Here is a short summary of what we studied. These are the topics you should know. HAUT-2016-17-BUS-122- What Did We Study
Here is the formula sheet which will be given to you at the exam. HAUT-2016-17-BUS-122-AppliedStats-Formulas
Please note the following.
- just because a formula is on this sheet, it does not mean that a question on the exam will require that formula
- just because a formula is NOT on this sheet, it does not mean that formula is not needed on the exam
In other words, this list shows you what you don’t need to memorize. If there are any formulas which you think might be useful, but which are not on this sheet, then you should memorize those.
We had the exam for bus-121 today. I hope you did well.
I’m posting the exam key here, to allow you to review things. Please note that some of the answers here are approximations. This means that you aren’t expected to get exactly the same figure as I did… “close enough” is ok.
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.
I’m posting here some files which I had thought I’d done earlier.
- Normal Table
- HAUT-2017-18-BUS-121-DescriptiveStatistics-FinalExam-FormulaSheet.v1Formula Sheet
- HAUT-2017-18-Fall-BUS-121-122-Statistics-RectanglesRectangles Demonstration from Lecture
Sorry for the delay!
14 Chinese Companies Going Global In 2014
#7 Alibaba (Internet)
Key Highlights: Made headlines about its pending overseas IPO. Continued international expansion was driven by new channels such as AliExpress in addition to its core B2B platform Alibaba.com.
#8 Bright Food (Consumer Goods)
Key Highlights: After its successful acquisition of U.K. breakfast cereal brand Weetabix in 2012, the firm was reported to be considering an acquisition of Israel’s Tnuva Food Industries Ltd.
#9 ZTE (Telecommunications)
Key Highlights: Often grouped with its much larger competitor Huawei, ZTE has recently restructured its organization into three business segments: focusing on operators, mobile devices, and enterprises. The new structure aims to develop both its traditional business lines as well as its emerging smartphone business overseas.
#10 Sany (Diversified Industrial)
Key Highlights: In 2012, Sany acquired German industrial firms Putzmeister and Intermix. Sany, along with its Chinese competitors, continues to look overseas for growth as domestic competitors proliferate and the infrastructure market in China cools.
#11 Tencent (Internet)
Key Highlights: Success spreading its popular WeChat messaging application internationally. Investing in American mobile app Snapchat and was rumored to be seeking a future acquisition of the firm.
#12 Geely (Automotive)
Key Highlights: After its purchase of Volvo cars in 2010, Geely made headlines again in 2013 when it acquired Manganese Bronze, maker of London “black cabs” for more than 60 years.
#13. Baidu (Internet)
Key Highlights: Predominantly a China-focused Internet company, Baidu is increasingly looking to markets such as Brazil, Thailand and Egypt for international growth.
#14. Li-Ning (Consumer Goods)
Key Highlights: Li-Ning entered 2013 with high hopes for its international business, particularly focused on North America. But its subsidiary, Digital Li-Ning, saw key executives leave within the first year, and its American website has scaled back dramatically to focus exclusively on its flagship endorsement deal with NBA star Dwayne Wade.
Alibaba has set another Single’s Day record after the e-commercegiant sold over $25 billion of product on the Chinese biggest onlineshopping date. The full number comes in at 163.8 billion RMB,
I have been talking a lot in lectures about Theory x and Theory Y style of management .See below a reminder of what these styles mean . Now think about the importance of these styles when managing Human Resources in China in USA ?
Let me know what you think ?
Theory X and Theory Y in Human Resource Management
Theory X and Theory Y have been propounded by Douglas McGregor who was an American social psychologist. He presented his theory in his 1960 book, ‘The Human Side of Enterprise’.
The Theories X – Y are used extensively in management and motivation. The theory has been used by management to formulate and develop motivation and positive management styles, strategies and techniques. It remains central to the organizational development and in improving organizational culture.
Theory X:Theory X assumes autocratic management. The theory says that managers under Theory X assume that most people are naturally lazy and need to be controlled and supervised. They think that people need to be motivated all the time. One of the notions that Theory X managers have toward their people is that they are not very smart and they need good encouragement to do good work.
Characteristics of Theory X managers: Some of the most noticeable characteristics of Theory X managers are autocratic behavior.
- The managers are results-driven. They are concerned with the completion of a given task. They issue deadlines for the completion of work.
- The managers lack tolerance. They are very intolerant in nature.
- Most of the theory X managers distances themselves from workers. They do not have much of an attachment to with their employees.
- Theory X managers issue threats and warnings to make people follow their instructions.
- They do not participate in the process of team building.
- They are unconcerned about the welfare or morale of the employees.
- They are one-way communicators and poor listeners.
- They withhold rewards and suppress pay and remuneration levels.
- They are poor at delegating responsibilities and think giving orders is delegating responsibility.
- They hold on to responsibility but shift accountability to subordinates.
Conversely, Theory Y assumes democratic management. The theory says that managers under Theory Y assume that most people like to work. The managers assume that they have self-control. They assume that people can motivate themselves and want to do a good job. One of the important notions that Theory Y managers have about their people is that they are smart.
Some of the characteristics of Theory Y managers can be seen. Theory Y managers are quite opposite to that of Theory X.
Even Theory Y managers are results-oriented, after all, but they are also concerned with not just the completion of work, but they assist their subordinates in doing things.
- Theory Y managers are very tolerant in nature. They tolerant mistakes and try to rectify them by explaining what should not be done and what needs to be done.
- Theory Y managers do not distance out from their employees. They think it is all one team including oneself and move along providing motivation and encouragement to the team.
- They do not threat employees for non-compliance. Instead, they explain them about the norms and compliance issues and make them realize that instructions are for the betterment of work.
- They actively participate in the team building process and make sure that every employee in the team is more than a better performer.
- They are very much concerned about the welfare and morale of employees. They try to know the grievances of their employees, if any and try to solve them, if possible.
- They are good communicators and good listeners and take suggestions and constructive criticism seriously.
- They do not withhold any rewards and compensations to threat the employees. They also praise their employees for their good work.
- They are very good at delegating responsibilities. They not only give orders but also give directions and suggestions to complete the work.
- They hold on to responsibility and also accountability to themselves.
These are the fundamental differences in the views of Theory X and Theory Y. The theories are used extensively in the management school of thought for the betterment of work, productivity and organizational culture in the long run
Mondays lecture will focus on Health and Safety .see the article below you can read this after the lecture and compare and contrast how the USA and China compare in managing health and safety at work
Symposium Series NO. 154 © 2008 IChemE
Overview of Health and Safety in China
Hongyuan Wei1, Leping Dang1, and Mark Hoyle2
1School of Chemical Engineering, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, P R China,
2AstraZeneca plc, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK10 2NA, England
Current status and future development regarding health and safety production and legislation
in China has been reviewed and analyzed in this paper. Since economic reform and
opening, the entire society has noticed the importance of health and safety, as this could
be a big barrier for the further development. Significant progress has been made over last
25 years with respect to health & safety research and practices. Meanwhile, health &
safety legislation and environmental protection law has been established and operated in
a much more stringent manner; however, safety is still a major issue which damages
China’s reputation and has significant societal as well as economic impact.
The Chinese government is paying increased attention to the areas of health and
safety, such as establishing new legislations and applying new techniques to actively
tackle key problem areas. The health and safety issue in China is not only confined by
the legislation and regulation but also greatly influenced by its social and culture background.
Therefore, it is very much an inter-disciplinary science and should have integration
with local society. In order to maintain sustainable social and economic
development the government has defined health and safety as a key area with interim
and long-term plans for national development.
With the major economic development and social reform in China over the last 25 years
there has been an associated increase in living standards. The people and their government
have paid more and more attention to health and safety issues. Safety management has
become a central focus for scientific research and regulatory attention. The entire society
has come to recognize that health and safety problems are critical to the welfare of each
individual as well as to the sustainable social and the economic development of the country.
Meanwhile, new technologies and innovations have been applied to health and safety issues
along with the systematic establishment of legislation and regulation by the government.
It is a fundamental premise of conventional welfare economics for the public policy makers
that public decisions should, as far as possible, reflect the preferences of those who will be
affected by them. However, both technical and human errors are still seen, especially, in the
field of safety management and accident prediction. Safety and health is still a major
problem, which will continue to damage society and the economy.
This paper will give an overall review and analysis of Health and Safety related
legislations in China, under the five following subjects:
l Current status
l Background and origination of safety accidents
Symposium Series NO. 154 © 2008 IChemE
l Health & safety management system
l Establishment and application of legislations and regulations
l Development of health and safety in the near future
2. Current status
At present, the concept of safety is being underpinned and significant transformation is
occurring across the entire society. Major progresses are being made in terms of safety
theory, safety technique, and constructive safety culture. Nevertheless, many fatal accidents
are still taking place, and with them come the associated damage to society with respect to
people’s lives and health and the underlying damage to the countries reputation and
Figure 1 shows the distribution of accidents in different industries from November
to December, 2006. Accidents during transportation were by far the major contributor, but
as a subset explosions and accidents during mining activities made up another major
Based on the statistical data from the State Administration Work Safety of China,
there were 627,158 accidents during production activities in 2006. Human casualty in
these accidents totaled 112,822. 7 severe accidents (>30 fatalities each) resulted in 263
people losing their lives. The number of major accidents (>10 fatalities each) was 95,
giving a total loss of life of 1570. 2357 accidents resulted in between 3 and 9 deaths (9065
fatalities in total).
The analysis of major accidents in the last decades also calls for more systematic
safety management systems (SMS) and regulatory frameworks governing systems applied
in manufacturing facilities.
3. Background and Causation of safety related accidents
Based on the survey of State Occupational Safety and Health Association (China), there
are five main aspects with respect to the present background and causation of safety issues
in China, illustrated as follows:[1, 4, 5]
Figure 1. Accident Type Distribution from November to December, 2006
Symposium Series NO. 154 © 2008 IChemE
1. Limited resource is focused on safety during production. Inadequate supervision and
management of safety is often tolerated in many production sites and limited finance/
funding is applied directly to safety. These are obviously major causal factors. It is
estimated that only a third of the total cost of implementing safety procedures is
implemented in China against that of other industrialised countries.
2. The cultural background in China is not one given over to safety consciousness.
Although Chinese civilization is over 5,000 years old, China has mainly been an
agricultural country. Industrialization in real terms only started 30 years ago when
China began its economic reform.
3. Compared with the rate of economic development, health protection and accident
prevention systems have developed at a much slower pace, especially, in mining and
the chemical industries.
4. Means and monitoring of implementing the Safety in Production Act are very
5. There is reluctance to use new techniques or equipment that will provide or improve
safety during prod uction.
In fact, nearly all the accidents that occurred in the process industry were caused by
improper process or equipment design or lack of the preventative control system. Nowadays
safety management has become a fashionable term and the focus of study, but it could be
dangerous to think it will solve all the safety issues.
Good engineering and behavioral safety (human factor analysis) are both equally
important. One cannot simply substitute one for another in a developing economy. No
matter how good safety management is, it cannot make up for poor design and lack of
operating control. Safety and health effects are well studied and can be assessed according
to science-based and commonly accepted methods of risk analysis. In risk analysis terms
we can formulate the task of a safety management system as a “common mode” influence
that is designed to keep all failure probabilities in the fault tree at the lower ends of their
intrinsic bounds. It also anticipates all significant risk scenarios and design measures to
eliminate them, or at least to reduce and provide robust control of them. The question of
interest is whether we know enough about how safety management operates in order to
design, assess, and improve the systems applied in practice.
4. Health & safety management system
The Chinese government has appointed institutions to manage Health & Safety. The
uppermost institutions are State Administration Work Safety of China (SAWS) and State
Administration of Coal Mine Safety under which there are many local subordinate
organizations. The function of local organizations are to ensure the enterprise’s approach
to safety during production and employee’s rights, supervise the performance of legislation
and regulation, and report accidents etc.
Besides all the local organizations, SAWS also has some branches such as the China
Academy of Safety Sciences and Technology (CASST) and the State Occupational Safety
Symposium Series NO. 154 © 2008 IChemE
and Health Association. The major roles of those branch organizations are: technological
support to SAWS, promoting the development of safety science & technology, Health and
Safety education, and trade, and providing services to enterprises related to safety technology,
and information management.
CASST, as an example, is a research institute covering the areas of major accident
prevention, major hazard identification, assessment and monitoring, risk assessment and
management, building major accident & emergency systems and emergency planning,
developing safety & hygiene engineering technology, work safety inspection and management
systems, and basic theory of work safety and work safety economics.
5. Establishment and application of
legislation and regulation
The Chinese government is seeking to establish new safety legislations revolutionarily
to reduce the number of major accidents. Prescriptive laws and regulation aimed
specially at technical preventive measures are to be implemented. There is an inevitability
that these will potentially trail behind new developments in technology. The
responsibility for devising the means of risk control will be taken not by the companies
and industries that generated the technology, but by the regulator. The framework
legislation requires companies to develop their own safety management system to specify,
implement, and evaluate the detailed preventive measures. Therefore, more systematic
management systems for safety are required to be further developed, structured,
assessed, and improved. The Safety in Production Act was promulgated in 2002 in
China. Consequently, it became a central task for ‘safety’ people to work on how to
systematically and scientifically standardize the certification and accreditation of
Occupational Safety and Health Management System, and how to establish an efficient
and standardized mechanism. Objectivity and publicity in implementing the Safety in
Production Act have also been given close attention by safety workers. In addition, the
mechanism of market permission and inspection has been put forward in order to implement
the Act effectively.
The constitution of national and international standards for safety management is in
progress, modelled on the ISO 9000 series for quality management and the ISO 14000
series for environmental management systems. Meanwhile, health & safety legislation
and environmental protection law have been established and operated in a much more
vigorous manner. The effective management system is identified as Occupational Health
and Safety (OHS) Management System, which is a method of going about your business
whilst reducing risks to your staff. An effective OHS Management System can also
help establish the framework of compliance with the two fundamental elements of OHS
legislation, that is:
l Employers providing and maintaining a working environment that is safe.
l Employees taking reasonable care for the health and safety of themselves and
Symposium Series NO. 154 © 2008 IChemE
6. Safety practices in the chemical industry
China has been the manufacture centre for the world. The Chemical industry has also
blossomed over the last 10 years; therefore, health and safety issue have become the
major challenge for this industry. Although the chemical industry in China has far better
performance in terms of safety than other industries, such as mining and transportation,
there are still many problems that need to be solved. The main causes for chemical accidents
l speed of the development without serious consideration of safety;
l Budget saving and cost reducing;
l Improper design and engineering work;
l Lack of technologies to control hazards;
l Awareness for safety due to the culture background;
The good news is that the best practice of safety management system for the oil,
petrochemical and coal chemical industries have been developed by the State Administration
of Work Safety, aiming at establishing control systems for different safety classes, such as
explosion-isolation or safety spark type, which ensures the production safety for chemical
Current trends show that more and more chemical enterprises have taken initiatives
to conduct Safety and Environment impact studies for their intended investment in
China. Ecological consideration is becoming vital to the industry’s sustainable development.
Besides implementing novel technologies in chemical plants, ‘Safe & Green
Concept’ for designing and engineering are widely applied in many middle size and
large chemical companies. ‘Responsible’ chemical enterprises, which offer the moral,
legal and financial necessities to ensure safety, are welcome by employees and the
Great effort has been successfully put on introducing advanced and safer chemical
technologies from oversea during the periods of the “Tenth Five-Year Plan” (2001–2005),
the “Eleventh Five-Year Plan” (2006–2010). Importing of technologies with emphasis on
safety and environment has continued. There is also more opportunity for international
collaborations in SHE areas.
Alongside safer technology implementations, an advanced management system for
the chemical industry has been introduced. It consists of nine aspects:
1) Safety policy: Written safety policies for each factory shall be established and
maintained with emphasis on protecting the safety, health and the general well being of
every personnel working in the factory. This spells out management’s commitment towards
safety and the principles that govern safety and health decisions in the factory. Senior
management shall ensure that the safety policy is communicated to all employees and
relevant contractors and, shall establish a culture that safety and health are valued as basic
and fundamental prerequisites for the business of the factory.
2) Safe work practices: Safe work practices shall be carried out in the factory through
procedural and administrative control of work, critical operating steps and parameters,
Symposium Series NO. 154 © 2008 IChemE
pre-start up safety reviews for new and modified plant equipment and facilities, and management
of change of plant equipment and process.
3) Training: Employees and contractors at all levels shall be equipped with the
knowledge, skills and attitudes relating to the operation or maintenance of facilities so as
to work in a safe and reliable manner. An effective training program shall be established
to train employees at all levels. A scheme shall be devised to identify the safety and health
training needs for each level of employees and contractors.
4) In-house safety rules and regulations: Written safety rules and regulations for
all personnel in the factory shall be established to instill a common understanding of their
safety and health obligations and responsibilities. A set of basic safety rules and regulations
shall be formulated in the factory to regulate safety and health behaviour at the workplace.
The rules shall cover the main work operation or process in the factory.
5) Safety promotion: The management’s commitment and leadership shall be
clearly demonstrated in promoting good safety and health behaviors and practices in
the factory. Promotional programs shall be developed and conducted. Safety and health
awareness shall be raised and maintained among all employees and contractors.
6) Safety inspection: A system shall be established to verify compliance with the
relevant regulatory requirements, in-house safety rules and regulations and safe work
practices. The factory shall develop and implement a written program for formal and
planned safety inspections to be carried out in the factory. The program shall include
safety committee inspection, routine safety inspection, plant and equipment inspection and
other special or surprise inspection.
7) Hazard analysis: Hazards shall be methodically identified, evaluated and
controlled in processes in a factory. The process of Hazard Analysis shall be documented
and shall include measures over serious scenarios that could occur in a factory. Necessary
corrective or control measures shall be incorporated to mitigate the frequency or severity
of the risks associated with the scenario event.
8) Occupational health programs: Occupational health hazards shall be identified,
evaluated and controlled to protect all personnel from developing occupational diseases or
illnesses arising from their exposure. The program is to specific occupational health
hazards presented in the work environment and establish policies and plans to protect all
workers from them.
9) Emergency preparedness: A program of drills and exercises shall be established
to assess the preparedness of the factory for prompt and effective response to emergency
situations. Factories shall establish effective first-aid programs to provide first-aid and
emergency treatment to victims of an accident, which include provision of adequate
first-aid facilities and trained first-aiders.
People in the chemical industry start to understand that SHE challenges cannot be
overlooked as we strive for a better life and a favourable economic achievement for the
country while keeping in line with the goal of the global sustainable development. The
effort on SHE issues has enabled us to make this industry a safe place to work despite the
misperception by many that associate ‘chemicals’ with ‘fear’. The chemical industry in
Symposium Series NO. 154 © 2008 IChemE
China will continue to push forth its efforts on SHE to manage the life-cycle of chemicals
through collaborating closely with the world.
7. Development of health and safety in the near future
The Chinese government has recently made high-profile efforts to build a harmonious
society on an all-round, well-off basis, a goal which has given full expression to the peopleoriented
development perspective. To regulate industrial practices, in a sense to truly
protect workers’ safety and health, is a logical step amid efforts to build a harmonious
society. That is a society built on the foundations of democracy, the rule of law, justice,
sincerity, amity, vitality, and stability, harmony between man and nature, and coordinated
economic and social development. These continuous improvements can benefit society
as a whole. By taking major measures such as institutional reform, embedding safety
mechanisms/techniques into production, increasing funding on safety issues, etc., then
continuous improvement of workplace safety and working conditions nationwide will
follow. This will drive improvements in the current rising trend of total accidents, whilst
maintaining the sustainable and rapid growth of the Chinese economy.
Whilst China, the world’s largest developing country, is going through a major
industrialisation process, the work safety infrastructure remains weak, indicated by the
reoccurrence of major accidents in certain industries (and in certain areas of the country).
The economy of the country is relatively unbalanced and of relatively low productivity
when looked upon as a whole. China’s work safety status is so far incompatible with what
a ‘well-off’ harmonious society demands, and in this connection there is still a lot of work
to be done to improve it.
The Government needs to continue to give top priority to safety issues, promoting a
preventive safety culture within workplaces and overseeing that the primary responsibility
of enterprises is given to workplace safety. Government regulators need to fulfil their role
in ensuring this is rigorously enforced and audited effectively. Sustained efforts have to be
made in promoting safety culture, building a sound legal framework governing work
safety, implementing the safety responsibility system, advancing safety science and
technology, and increasing the funding of safety measures.
It is the Chinese government’s aim to enhance safety management at source, eliminate
hazards that stand in the way of improved safety conditions, and ensure safety at an
intrinsic level. To better fulfil this mission, the Chinese government ought to broaden their
horizons and continue to further embrace the outside world in the field of health and safety.
The Chinese government is eager to enhance cooperation with the relevant intergovernmental
organizations, foreign governments, intermediaries, multinational companies and
enterprises of different categories, to examine and learn safety philosophies, sciences,
technologies and management approaches that originate in other countries and regions.
Hopefully, assisted with international wisdom, China will blaze a new trail to put work
safety on a solid basis and achieve steady and rapid improvement of its work safety
situation. As a responsible player in the international community, China can make due
Symposium Series NO. 154 © 2008 IChemE
contributions in implementing the Global Strategy on Occupational Safety and Health
and creating for mankind a safe, harmonious environment with less potential for major
 Luo Yun, The status analysis of safety production in China, Development and
observation in China. 2005, 5, 33–37.
 Graham Loomes, (How) Can we value health, safety and the environment, Journal of
Economic Psychology. 2006, 27, 713–736.
 Wang Yajun, Huang Ping, Statistics of industrial accidents in China during the period
from November to December in 2006, Journal of Safety and Environment. 2007, 7(1),
 Xu Deshu, Chinese Safety Culture Construction-Research and Discovery, Sichuan
Safe Science and Technology. 1998, 16 (3), 26–34.
 Xu Deshu, Times Background on the Safety Culture Construction in China, China
Safety Science Journal. 1999, (4), 1–7.
 Guntram Koller, Ulrich Fischer, and Konrad Hungerbu1 hler, Assessing Safety,
Health, and Environmental Impact Early during Process Development, Ind. Eng.
Chem. Res. 2000, 39, 960–972.
 Hale A.R., Safety Management in Production, Human Factors and Ergonomics in
Manufacturing. 2003, 13 (3), 185–201.
 Jin Lei, Xu Deshu, Luo Yun, Strategy of Safety and Reducing Disasters in China for
the 21st Century, Kaifeng, Henan University Publishing House, Dec. 1998.
It is very important that you practice your critical writing skills .
I want you to write 500 max words on the second reflective theme
‘How important is an HR Strategic plan ,why do organisations need a plan?
You will find it useful to read chapters 3 ,5 of the set text
Hand in to me at Fridays lecturer and I will give you feed back .
This is very important practice to help you with the reflective Report .
China’s growth was, until recently, considered unstoppable. The world’s manufacturing hubs were increasingly clustered in southern China and the country’s influence was building in Asia and Latin America. It was a matter of when, not if, the country would overtake the US as the world’s largest national economy. Its astounding resilience during the protracted crisis of the global economy suggested as much.
In 2012, however, China’s seeming insulation from global trends ended. Factory output contracted, and there was a deepening problem of “labour oversupply”. So why is now the time for the government to think about more effective union representation for the country’s workforce? When everywhere else the answer is to smash unions, the better to drive down wages, why is the Chinese answer seemingly different?
Part of the answer is the threat of constant labour unrest outside of an official union. Strikes broke out again in the notorious Foxconn factory again this January, over seasonal bonuses. During “off” seasons, workers receive only 1,100RMB, the equivalent of £112 a month, and less than half of what they receive during “peak” seasons. But recent strikes have also taken place over the ways in which management rule, and their attempts to dictate the work process itself. In the last few years, there have been convulsive rebellions. Riots by migrant workers in 2011 and 2012 seemed to threaten a wider, politicised reaction to the authoritarian regime and forms of exploitation it maintains.
Managing the country’s vast labour migration system, one of the assets that has enabled its prolonged growth, is essential to China’s current growth model. Migrant workers make up most of the workforce. Cities have swollen, sucking in a newly urbanised proletariat that can be forced to work seven-day weeks, and which needn’t always be paid on time, or at all. Employers have the advantage of knowing that workers still get more from working in these factories than they could in the villages.
Within and around these cities, mini-metropolises masquerade as factories. Foxconn’s facility near Shenzhen, where workers can eat and sleep on site, is a little city in itself, with its own security force independent of the police. They are redolent of textile towns in the southern US, except that the mill towns were built for permanent residence. The sprawling Foxconn industrial estate has no such purpose; it is built for neoliberalism, not paternalism. Nonetheless, these facilities depress the cost of labour, since the owners don’t have to worry about supporting a permanent urban residential living standard for the workforce.
Yet 70% of strikes in the last decade have been in the manufacturing sector, and the leaders of the new militancy are generally young migrant workers. Sometimes, this “migrant” status is purely official, since many workers are now the children of migrant workers who have grown up in the city, with their expectations moulded accordingly. Moreover, this generation deploys a sophisticated strategy of using social media and instant messaging to co-ordinate strike actions and discuss affairs out of the hearing of management or the state. The current labour system is clearly endangered.
A key threat for the Chinese government is that since the existing unions are incapable of representing workers, they may begin to find their own representation. Thus far, workers have mainly struggled to make the official unions, the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU), more democratic rather than to replace it. But workers take action independently of the ACFTU, and it is increasingly common for them to elect their own representatives for the duration. This signals a degree of confidence that the employers should fear. Were Chinese workers to achieve a democratic union system on their own terms, their demands may become uncontrollable.
This is most likely why the government is increasingly anxious to institutionalise workers’ resistance: to slow it down and manage it through a bargaining process rather than risk continual, sometimes violent conflict. As the historian Frances Fox Piven noted in her study of poor people’s movements, workers have achieved most in phases of disruptive militancy. Their gains have been subsequently institutionalised, as targeted companies offered official, legalised channels of dialogue. This both recognised workers’ claims and impeded their ability to make further gains. This is why, for example, Ford motors dropped its vicious, violent union-busting strategy after the radical 1930s, and instead opted for a corporatist system based on bargaining.
Foxconn pledges to hold union elections later this year, involving 1.2 million workers, perhaps a tentative first step toward institutionalising this conflict. And if China is to be subject to the same precarity that has afflicted the rest of the world, the regime will be grateful for any predictability this brings.