Global labour regimes and local policies: the Chinese-run fast fashion industry in Prato, Italy.

Written by Antonella Ceccagno. With much fanfare, the first results of an ongoing three-year project concerning the legalisation of productive activities are now being presented in Prato, the most famous Italian industrial district. The FACE 新面貌

The Health of the ‘Left-behind Parents’

Written by Zhong ZHAO. Statistics in 2012 showed that 194 million Chinese were 60 years old and over, accounting for 14.3% of the total Chinese population. Of these senior citizens, 117 million were based in rural China, making up 17% of the total rural population. Meanwhile, China had a total of 168 million rural-to-urban migrant workers in …

Self-employment Activity and Ascension to Urban Citizenship for Rural-to-Urban Migrant Workers in China

Written by Guangjie Ning. By 2013, the total number of rural migrant workers reached 160 million (National Bureau of Statistics of China (NBS), 2014). However, due to various institutional barriers and restrictions such as the hukou system (the resident registration system), most of these migrants cannot live in the cities long-term – because they cannot …

Uncertain Encounters: African Migrant Entrepreneurs and Chinese Manufacturers

Written by  Nellie Chu. In Guangzhou the arrival of transnational migrant entrepreneurs from countries across Africa has captured the attention of a growing number of scholars, artists, and documentary film makers. Their works have described in rich detail the complexities of these migrants’ experiences as they labor to establish their work and family lives in …

Identities of Migrant worker: From Nongmin Gong (农民工) to Xin Shimin (新市民)

Written by Wei Wang. People’s identity is very much reflected on and constructed by how they are named by others. Internal migrant workers in China have experienced huge differences in terms of how they have been perceived and named during the last thirty years. During this time, economic development and rapid urbanisation in China has …

China’s growing labour movement offers hope for workers globally

Written by Tom Barnes and Kevin Lin. The growing labour movement in China, as fragmented and repressed as it is, offers hope for workers everywhere as an example of organising and protecting themselves against incredible odds. Independent labour organising and independent trade unions are banned and workers do not have the legal right to strike. …

How the state contains labour movements in China

Written by Chen Feng. In the past two decades, China has witnessed a recurring wave of labour protests, as the country’s economy grows in a remarkable pace. From a historical perspective, labour turbulence in China appears to be nothing unusual; it is an inevitable response to capitalist industrialization that is inherently conflict ridden. As Marx …

Whither China’s New Worker Militancy?

Written by Manfred Elfstrom. Chinese labour unrest is rising dramatically. Annual mediated, arbitrated and litigated disputes increased more than ten-fold between the mid-1990s and the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century. The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences recently found that employment-related grievances accounted for the largest number of “mass incidents” involving 1,000 …

What has India Learned from China’s Labour Reforms?

Written by Pravakar Sahoo. China’s relatively flexible and business-friendly labour laws have ensured continued investment in the manufacturing sector. By contrast, investors find labour laws in India restrictive. India, a democracy, has also found it harder than China to undertake labour and wage reforms. Rapid globalization challenged China’s leaders to design market-friendly labour laws and …

Emergence of the Chinese working class

Written by Wang Ting. In the 30 years since the economic reforms begun by Deng Xiaoping, the Chinese state has abandoned most aspects of the socialist planned economy, where all production activities and products were centrally planned for production and distribution. China has borne witness to miraculous levels of GDP growth, relying on exports and accumulation …