Project 01: Labor Regime in State-Owned Enterprise in North China
In this project, I explored the organization of work after the restructuring of China’s state-owned enterprise. In the thesis, I asked why Chinese state workers, who had been organized and militant in the late 1990s and early 2000s, have become increasingly marginal in recent labor struggles. Through participant observation in a state-owned shipyard, I found that restructured managerial organization, insider subcontracts, the use of dispatched workers, and the micro-tactics of labor control diminished state workers’ collective identity and organizational power, forcing aggrieved workers to express grievances through acts of individualized everyday resistance: theft, slacking-off, lower quality control, and underutilization of skills. I argued that the disorganized despotic work regime in state sectors has wiped out the workers’ class consciousness and organizing capacity.
Lin, Lefeng. 2016. “Workers under Disorganized Despotism: A Case from State-Owned Shipbuilding Industry.” In : A Labour Process Perspective on the Transformation of Work and Employment in China, edited by Mingwei Liu and Chris Smith. London: Palgrave Macmillan: 56-75.