Trade unionism in China: Sinking or swimming?

Jude Howell
2003 Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics  
The period of neo-liberalism in the 1980s and post-Cold War context of the 1990s have challenged trade unions throughout the world. With the onset of market reforms from 1978 onwards, the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) began to revitalise its activities. However, reform and WTO entry have posed new challenges to the functioning and legitimacy of the ACFTU. This article analyses the nature of the challenges facing the ACFTU in the reform context and traces its gradual attempts at
more » ... adual attempts at internal reform. The key argument in the article is that the ACFTU is shifting from being an incorporated organisation to a state corporatist entity. Furthermore, though WTO entry has accentuated the need for the ACFTU to become more active in representing workers, the ACFTU is unlikely to reshape itself institutionally to guarantee either the protection of workers or social stability.
doi:10.1080/17439116.2003.9679354 fatcat:2jqot5f5a5aebnaifwui7ggxsm