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The Development of Collective Bargaining in China: From “Collective Bargaining by Riot” to “Party State-led Wage Bargaining”*

  • Chris King-Chi Chan (a1) and Elaine Sio-Ieng Hui (a2)
Abstract
Abstract

2010 was a turbulent year for labour relations in China. The wave of strikes sparked by the Honda workers has highlighted the urgent need for trade union reform and workplace collective bargaining. In response to this turbulence, the Chinese government has stepped up efforts to promote the practice of collective bargaining, which had been neglected under the existing “individual rights-based” labour regulatory framework. In the midst of rapid social and policy changes, this article aims to examine the effect of labour strikes on the development of collective bargaining in China. The authors argue that, driven by growing labour protests, the collective negotiation process in China is undergoing a transition, from “collective consultation as a formality,” through a stage of “collective bargaining by riot,” and towards “party state-led collective bargaining.” This transition, however, is unlikely to reach the stage of “worker-led collective bargaining” in the near future.

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Corresponding author
Email: kccchan@cityu.edu.hk (corresponding author).
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Funding from a City University start-up grant and the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation provided resources for completing this article in its different stages. The authors would like to thank Professor Alvin So and Dr Cindy Chu for their comments.

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Anita Chan . 2011. “Strikes in China's export industries in comparative perspective.” The China Journal 65, 2752.

King Chi Chris Chan . 2009. “Strike and changing workplace relations in a Chinese global factory.” Industrial Relations Journal 40(1), 6077.

King Chi Chris Chan . 2012. “Class or citizenship? Debating workplace conflict in China.” Journal of Contemporary Asia 42(2), 308328.

Chris King-Chi Chan , and Elaine Sio-Ieng Hui . 2012. “The dynamics and dilemma of workplace trade union reform in China: the case of the Honda workers' strike.” Journal of Industrial relations 54(5), 653668.

Feng Chen . 2007. “Individual rights and collective rights: labor's predicament in China.” Communist and Post-Communist Studies 40, 5979.

Simon Clarke , and Tim Pringle . 2009. “Can party-led trade unions represent their members?Post-Communist Economies 21(1), 85101.

Simon Clarke , Chang Hee Lee and Qi Li . 2004. “Collective consultation and industrial relations in China.” British Journal of Industrial Relations 42(2), 235254.

Alan Fox . 1975. “Collective bargaining, Flanders, and the Webbs.” Journal of Industrial Relations 13(2), 151174.

Eric Hobsbawm . 1952. “The machine breakers.” Past & Present 1(1), 5770.

Bill Taylor , and Qi Li . 2007. “Is the ACFTU a union and does it matter?Journal of Industrial Relations 49, 701715.

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The China Quarterly
  • ISSN: 0305-7410
  • EISSN: 1468-2648
  • URL: /core/journals/china-quarterly
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