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Pringle, Tim and Meng, Quan (2018) 'Taming Labor: Workers’ struggles, workplace unionism and collective bargaining on a Chinese waterfront.' ILR Review, 71 (5). pp. 1053-1077.

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This paper draws on data acquired in semi-structured interviews to address the question of effective workplace trade unionism in China. These are rarely-sighted phenomena due to rigid prohibitions on organizing outside the Party-led All-China Federation of Trade Unions. Indeed some commentators are extinct. Evidence from a case study of the Yantian International Container Terminal suggests that this is not necessarily the case. The authors do not underestimate the very real constraints on labor organizing but rather turn the spotlight on working class power in the wider context of labor militancy and cautious trade union reform. We argue that the YICT union developed a system of annual collective bargaining in order to ‘tame’ the power of militant dockworkers and prevent strikes. This required an effective enterprise-level trade union that was nevertheless able to manipulate members’ somewhat ambiguous acceptance of its role.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: structural power, associational power, deflected associational power, strikes, trade unions, collective bargaining, All-China Federation of Trade Unions
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Development Studies
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > Department of Development Studies
ISSN: 00197939
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2017 10:47

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