Chinese Workers’ Uprising: Unions, Workers, and Resistance in China Today

The Centre for Social Justice, Global Labour Research Centre at York University, Socialist Project, Asian Canadian Labour Alliance, and the Unifor Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice and Democracy are pleased to host a public talk on

Chinese Workers’ Uprising: Unions, Workers, and Resistance in China Today

Sunday, October 30
2:00-4:30pm

Beit Zatoun
612 Markham Street
Toronto

Speakers:

Lu Zhang, Temple University
Author of Inside China’s Automobile Factories: The Politics of Labor and Worker Resistance

Eli Friedman, Cornell University
Author of Insurgency Trap: Labor Politics in Postsocialist China

China has been the fastest growing major economy in the world for three decades. It is also home to some of the largest, most incendiary, and most underreported labour struggles of our time. But under China’s labour management system, independent unionism is severely restricted, and the ACFTU official trade union body monopolizes worker representation for more than 800 million workers. Independent organizations are barred from agitating for their interests, despite growing wealth inequalities, and where long hours, safety hazards, and authoritarian management define life in the factories. But this has not prevented the emergence of workers’ resistance and fightbacks across almost all sectors of work. The China Labour Bulletin reports that the number of strikes has been increasing over the past two decades. At any given time, numerous strikes are taking place, and walkouts and slowdowns over work conditions and pay are a regular and growing occurrence. Workers’ rights NGOs, while operating from a distinct disadvantage, have become increasingly involved and visible. Lu Zhang and Eli Friedman have each interviewed dozens of Chinese workers, from the auto sector to the factories producing computers and footwear, documenting the processes of migration, changing employment relations, and worker culture underpinning the new Chinese working class and their forms of resistance today.

Lu Zhang teaches Sociology at Temple University in Philadelphia. She is the author of Inside China’s Automobile Factories: The Politics of Labor and Worker Resistance.

Eli Friedman teaches international and comparative labour at Cornell University in Ithaca. He is the author of Insurgency Trap: Labor Politics in Postsocialist China, and China on Strike: Narratives of Workers’ Resistance (with Hao Ren and Zhongjin Li).

Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/519477414908843/

For further resources:
http://www.socialistproject.ca/bullet/1244.php
https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/07/china-strikes-workers-factories-friedman-unions/

Sponsored by: Centre for Social Justice, Global Labour Research Centre at York University, Socialist Project, Asian Canadian Labour Alliance, and the Unifor Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice and Democracy.

Click here for the event poster

Audio | Opening Remarks

 

Audio | Lu Zhang

 

Audio | Eli Friedman