Drawing on the modified power resources approach, this article examines efforts at bottom-up unionization by rural migrant workers in China. Prior to 2010, they utilized their associational power to pursue predominantly immediate economic interests, but since 2010, they have begun to deploy associational power, and societal power at times, in attempts to form enterprise unions that could provide them with workplace institutional power. Through three revelatory in-depth case studies, the article investigates the efforts made by workers to unionize and the strategies used by employers, the state and the upper-level unions to suppress them. It highlights that the attainment and exercise of workers’ power do not only play out in relation to employers but are also dependent on the role of the state and its apparatus.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Business, Management and Accounting
- Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
- Management of Technology and Innovation