The Collective Resistance of China’s Industrial Workers

  • Jenny Chan
Part of the Work, Organization, and Employment book series (WOAE)


This chapter focuses on the collective resistance of Chinese industrial workers in the contemporary context of the Party state-guided market reforms and capitalist globalization. It documents the major protests led by older socialist state workers, younger rural migrants, student interns, and dispatch workers in their respective struggles, resulting in the mixed outcomes of defeats and victories. The government at all levels is increasingly compelled to respond to workers’ demands by giving some concessions to “maintain stability.” It has not, however, recognized workers’ rights to self-organization and mobilization. Leading workers rely heavily on their own to fight for sociopolitical and economic justice. In numerous strikes and protests, they disrupt the continuous workflow in tightly connected global production chains to bargain with employers, and corrupt officials, thereby shifting the dynamics between labor, capital, and the state.


State workers Rural migrant workers Interning student workers Dispatch workers The Chinese state Trade unions Collective resistance 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.HJ433, Department of Applied Social SciencesThe Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityHung HomHong Kong

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