State-Endorsed Exploitation and a Segmented Labor Market in Shenzhen’s Garment Industry
This chapter concerns the structural changes of factory regimes in Shenzhen, China, by way of capturing the up-to-date situation of state regulations and labor market conditions. A close look at Chinese labor laws reveals that many new statutes either are not enforced or contain loopholes, resulting in what I refer to as “state-endorsed exploitation by law non-enforcement.” Factory management has enjoyed great managerial autonomy inside factories. Yet, workers’ increasing legal knowledge becomes a check on management’s autonomy. Another focus is the changing labor market in Shenzhen’s garment industry. In the past decade, the local migrant labor market has been increasingly segregated by age. This results in migrant workers in their 30s facing very different working conditions compared to younger workers in their 20s.
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