Independent Study Essay

Submitted By more1018
Words: 6448
Pages: 26

An analysis of the situation of Chinese construction workers

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Module: Employee Relations
Module Tutor: Jean Kellie
Word count: (excluding reference)


Introduction 3 China’s labor market 4 China’s economic system 4 China’s legal system 6 China’s technological system 7 China’s political system 8 The role of government 11 Chinese construction workers 13 Construction enterprises 16 Trade Union 18 The power between employers, trade unions and government 19 Conclusion 22 Appendix 23 Reference 27

The situation of Chinese construction workers has become a popular topic in the world, and even attracted lots of media attention. Chinese construction workers face a lot of problems, such as the arrears of wage, unsafe and unhealthy working condition and low social security. The formation of such an employee relation between construction workers and their employers may influenced by sort of factors, China’s labor market, economic system, legal system technological system and political system. What is more, construction enterprises, Chinese government and trade unions also have an impact. And these factors and the power balance among these three parties will all be analyzed in the following report.

China’s labor market
Nielsen (2006) indicate that China’s marketisation brings an obvious phenomenon—‘floating population’, people live in the countryside migrate to cities to work. And most of the migrant workers work in construction and manufacturing industries.
Zhu and Warner (2005) state that China’s labor market is still in a nascent stage, there are no sufficient regulations and the information is not transparent enough. Zhu and Warner (2005) also point out that lacking of skilled labors is one of the existed problems of China’s labor market, and there are too many unskilled labors. Furthermore, the internal migrant workers who move from countryside to cities also cause some problems. Part of the floating populations do not register and get work permits from government, therefore, some related issues, such as pay, working condition and social security are blurred among this group of population. And till 2000, the number of this group of people is over 100 million.
China’s economic system
Qin (2007) say that China has gone through enormous change and high growth during the last twenty years since the economic reform started from 1978. “The reforms progressed gradually from farming to commerce, to state-owned enterprises, and to government finance and banking” (815) Then China established a “socialist market economic system” (21) in 1990s according to GY. Yu (2003) However, Guthrie (2009) states that sate involvement contributes a lot to the success of the economic reforms.
Moreover, Guthrie (2009) introduces three aspects of the economic reforms, firstly, the State and the Party should hand over economic decision-making in markets to economic actors; secondly, the emergence of private economy further corrodes the State and the Party’s control of the society; finally, information can flow freely. These changes had an impact on the components of society and the political reform.
In addition, Wen (2003) also points out that the important changes of China’s economic system. Firstly, the structure of the economic subject had changed to the one that has more than one system. The state carried out the investment and financial systems reforms, such as “transforming financial allocations into loans,” “taxation instead of profit delivery to the state,” and “contracting according to levels,” “state capital was gradually transformed into the monopolistic capital of departments” (48), and the state economy gained the majority interest. Secondly, Chinese resource turned capitalist. Thirdly, “the globalization of capital” (49).
Guthrie (2009) says that China’s economy is the fourth largest all over the world according to GDP; China’s