Last last month, dramatic images of Chinese workers jumping over fences at the electronics giant Foxconn’s factories and walking home grabbed headlines. Despite China’s lack of independent trade unions, the workers took collective action and refused to work.
Eli Friedman is the author of Insurgency Trap: Labor Politics in Postsocialist China. He teaches at Cornell University.
The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a dangerous escalation in tensions between China and the United States. But our allegiance shouldn’t be with either country’s ruling class — it should be with both countries’ workers.
In Hong Kong, leftists of all kinds support ongoing protests for democracy and civil liberties. Leftists everywhere else should, too.
President Xi Jinping’s support of a recent crackdown on workers’ attempts to organize a union is part of a broader centralization of power and repression of basic rights.
In China and beyond, liberalized markets aren’t fostering democracy — they’re undermining it.
China’s campaign to expel migrant workers from Beijing is designed to wring more profit from urban land and reserve the city for elites.
One worker’s tale of exploitation and fighting back in the new China.
Factory relocations and land privatizations have put Chinese migrant workers on the defensive.
China’s leftist revival is overstated. The country’s new “Maoists” cede too much ground to nationalism and the market.
China’s ambitious new urbanization plan comes with a set of contradictions the Communist Party won’t be able to control.
Worker militancy has shown cracks in both China’s economic plan and the Communist Party’s official trade unions.
The exploitative relationship between city and countryside pervades Chinese life. Nowhere is inequality in access to public goods clearer than in the country’s urban education system.
Few in the West are aware of the drama unfolding in today’s “epicenter of global labor unrest.” A scholar of China exposes its tumultuous labor politics and their lessons for the Left.