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Overcoming the collective action problems facing Chinese workers: lessons from four protests against Walmart

Li, Chunyun and Liu, Mingwei (2018) Overcoming the collective action problems facing Chinese workers: lessons from four protests against Walmart. Industrial and Labor Relations Review. ISSN 0019-7939

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Identification Number: 10.1177/0019793918784516

Abstract

In contrast to various structural accounts of collective inaction or short-lived contention of Chinese workers, the authors take an agency-centered approach to explain how the few sustained labor protests during closure bargaining develop against long odds. They suggest that workers’ capacity to resolve collective action problems is essential to understanding why a few contending workers are able to sustain protests whereas many others fail to do so. They argue that workplace representatives and external labor activists are crucial for helping Chinese workers resolve the collective action problems that prevent the formation of sustained labor protests. Their comparative analysis of four protests against Walmart store closures—including one unusually long, one relatively sustained, and two short-lived—shows how presence and strategic capacity of workplace representatives and external labor activists shape protest duration. The authors conclude by discussing lessons learned from these cases of closure bargaining for future development of labor contention in China.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://journals.sagepub.com/home/ilr#
Additional Information: © 2018 the Author(s)
Divisions: Management
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Sets: Departments > Management
Date Deposited: 05 Jul 2018 11:03
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2020 01:28
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/89066

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