers in the history of China. The Wuhan model is evidently based on the party state-led collective bargaining as the higher level trade union has played an indispensable role.

At this moment, still not much is known about other cases of party-state led collective bargaining as this mode of bargaining is in a fledgling stage of development. But drawing on the CHAM case, Wuhan model and other available information, we can still obtain some hints of the role of the state agent (i.e. trade unions) in the party state-led collective bargaining. The higher level trade unions play an important role in pushing employers or employers associations to the bargaining table ; and it functions to pressure the companies to reach a wage agreement with the enterprises/sectoral trade unions when both parties cannot reach a consensus. It is important to note that “the party state-led collective bargaining” differs substantially from the “collective consultation by formality”, despite the fact that the higher level trade unions and the party-state play a leading role in both cases. What makes the “the party state-led collective bargaining” distinct from “collective consultation by formality” is its nature of bargaining instead of consultation. The currently available evidence shows that the state-led collective bargaining involves more genuine negotiation between workers’ and enterprises’ representatives over wages and the negotiated pay rise is usually above the legal standards, while meaningful bargaining is absent in the collective consultation by formality and the negotiated agreement usually adheres to the minimum legal requirement and seldom cover wage settlement. This crucial difference could be explained by the government’s intention to curtail strikes and other forms of workers’ collective actions by forcing economic concession from enterprises. In other words, the emergence of the party state-led collective bargaining in the private sector is an effort by the state to address labour demands which have increasingly been articulated in collective forms.

It is important to highlight that although the introduction of a better workplace collective negotiation system has seemingly become an important agenda of the government and the ACFTU, it has been halted by the foreign capital. Many overseas business chambers were strongly against the Guangdong Regulations on Democratic Enterprise Management and the Shenzhen Collective Consultation Ordinance. In Hong Kong, over 40 business associations published their petition in newspapers while some of their representatives had paid official visit to the Guangdong and central government to reflect their concern. [29] Our interviews with the American Chamber of Commerce in South China and the Japanese External Trade Organization in Hong Kong find out that they had submitted a position paper to the Guangdong government to oppose the legislations. As a consequence, the two proposed legislations have been suspended [30]. This suggests that, despite the party-state’s determination, one of the key obstacles in the effective implementation of collective bargaining lies in the capital.

Is the state-led collective bargaining a solution ?

Although it is too early to predict where the collective bargaining legislation and its implementation in China will lead to, it is still possible to draw a number of observations on the recent development of labour relations.

The individual rights based legal framework built up by the Chinese party-state since its economic reform in 1978 has failed to forestall industrial conflicts, which is increasingly articulated in the form of collective interests. As Chen points out, the post-reformed labour regulation in China is basically individual-rights based that focuses on workers’ entitlement to minimum wage, social insurance, over-time payment, dismissal compensation and so forth, while their collective rights to bargain, organize and strikes are always underemphasizedC [31]. The Labour Contract Law in 2008, the Employment Promotion Law, the Labour Dispute Mediation and Arbitration Law in 2007 were meant to be a legal response within the individual rights based framework to the growing labour unrest in the country ; but collective disputes do not disappear after their promulgation and strikes continue to spread out [32]. The radicalization of workers’ actions in 2010 as exemplified by the Honda strike and other strike cases further exposes the incongruity between the individual rights based legal framework and the collective interest based nature of industrial disputes. Honda workers’ demands, including a pay rise of 800 yuan and democratic trade union reform, are all interest-based, thus their labour disputes are difficult, if not impossible, to be resolved under the existing individual rights based labour regulatory framework. For many workers wage is a key issue that could not be addressed adequately by the current legal framework. Burgeoning labour discontent and the phenomenon of labour shortage have prompted many local governments to dramatically heighten the minimum wage rate in the past decade. However, like in many other countries, minimum wage only provides a minimal protection to those in the lowest end of the labour market. For skilled labour, white-collar workers, supervisory level staff and well-educated workers, their wages are already higher than the legal standards like the Honda strikers, and it is obvious that the minimum wage protection cannot effectively satisfy their interest. When collective consultation remains a formality and trade unions do not function properly, there is no proper legal mechanism in place through which these workers could articulate and negotiate their demands. Therefore workers are compelled to further their interest by staging strikes to force collective bargaining by riot upon the management. To stem workers’ collective defiance, the Chinese government sees the urgent need of implementing wage bargaining mechanism at the workplace or industrial level, trying to displace the collective bargaining by riot with the party state-led collective negotiation.

However, it is important to note that the party state-led collective bargaining is substantially different from the collective bargaining in the West (as defined by Hyman and the Webbs [33]) which we coined as “workers-led collective bargaining”. The differences are two-fold. On the one hand, being deprived of the rights to freedom of associations, the workplace trade unions which are highly incorporated into the enterprise management and the higher level trade unions which are closely linked to the party-state are the only workers’ associations that could bargain on behalf of workers. Under such circumstances, it is highly uncertain if they can fully represent workers’ interest in ways that Hyman and the Webbs refer to. On the other, the Webbs see the pressure for the employers to engage into collective bargaining comes from workers’ collective actions, the most forceful form of which is strike. However, Chinese workers’ rights to strike have not been positively enshrined by the labour laws and their strikes could be suppressed at any time by the government. This means when employers refuse to bargain with workers, they basically have no means to back up and further their claims. In the contemporary China, it is mostly the political power of the party-state, instead of workers’ associational power, that drives the employers to the negotiation table at the stage of party state-led collective bargaining.

Although the party state-led collective bargaining is different from the more powerful form of workers-led collective bargaining, it has met with immense political and structural resistance. First, global corporations and its agencies—the commercial chambers— have become increasingly organized and more powerful in influencing the law making in China. This is best illustrated in the legislation of the Labour Contract Law in 2008. The American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai and Beijing, and US-China Business Council at the time strongly and openly opposed the Labour Contract Law. The American Chamber even threatened that American firms would reduce their investment in China if the law was to be passed. Again, after the strike wave in 2010, when the Chinese government took collective bargaining in the global factories more serious than any other time after the reform in 1978, it is the global capital that strongly opposes the initiative. The power of the global corporations in shaping labour legislation in China is due to the country’s heavy dependency on oversea investment and the Western market.

It should be underscored that capital’s opposition is not the sole cause to the suspension of collective bargaining legislation in South China. Although the GDFTU has played a significant role in facilitating trade union election and wage negotiation in the Honda plant, this does not mean that the GDFTU or the party-state sincerely support democratic trade unionism. A number of labour and legal scholars reveal that the party-state has a grave concern over the spillover of workers activism if collective bargaining legislation is to be passed. Since effective collective bargaining, which usually takes the form of workers-led collective bargaining, has to be built upon strong workers’ organization, the party-state worries that it will be getting out of control and lead to political instability. A. Chan has already highlighted that the type of collective bargaining sought after by the Chinese government is one “without being confrontational, and without politically independent unionism [34]. Seen from this angle, by promoting the party state-led collective bargaining which is well under their control, the ACFTU and the party state only seek to pre-empt collective bargaining by riots. And it is dubious if authentic democratic trade union reform, which is an indispensable foundation for genuine collective negotiation, will be wholeheartedly carried out in China. If collective negotiation and trade union reform are only preemptive strategies of the state, it is highly unlikely that workers’ collective strikes will be reduced. We anticipate that in the foreseeable future, collective bargaining by riots and party state-led collective bargaining will co-exist in China. Along with these, in areas where labour conflict is less prominent and bottom-up pressure on the government and trade unions is less severe, collective consultation of formality will continue to take place. And judging against all the currently available evidence, the emergence of workers-led collective bargaining will be out of the question for the near future, although this is the direction for the pro-labour civil society actors to push forward.

A full version of this paper was published as : Chan, C.K.C. & Hui, E.S.I. (2014). « The Development of Collective Bargaining in China : From ‘Collective Bargaining by Riot’ to ‘Party State-led Wage Bargaining », The China Quarterly 217, 221-242.


Notes

[1Anita Chan, “Labour relations in foreign-funded ventures, Chinese trade unions, and the prospects for collective bargaining”, in G. O’Leary (ed.), Adjusting to Capitalism : Chinese Workers and the State (Armonk : NY, M. E. Sharpe, 1998) ; Simon Clarke, Lee Chang Hee and Li Qi, “Collective Consultation and Industrial Relations” ; Chen Feng, “Individual rights and collective rights : Labor’s predicament in China”

[2Chen Feng, “Individual rights and collective rights : Labor’s predicament in China”, p. 74.

[3Simon Clarke, Lee Chang Hee and Li Qi, “Collective Consultation and Industrial Relations”, p. 247.

[4ibid, p. 251

[5See Chen, 2003 ; 2009a ; Taylor and Li, 2007 ; Clarke et. al., 2004 ; Anita Chan, 1993 ; 1998.

[6Simon Clarke, Lee Chang Hee and Li Qi, “Collective Consultation and Industrial Relations”, p. 251.

[7ibid, p. 252.

[8Eric Hobsbawm, “The Machine Breakers” and Labouring Men : Studies in the History of Labour, (London : Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1968).

[9ibid, p. 58.

[10For example, Lee Ching Kwan, Gender and the South China Miracle : Two Worlds of Factory Women (Berkley : University of California Press, 1998) ; Chan King Chi Chris, The Challenge of Labour in China : strikes and the changing labour regime in global factories (New York/London : Routledge, 2010).

[11Simon Clark and Tim Pringle, “Can party-led trade unions represent their members ?”.

[12Chan King Chi Chris, The Challenge of Labor in China.

[13For detailed analysis of the Honda strike, see Chan King Chi Chris, and Hui Sio Ieng Elaine, “The Dynamics and Dilemma of Workplace Trade Union Reform in China : the case of Honda workers’ strike”, Journal of Industrial Relations, 2012 (Nov), 54:5.

[15China Daily (a newspaper in China), 3rd June 2010

[16See China Daily, 21st June 2010 ; Washington Post, 15th July 2010 ; Reuter, 21st July 2010.

[17Caixing net (a Chinese news website), 19th September 2010.

[18Takungpao, 2nd June 2010.

[19China News Net, 9th June 2010

[20ACFTU, Further Strengthen the Building of Workplace Trade Unions and Give Them Full Play[jinyibu jiaqiang qiye gonghui jianshe congfen fahui qiye gonghuii zouyong], (ACFTU, 2010).

[21Yangchengwanbao (a newspaper in China), 13th June 2010.

[22Takungpao, 14th June 2010.

[23Interview with a strike representative on 4th July 2010.

[24Our information on the trade union reform in CHAM is provided by a worker in an interview on 12th June 2011. This information is supplemented by a newspaper report, Nanfang Doushi Bao 4th July 2011

[25Southern Metropolitan Daily, 13th March 2011.

[26Nanfang Douzhi Bao (a newspaper in China), 4th July 2011.

[27Workers Daily, 24th May 2010.

[28Guanzhou daily, 3rd May 2011.

[29Singtao News (a Hong Kong newspaper), 27th September 2010

[30Wenwei bao, 18th September 2010.

[31hen Feng, “Individual rights and collective rights”.

[32Chan King Chi Chris, The Challenge of Labour in China.

[33Sydney Webb and Beatric Webb, Industrial Democracy (London : Longmans, Green, 1897) ; Richard Hyman, “The Rise and Decline of Collective Bargaining as a Mechanism of Employment Regulation in Britain”, In Alaluf, M and Prieto, C (ed.), Collective Bargaining and the Social Construction of Employment, (European Trade Union Institute, 2001), p.187.

[34Anita Chan, “Labour relations in foreign-funded ventures”.


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