Labor Day Thought

You may have heard that China has a national union. You may have heard that they made a push to unionize all the Western companies with some spotty success.

In fact, most Western companies have no issues with unions here. The union, AFCTU, where it exists, is more a silent partner than an obstruction.  I have never known or heard of the union calling a strike. The purpose of the union is to be different than Western unions and bring harmony.  A famous short strike at Honda in China in 2010 was workers self organizing against the AFCTU.  You can read about that in a left wing Western write up here.

Funny note is they say the AFCTU work to lower overtime. Workers in China usually will quit if you do not give them enough overtime. They come from the countryside and have no family nearby, so they want to work all the time.  Chinese law only allows 36 hours of overtime per month.  Most companies acquiesce to workers demands to give more overtime. So I am not sure what the article is really talking about.

Unions are a small and minor issue on the road in China.Vast cultural difference is still the biggest hurdle.

Great leaders I know also turn Western Union relationships into profitable teamwork.  May we all value labor and see them as people of value and ability, different, and neither better or worse then ourselves.

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Posted in: China, Chinese Culture, Leadership

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