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From Iron Rice Bowl to InformalizationMarkets, Workers, and the State in a Changing China$
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Sarosh Kuruvilla, Ching Kwan Lee, and Mary E. Gallagher

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801450242

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801450242.001.0001

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“Where There Are Workers, There Should Be Trade Unions”

“Where There Are Workers, There Should Be Trade Unions”

Union Organizing in the Era of Growing Informal Employment

(p.157) Chapter 8 “Where There Are Workers, There Should Be Trade Unions”
From Iron Rice Bowl to Informalization

Mingwei Liu

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines union organizing in China. It discusses the institutional innovations of regional unions that have organized community unions, market unions, office building unions, and union associations covering multiple workplaces in areas with high concentrations of small enterprises and individually owned businesses. Despite the weak bargaining power of these union associations, they are active in other functions, including organizing migrant workers, providing welfare and entertainment, and representing workers in labor dispute mediation. The chapter suggests that the relative independence of these unions from employers, in contrast to the employer-dominated enterprise unions, means that they have more independence when representing labor in the future.

Keywords:   labor unions, union organizing, informal workers, informal employment, All-China Federation of Trade Unions

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