The dynamics and dilemma of workplace trade union reform in China: The case of Honda workers' strike

Chris King Chi Chan, Elaine Sio Ieng Hui

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Based on the case study of the Honda workers' strike and its impact on workplace industrial relations, this article explores the potential of and barriers to workplace trade union reform in China. A rise in workers' collective actions has put political pressure on the All China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) to promote effective trade unionism and create a vital foundation for exercising democratic union representation in the workplace. The main barrier to effective workplace unionism, however, is the lack of external support for workers' unionisation efforts. On the one hand, the lower-level local trade unions fail to comply with their legal responsibility because of their bureaucratic nature and structural integration into the patron-client relationship between the local state and the global capital. On the other hand, support for workers from civil society is handicapped by the party state's opposition to independent labour organising. This dilemma has forced the higher trade union federation to intervene directly in workplace trade union reform and promoted state-led wage bargaining.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationStrategies of Multinational Corporations and Social Regulations
Subtitle of host publicationEuropean and Asian Perspectives
PublisherSpringer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9783642413698
ISBN (Print)3642413684, 9783642413681
StatePublished - Apr 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • General Business, Management and Accounting


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