Sectoral Unions and Crises of Representation
Based on a comparison of sectoral unions in Guangzhou and southeast Zhejiang, this chapter analyzes the impact of regional political economy on organizational form and innovation. Unions in Zhejiang have been much more successful in engaging in sectoral-level collective bargaining, a development that stems from the region's particular approach to economic development. However, these top-down negotiated contracts still encounter severe institutional obstacles to enforcement, as shown by the case of the Rui'an Eyeglass Union. In showing how regional models of development impact municipal unions' ability to engage in sectoral-level bargaining, it is argued that the existing literature has focused excessively on the issue of external Party control, thereby overlooking the impact of external economic conditions on union activity.
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