China: Workers Rising?
Publisher: Against the Current
Date Written: 01/09/2015
Year Published: 2015
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21288
Book review of Lu Zhang's Inside China's Automobile Factories: The Politics of Labor and Worker Resistance and Eli Friedman's Insurgency Trap: Labor Politics in Postsocialist China
When I read a book about rebellious factory workers in China, what I want to know is: Where are all the wildcat strikes heading? Will workers be able to build real (at this point illegal) unions? Will they be able to keep any kind of organization going? Will they ever be able to make connections across factories and coordinate their actions?
China's leaders are intent on making the 21st century the Chinese century. To do so they will need the cooperation of the world's largest working class, which these days is showing more restiveness than that of just about any other country. It would be good to read that this very new working class, an immense potential source of global worker solidarity, is overcoming its fragmentation and getting organized.
Neither of two fascinating books about China in 2014 and 2015 give me the answer that I want to hear.