China+April+14 - The Changing Chinese Trade Unions A 11 1...

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Unformatted text preview: The Changing Chinese Trade Unions A pril 14, 20 11 1 The ACFTU: Some Latest Developments Unionization of Wal-Mart stores in China in 2006; collective contracts concluded in all 108 stores by Sept.19, 2008 Union membership increase in China: from 87 million in 1999 to 239 million in 2010 Labor law reform in 2007 China Labor Bulletin: A turning point of Chinese trade unions? Workers’ responses to unions: Foxconn suicides and a wave of strikes in 2010 What caused Foxconn suicides? Should Apple, Dell, Nokia, etc. be responsible for the suicides? What are the causes of the Honda strike? Is that because of Chinese nationalism against Japanese firms? The role of trade unions in Foxconn suicides and Honda strike? The ACFTU: Is It a Trade Union What is a trade union? Roles of trade unions? Roles of trade unions in socialist countries? Chinese Trade Unions: Overview History: founded in 1925, copying the Russian History: model model But history in Shanghai older (local unions) Chan (1995) argues these unions were like in Japan – Chan enterprise based. enterprise Frazer (2002) origin in foreign enterprises Thus both argue unions origin is like ‘west’ Structure of the ACFTU: top-down, Structure both along industrial lines and within geographic boundaries with a parallel structure to that of the government administration the Chinese Trade Unions: Overview (cont.) The Simplified Structure of Chinese Trade Unions All China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) National Government and Party Industrial lines Regional Union Federations Enterprise Unions Regional Government and Party Branches Enterprise Party Branches Chinese Trade Unions: Overview (cont.) Role of unions in China: “classic dualism”, i.e. acting on Role behalf of the nation’s collective good while protecting workers rights and interests workers In principle no contradiction since interests of workers In contained in interests of the country contained Thus, ACFTU was an assistant to state planning, with Thus, particular responsibility for workers particular Getting them to work hard Looking after their welfare Functions of enterprise unions: production, welfare, Functions “transmission belt”, (new: collective consultation, labor dispute mediation) dispute Chinese Trade Unions Overview (cont.) Membership: workers and staff in state and Membership: collective owned enterprises, by default collective Union leaders: appointed by the Party-state, upperlevel unions, or enterprise management Union income 2% levy on the payroll of enterprises (5% to the 2% ACFTU headquarters, 35% to regional unions, and 60% returned to enterprise unions) and Membership subscription: 0.5% of monthly Membership wages, but enforced unevenly wages, Revenue from union owned enterprises Government subsidiaries Recent Reforms of the ACFTU Internal Impetus a) Membership crisis in the1990s a) b) Financial crisis b) c) Human resource crisis c) d) Declining social relevance d) External drive: building a harmonious society building (President Hu Jintao) (President Internal Impetus: a) Union Membership Crisis in the 1990s Union Densities (%) in Various Types of Enterprises Total SOUs COUs POEs FIEs TVEs MOEs IOBs 1990 39.60 80.28 50.24 0.28 70.68 n.a. n.a. n.a. 1996 29.25 74.17 47.20 0.97 33.24 n.a. n.a. n.a. 1999 26.27 76.29 41.89 3.43 32.82 1.96 n.a. n.a. 2000 32.50 82.10 48.90 18.17 69.22 4.08 112.07 n.a. 2001 38.35 82.72 51.70 68.75 116.10 6.99 86.52 n.a. 2002 41.47 94.74 58.78 68.61 50.76 7.40 82.60 n.a. 2003 37.04 103.99 93.29 45.52 56.19 n.a. 85.48 n.a. 2004 39.80 104.47 103.00 56.88 59.42 n.a. 94.03 n.a. 2005 41.49 114.83 108.13 55.29 59.30 n.a. 85.17 6.42 Total Total Employment Employment 36,222 6,488 810 5,824 1,245 14,272 2,682 4,901 (10,000) SOUs: State-owned units; COUs: Collective-owned units; POEs: Private-owned enterprises FIEs: Foreign-invested enterprises; TVEs: Town & village enterprises; MOEs: Mixed ownership enterprises IOBs: Individual-owned businesses Internal Impetus: b) Union Financial Crisis Income of the ACFTU Headquarters: 1993-2005 Year Union members Union (million) (million) Total union dues Total (US$ million) (US$ Actual union dues Actual (US$ million) (US$ Percentage Percentage (%) (%) 1993 101.761 42.880 27.500 64.13 1994 114.282 64.826 30.000 46.28 1995 103.996 71.497 36.500 51.05 1996 102.119 79.270 41.750 52.67 1997 91.310 73.847 44.630 60.43 1998 89.134 83.329 45.250 54.30 1999 86.899 90.657 46.250 51.02 2000 103.615 121.372 49.130 40.47 2001 121.523 165.120 58.630 35.50 2002 133.978 208.034 65.250 31.37 2003 123.405 216.575 71.630 33.07 2004 136.949 274.309 95.880 34.95 2005 150.294 345.000 108.630 31.49 Internal Impetus: c) Union Human Resource Crisis Number of Unions and Union Staff: 1993-2005 Internal Impetus: d) Declining Social Relevance Whom do you go to first to get help when you are in difficulty? 1. Relatives and Friends: 46.9% 2. The Party and Government: 17.9% 3. Trade Unions: 15.7% 4. Enterprise Management: 12.8% 5. Others 6.8% Source: National Survey of Chinese Workers and Staff in 2002 Are you satisfied with your enterprise union? 1. Satisfied: 28.2% 2. Neither satisfied nor unsatisfied: 29.8% 3. Unsatisfied: 42% Source: Mingwei Liu’s workplace survey data (433 employees from 7 companies) Number of Collective Protests in China Year Year 2008: 127,000 # of collective protests 1993 8,700 1995 11,000 1997 15,000 1999 32,000 2000 30,000 2002 50,000 2003 58,000 2004 74,000 2005 87,000 2008 127,000 Y1999: 32,000 Y1993: 8,700 Source: Ministry of Public Security Source: Ministry of Labor and Social Security Source: Ministry of Labor and Social Security Recent Reforms of the ACFTU (cont.) 1980s: the Party began to admit the representative role and certain operational 1980s: autonomy of the unions autonomy After the mid 1990s: a new role of maintaining social stability by protecting After workers legitimate rights workers The strategies of the national ACFTU Institution building: inserting pro-labor policies and legislations Institution Organizing: private sector, migrant workers Welfare and service provision: national “sending warmth project” New strategies of regional union federations (currently the most energetic part in New the ACFTU hierarchy and the focus of trade union reform) the Legal mobilization: Shanghai and Yiwu Network building New organizing initiatives: networked unionism in Xinyang, trade level New wage negotiations in Wenling wage The role of regional union leaders The Future of Chinese Trade Unions Double identity remains How to promote workers interests without promoting conflict? How to represent workers interests without party support? Answer lies in – promote workers interests only through influencing the Party to promote workers interests new problem: how can party promote economic growth (which implies within capitalism – promoting employer interests)? Spontaneous strikes impose huge pressure on the ACFTU to change My Major Advices to the US-China Labor Rights Dialogue Increase autonomy of workplace unions from management (not independence from the Party) Genuine direct elections of workplace union chairs by workers Workplace union leaders to be paid by the ACFTU rather than employers Protection workplace union leaders from employer retaliation Give private sector workers the right of strike. This will legitimatize workers industrial actions empower workplace unions promote industrial peace in the interest of the Chinese government Develop genuine collective bargaining as a key mechanism for raising workers’ wages and welfare Involve workers in the process of workplace collective bargaining Improve or build up institutions (e.g. industrial unions and industry level employers’ associations) to promote regional, industry level collective bargaining Change negotiation style from “consultation” to “bargaining” ...
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This note was uploaded on 11/20/2011 for the course LABOR STUD 575:301 taught by Professor Liu during the Spring '11 term at Rutgers.

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