Post-socialist trade unions: China and Russia


Post-socialist trade unions: China and Russia, by Simon Clarke, Industrial Relations Journal, Volume 36, Issue 1, pages 2–18, January 2005


This paper identifies the constraints and opportunities facing trade unions in post-socialist societies through a comparison of the Russian and Chinese cases. The paper charts the changing role of trade unions in the integration of state-socialist economies into global capitalism and argues that this presents the trade unions with a dilemma: whether to reconstitute their traditional role through collaboration with management and the state apparatus, or whether to develop their ability to defend the rights and interests of workers. While the former offers the line of least resistance, there are progressive elements pushing for change in both trade union movements.

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