Lots of labor stories in the news these days, the two most popular being Foxconn’s wage hikes and reorganizations, and Honda’s repeated strike problems with its China labor force. It’s enough to make one think that collective bargaining is gaining the upper hand in China and that a golden age of workers’ rights is coming soon.
Think again. The reason why wages are going up and the demands of labor are being listened to is a congruence of labor market forces, legal reform and government policy. Whether labor becomes more organized in the future is another question entirely, the answer to which is quite elusive.
So why are we seeing more activity in recent months? First, the relatively new labor law is just now settling in, at least psychologically