The Life and Resistance of a Chinese Worker

Ren, Hao; Li, Zhongjin; Friedman, Eli

Publisher:  Jacobin
Date Written:  15/07/2016
Year Published:  2016  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX19739

Under China's labour management system, independent unionism is strictly banned, and the state's official trade union body monopolizes worker representation. That means that all of China’s 806,498,521 workers are barred from forming independent organizations to agitate for their interests -- in an economy where the poorest 25 percent of households own just 1 percent of the country’s total wealth, and where long hours, safety hazards, and authoritarian management define life in the factories. This official antagonism has not stopped the emergence of workers' resistance. The number of strikes has been increasing over the past two decades, and as Eli Friedman wrote last year, "on a typical day anywhere from half a dozen to several dozen strikes are likely taking place."

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