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Photo: Robert Scoble

The current restructuring in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is of phenomenal importance to the global economy. Millions of workers are added to the global workforce and it is cheap labour, which makes the PRC so attractive for foreign direct investment (FDI). Unsurprisingly, it is workers, who are most under pressure as a result. Chinese workers often work in conditions of super-exploitation, while workers elsewhere either become unemployed, because production is moved to the PRC, or they are pressured into accepting lower wages and worse working conditions through the threat of production transfer to China.

This project analyses the role of Chinese labour within these structural changes at the production, national and international level. It is examined to what extent trade unions and NGOs have been able to protect the interests of Chinese workers within China and through cooperation with international labour organizations.

This project is funded by the ESRC grant ‘Globalisation, national transformation and workers’ rights: an analysis of Chinese labour within the global economy’ (RES-062-23-2777; £275k).