A Strike Of ‘Unorganized’ Workers In A Chinese Car Factory: The Nanhai Honda Events Of 2010

TitleA Strike Of ‘Unorganized’ Workers In A Chinese Car Factory: The Nanhai Honda Events Of 2010
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsLyddon, Dave, Cao, Xuebing, Meng, Quan, and Lu, Jun
JournalIndustrial Relations Journal
Volume46
Issue2
Pagination134 - 152
Date Published2015///
KeywordsChina, Honda, Japan, non-union strike, strike, strike process
Abstract

This strike in a Chinese factory of the Japanese multinational Honda in 2010 received worldwide coverage. A young workforce sustained an on–off strike, with varying numbers of workers involved, for 19 days. Academic interest has focused on prospects for collective bargaining and union reform in China. This article, using interviews with former strikers, and newspaper sources, analyses the strike process. The workplace union, as a constituent of the All-China Federation of Trade Unions and subject to the Chinese Party–state, was hostile; so the workers were in effect ‘unorganized’. Examples of non-union strikes in the interwar car industry of the USA and UK show the similarity of situation with the Honda workers. Hiller's classic text, The Strike, provides a surprisingly suitable framework for understanding strikes of unorganised workers. The strikers' vocabulary ‘framed’ their demands initially as injustice, but incorporated anti-Japanese sentiment and, then, dignity, in response to events.