Changing labour relations in China's automotive industry

Publication Type:

Journal Article


International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, Volume 12, Number 4, p.376-394 (2012)



Based on a short overview of the labour regulation regime in China this article analyses the transformation of Chinese labour relations and the potential for labour conflict in the automotive industry. It is shown that labour relations in China's automotive industry are deteriorating and that different forms of labour conflict are emerging at various points of the production chain. Thus, there is strong pressure for continued reform of the system of labour relations. However, the existing institutional setting presents massive obstacles to reform, strongly favouring the interests of capital over those of labour and putting the party-state's imperative of political control before any autonomous articulation and negotiation of the interests of capital or labour. With no sign of a sustainable and democratic model for labour regulation, the automotive industry may remain a hotspot of labour conflict in China. Copyright © 2012 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

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