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Union's Role in Strike Resolution in China

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Trade unions in China are placed in a difficult position between the state and the workers. The paper considers and contrasts the parts played by unions in dispute resolution, by means of two case studies. Although the primary aims of both unions in the cases were defusing the strikes, the strategies adopted by them can be distinguished. The paper tries to interpret the distinctive strategies by looking at the interactions between the workplace unions and unions at higher levels in the strike. The paper argues that, because of the weakness of the workplace-level unions, resources from higher level trade unions become the major source of the workplace union’s leverage in resolving the strike, whose stance, in turn, becomes the main influence in union’s strategy in intervening in the strike.

This talk is part of the Darwin College Humanities and Social Sciences Seminars series.

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