Union Organizing in China: Still a Monolithic Labor Movement?

TitleUnion Organizing in China: Still a Monolithic Labor Movement?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsLiu, M.
JournalIndustrial and Labor Relations Review
Pagination30 - 52
KeywordsACFTU, All-China Federation of Trade Unions, China, collective bargaining, organizing, organizing strategies, trade unions

In contrast to much of the research that treats the official All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) as a monolithic organization, the author argues that there is considerable variation within the ACFTU in terms of local union organizing strategies. Using extensive field research and interviews with regional union officials, grassroots union cadres, shop floor workers, and employers and managers in China during the period 2005–2007, the author contributes to an understanding of contemporary trade union strategies in China. Moreover, his analysis of regional union strategies suggests three patterns of union organizing: the ACFTU pattern, the union association pattern, and the regional, industry-based bargaining pattern, each with vastly different consequences for the future of trade unions and bargaining in China.