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Chinese workers and labor conditions from state industry to globalized factories: How to stop the race to the bottom
Södertörn University, School of Life Sciences, Development studies.
2006 (English)In: Living In A Chemical World: Framing The Future In Light Of The Past / [ed] Mehlman, MA; Soffritti, M; Landrigan, P; Bingham, E; Belpoggi, F, Boston: Blackwell Publishing, 2006, p. 893-910Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This article discusses administrative obstacles in China that hinder the full integration of the rural population into the mainstream of development during a period of rapid industrialization. The Chinese household registration only for urban residents with its golden contents of cradle-to-grave security has become a formidable stumbling block that perpetuates the status of rural migrants as second-class citizens in their own country. Rural migrant workers are excluded from certain types of jobs and are not eligible for many benefits that urbanites have, such as health, education, and unemployment protection. These workers must also pay a number of fees and work for lower minimum wages than the local residents. With a precarious legal existence in urban areas, they are easy prey to unscrupulous officials and employers. Because they are not allowed to form independent trade unions, their best option is to vote with their feet and leave the firms with the worst conditions; this is exactly what they did from 2004. Given this situation, the debate on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) took a new turn with not only non-governmental organizations (NGOs) pushing it but with a wider range of employers and, of late, Chinese officials promoting their version of CSR. In the campaign to promote minimum labor standards, the norms set down in the Social Accountability 8000 were included in the CSR, recognizing the right to free collective bargaining and free trade unions but were excluded in the Chinese version even though the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements recognized these rights.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Boston: Blackwell Publishing, 2006. p. 893-910
Series
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, ISSN 0077-8923 ; 1076
Keywords [en]
China, migrant labor, work conditions, household registration, system, wages, trade unions, CSR, labor standards, labor laws
National Category
Economic History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-43813DOI: 10.1196/annals.1371.071ISI: 000241943500076PubMedID: 17119265ISBN: 1-57331-653-9 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-43813DiVA, id: diva2:1523170
Conference
Conference on Framing the Future in Light of the Past - Living in a Chemical World, Bologna, ITALY, September 18-21, 2005.
Available from: 2021-01-27 Created: 2021-01-27 Last updated: 2021-01-27Bibliographically approved

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Thorborg, Marina

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • harvard-anglia-ruskin-university
  • apa-old-doi-prefix.csl
  • sodertorns-hogskola-harvard.csl
  • sodertorns-hogskola-oxford.csl
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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  • asciidoc
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