Chinese Workers: A New History (Routledge Studies in the by Jackie Sheehan

By Jackie Sheehan

Chinese language employees offers the main distinct and whole photograph of workers' protest in China up to now and locates their place in the context of chinese language political heritage.

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Additional info for Chinese Workers: A New History (Routledge Studies in the Modern History of Asia)

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In both cases, unions were much more inclined to position themselves on the side of the workers in their ongoing confrontation with the CCP, something which the party could not be expected to tolerate. The union ‘crisis’ of 1951 and democratic reform When commentators discuss the early post-liberation crisis in relations between the official unions and the CCP, it is usually just the events of 1951 to which they refer, although as we have seen, unions’ support for workers’ leftist inclinations immediately after the CCP victory in 1949 was a source of friction as well.

In cases where the trade union was ineffective in defence of workers’ rights, it was even possible for capitalists ‘to achieve the goal of “benefitting only the capital side”’ (Guangzhou Labour Movement 1950:56) by means of the LCCC. During negotiations with private employers, the lack of experience of cadres representing workers’ interests often showed. The capital side generally appears to have been much better prepared and more effective than were the cadres and workers’ representatives on the labour side, who, for example, found themselves unable to dispute capitalists’ assertions about their finances and what constituted a reasonable level of profit at an enterprise as they had not worked out their own figures beforehand.

A capitalist was still a capitalist and the machinery worked against him’ (Harper 1971a: 121). Added to this, the two sides took turns in chairing the conference’s meetings, and the secretary of the enterprise party committee was a labour representative, both of which militated against the institution being dominated by the factory director or manager (this was a major problem with the factory management committee in state enterprises, about which more will be said later). But it should be remembered that the LCCC was primarily ‘a potent instrument for use by the Party or union against the capitalists’ (Harper 1971a: 119).

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