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In Search of Civil SocietyMarket Reform and Social Change in Contemporary China$
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Gordon White, Jude A. Howell, and Shang Xiaoyuan

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198289562

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198289562.001.0001

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Chinese Trade Unions: The Road to Corporatism?

Chinese Trade Unions: The Road to Corporatism?

Chapter:
(p.39) 3 Chinese Trade Unions: The Road to Corporatism?
Source:
In Search of Civil Society
Author(s):

Gordon White

Jude Howell

Shang Xiaoyuan

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198289562.003.0003

This chapter presents evidence on the changing composition of the urban manual workforce in China, on the changing context of industrial relations at the enterprise level, on the attitudes of Chinese workers to the reforms, and the impact of the reforms on their perceived interests. It then examines the evolving role of the trade-union organization — ACFTU — within the new economic structure, enterprise system, and regulatory environment created during the reforms. The chapter aims to discover whether or to what extent official trade unionists have sought a new role for their organization. It investigates whether the organizational monopoly enjoyed by ACFTU has been threatened by the rise of alternative worker organizations and whether this prospect has strengthened the hand of those inside or outside its ranks who seek to redefine the organization's role in the context of an increasingly diversified and commercialized economy.

Keywords:   manual workforce, China, industrial relations, enterprise system, trade-union organization, ACFTU, commercialized economy, organizational monopoly, worker organizations

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