Chinese Workers: Under Threat or a Threat to American Workers?
Virginia E. Harper Ho
University of Kansas - School of Law
Temple University, Department of Sociology; Temple University
July 1, 2010
Indiana University Research Center for Chinese Politics and Business Working Paper No. 2
This paper provides a multi-dimensional analysis of the condition of workers in China in the wake of the adoption of new labor laws in China 2007 and 2008. From an economic perspective, wages have risen substantially during the reform era, yet there is still substantial inequality, in part a result of the maintenance of the household registration system. The adoption of labor laws has empowered Chinese workers, leading to better conditions in some enterprises and greater activism on the part of workers. At the same time, some employers have found ways to avoid following the spirit, if not the letter of the laws. The consequences for American workers are unclear, since their challenges are less about a direct threat from Chinese workers and more about the overall declining environment for workers globally as a result of neoliberal economic policies and related business practices. All three authors offer specific policy suggestions directed at the Chinese government, the US government, and civil society groups.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 41
Keywords: Chinese workers, labor, lawworking papers series
Date posted: September 23, 2010
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