China issues new regulations on labour dispute resolution – seeks to create early warning system | CLB

China issues new regulations on labour dispute resolution – seeks to create early warning system | CLB

Festival of wage disputes kicks off

Inside Wukan: the Chinese village that fought back

Three interesting articles that give us a good glimpse of what’s going on in the interior of China and especially the tensions produced between workers and local officials. Labour force is the ultimate factor of China’s extraordinary growth and development for three decades now. Its the surplus value of the blue collar workers that had led China to have become the biggest economy, advanced its international status and now being the only solid economy that still grows even in these times of economic turmoil. Cheap Chinese labour has also allowed western consumers to afford high tech products, cheap clothing etc. The sacrifices on a human level for all these people are enormous and they want a minimum of paying back. They want their own standards of living to get better, they need labour law to be fairer on them and stricter on their bosses, they want to have a say when it comes to the exploitation of their land by investors and local state officials.

Although tempting, it’s misleading to make a judgement in western measures . Not because the exploitation is felt different in China but because Chinese workers and citizens in general have a  different perception of the State and their relation to it. To what extent this perception has changed since the opening of the Chinese economy or in other words how the shifting superstructure has had a critical impact on Chinese political consciousness is something yet to be found out.

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