Chinese development is widely considered to be an example of successful developmental catch-up with double-digit growth rates year on year. Some even talk of an emerging power, which may in time replace the US as the global economy’s hegemon. And yet there is a dark underside to this ‘miracle’ in the form of workers’ long hours, low pay and lack of welfare benefits. Increasing levels of inequality have gone hand in hand with super exploitative working conditions. Nevertheless, Chinese workers have not simply accepted these conditions of super-exploitation; they have started to fight back.
Set against the background of China’s integration into the global economy along uneven and combined development lines, this volume explores new forms of resistance by Chinese workers, be it through the state trade union All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) or through informal labour NGOs. It also analyses the links between Chinese formal and informal labour organisations, with labour organisations outside China.
This book was originally published as a special issue of the journal Globalizations.
1. Chinese labour in the global economy: An Introduction Andreas Bieler and Chun-Yi Lee
2. China’s Place in the Global Divisions of Labour: An Uneven and Combined Development Perspective Jane Hardy
3. Exploitation and resistance: a comparative analysis of the Chinese cheap labour electronics and high-value added IT sectors Andreas Bieler and Chun-Yi Lee
4. Why the Foxconn model does not die: Global production and labour relations in the IT industry in South China Boy Lüthje and Florian Butollo
5. Bringing Class Struggles Back: A Marxian analysis of the state and class relations in China Chris King-chi Chan and Elaine Sio-ieng Hui
6. A Class against Capital: Class and Collective Bargaining in Guangdong Tim Pringle
7. The Labour Politics of China’s Rural Migrant Workers Jenny Chan and Mark Selden
8. Dockworkers’ resistance and union reform within China’s globalised seaport industry Xuebing Cao and Quan Meng
9. The Yue Yuen Strike: Industrial Transformation and Labour Unrest in the Pearl River Delta Stefan Schmalz, Brandon Sommer, Hui Xu
10. The Makings of the Subaltern-Diaosi Subject: Embodiment, Contradictory Consciousness and Re-Hegemonisation Ngai-Ling Sum
11. The China Price: The All-China Federation of Trade Unions and the Repressed Question of International Labour Standards Rob Lambert and Edward Webster
12. What Future for Chinese Labour and Transnational Solidarity? Andreas Bieler and Chun-Yi Lee