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2007. 01. 041. Chen hair dryer. Privatization and discontent with it at the enterprises of China. Chin Feng. Privatization and its Discontents in Chinese factories China Quart. - L., 2006. - n 185. - P. 42-60

ta) that provides it unfair competitive advantage and breaks the Law of 1974 on trade. To surprise of many, Bush's administration rejected the petition of AFT - the checkpoint, having characterized it as the general words which are not confirmed with proofs and having emphasized a possibility of reciprocal Chinese measures. Nevertheless dumping trials with the Chinese enterprises (first of all, furniture, TVs, textiles) continue with variable success. The question is in the one who will fill a niche if China leaves any given American markets.

A.I. Fursov


of CHIN FENG. Privatization and its discontents in Chinese factories//China quart. - L., 2006. - N 185. - P. 42-60.

the Workers of the enterprises of a public sector making at the time the main part of workers and employees of modern working class of China became the main victims of the market reforms begun in the country in 1978, the research associate of the National university of Australia writes (Canberra).

In spite of the fact that lately growth rates of economy of China struck the whole world, workers of the enterprises of a public sector repeatedly did not receive salaries and pensions, and under the pretext of restructuring of a public sector their material security worsened, or they were fired after long-term work at the enterprise without payment of sufficient compensation at all. Difficult economic conditions worsened morale of workers, and in some areas open disorders began.

Since 1949 the protests of workers took place at the following important stages of development of the country: when the campaign "let began hundred flowers" in 1957 blossom, during the cultural revolution of 1966-1969 and during the events in Tiananmen Square in 1989. However the specified protests were connected with the large political crises which mentioned and other social groups dissatisfied with some excesses of authoritative board.

the Current disorders happen on the soil of fundamental structural shifts in national economy and surpass former protests of workers in the scales. Most of scientists believe that protests of workers are caused by loss of their prereform welfare and crash of hopes for emergence of those economic opportunities which were promised to them during Mao's (page 43) era.

the Last requirements of workers to the government included providing with it at least "living wage". The author emphasizes that in the requirements the workers did not act from class positions as they did not perceive deterioration in the economic situation during an era of market reforms as a contradiction of work and the capital what they were taught during a Maoism era to. Present disorders of workers arise spontaneously more often and are short.

Since 1996 the cause of the majority of disorders "severe conditions" on which workers forcibly left from the bankrupt or not profitable enterprises were. However in the next years the aggressive implementation of privatization projects by the government began to lead to the fact that in requirements of workers "class motives" began to be looked through more and more. Meetings of workers began to take more and more well organized form, and in texts of requirements it was possible to find more and more phrases from "the Maoist dictionary".

Specialists sociologists consider that the "normal" social movement has to comprise four elements: a collective call to the authorities, a common goal at all revolting, social solidarity and long contact of masses with their opponents and the authorities. The author claims that fight of the Chinese workers against privatization already comprises all these elements. Though such fight is for the present conducted at the level of the separate enterprises, it in many respects differs from "spontaneous meetings of a protest" (page 44).

the Author surveyed three enterprises of a public sector in one of the cities of Central China (for conspiracy reasons the name of the city is not mentioned). Privatization in itself not necessarily causes some additional difficulties for workers in comparison with other measures which are carried out during economic reforms of 1978. However in the opinion of workers it looks as "a situation of the class conflict" as they have specific "enemy" - the capitalist with whom they find it possible to fight and be at enmity openly on legal grounds. Privatization makes active and the "class feelings" of workers which were taking root into their brains in

a current of several decades and also creates at them "new" understanding of those difficulties which they meet in the years of reforms. On the other hand, it helps workers to formulate their requirements correctly.

Within the first decade of economic reforms in China the nature of property of the enterprises of a public sector remained invariable. If in the postcommunist countries of Europe after 1989 began to carry out openly privatization, then the government of China firmly opposed such succession of events. It was declared that "the Chinese feature of socialism" was that market reforms will be undertaken without privatization (page 44). However for 1993-1994 (after a trip Deng of Xiaoping on the country South in 1992) the leadership of China recognized as inevitable fundamentally to reduce the sizes of an unprofitable public sector. Implementation of this policy began with privatization of small and medium-sized enterprises of a public sector. Along with it it was authorized to private capital to participate in work of primary branches of the industry in the form of acquisition of stocks of large enterprises of a public sector.

However from the very beginning privatization began to be carried out by

in "streamline shape". The government of China never officially announced privatization by the national policy. Also the laws regulating an order and features of privatization were not issued. The local governments and heads of the enterprises of a public sector had great opportunities to interpret in own favor not numerous and indistinct state instructions in this area. In such conditions the privatization began to be carried out in two forms. 1. "The actual privatization", or the "spontaneous privatization" similar to what occurred in the postcommunist countries of Europe at the very beginning of this process. In the majority a case managing directors of the enterprises of a public sector organized the own companies to which they by hook or by crook transferred assets and property of the enterprises of a public sector or managed to establish the control over other ways working with the state enterprises of a public sector. 2. "Legal privatization" which essence consists in formal transfer of state ownership to private hands" (page 45). Such translation often was any, slaboobosnovanny in terms of the law. It occurred by conspiracy between directors of the enterprises, private buyers and local authorities. Their purpose was to deprive of workers of an opportunity to participate in profits of the enterprise. The formal procedures existing in such cases for transfer of state property to individuals are not observed absolutely, or local authorities manipulate them so that to reduce the income of workers to a minimum.

Such privatization strongly embittered workers, especially those who spent many years of the life for creation of the enterprise. But privatization has also a positive side: it gives to workers political and practical opportunities for organized fight against such orders. It pushes activists of public industries to throw down a challenge to political oppressions and promotes mobilization of their forces.

Transferring to

small and medium-sized enterprises of a public sector to private hands, party leaders never called it privatization and continued to repeat about the commitment to socialism. For example, in 1995 Jiang Zemin, at that time the secretary general of the CPC, said publicly: "We are not going to resort to privatization at all. It is one of our main principles, and we will never recede from it even on the smallest distance" (page 46). The proclaimed commitment of heads of the CPC by socialism instilled confidence in workers of the enterprises of a public sector that they can openly fight against privatization.

they already act as

In the structural relation as "class" against the capitalist - the owner of the enterprise. Such situation makes important changes to the nature of the labor disputes at the Chinese enterprises.

All three factories surveyed by the author and designated by it as ZZPM, ZZPE and ZZEM were the enterprises of a public sector, and then are merged with private firms in 1998, 2000 and 2001. Workers of all three factories opposed privatization, including its illegal and harmful. Directly they oppose private co-owners of their enterprises, but direct the blows and against the authorities most of which often take the part of private co-owners. Working ZZPM managed to cancel the contract with private firm unlike working ZZPE and ZZEM.

At all three factories all workers said

to the management that the decision of the government to transfer factory to private hands dishonestly and unfairly: workers spent many years of the life for a construction of these objects and work for them, and it as they are convinced, grants them the right for a part of property of factories.

the Business owner who redeemed 22RB told

to workers that as the government sold it this factory and processed all documents to it, the factory belongs only to it. Activists from the circle of workers were not going to recede. They prepared the text of the leaflet explaining to workers of their right for a part of property of buildings and the equipment of factory and distributed leaflets to all workers. Also activists from the circle of workers acted on 22PM. This generation of the Chinese workers gained class consciousness on Maoist literature before the first collision with capitalists on the practical soil. Workers perfectly realize the present status. For example, one of activists 22PM during the squabble with the new private owner of factory said: "... now we any more not owners of factory. Now we became an oppressed class". The author writes that lately many facts of oppression of workers are recorded. Other activist with 22RB with offense said: ".rabochy became the group of the population exploited, being at the bottom of society" (page 49).

during mobilization of workers against privatization the activists on 22PM used texts of appeals to workers in whom class terminology was widely used.

Privatization generated mistrust and even antagonism among workers in relation to the government. Besides that reform policy already caused discontent among workers, privatization forced them to think that for the government operates them: on the one hand, the government continues to repeat about the commitment by socialism, and with another - it carries aggressively out privatization, and when workers begin to be indignant with it, the government always takes the part of capitalists, and sometimes even suppresses workers' protests by force. One of activists of ZZPM said: "All government agencies serve capitalists. Now it seems that the government intends not to increase competitiveness of the enterprises of a public sector, and to strengthen the system of capitalism" (page 50).

On gate of two factories the workers wrote in capital letters a slogan: "Reforms do not solve privatization", i.e. a slogan, the offered Deng Xiaoping in one of performances (page 50).

Fight of workers was especially well organized by

on 22PM where as it is surprising, they won.

22PM it was constructed in 1958. It was the paper-mill of the average sizes at which 860 workers and employees were employed. The cost of the building and the equipment was 88.3 million yuans. The factory was preserved in 1995 as its work was recognized as ecologically harmful. In 1997 when at factory the debt on 56.4 million collected. yuans, the company which was originally calling itself state suggested local authorities to organize its merge to 22PM. The management 22PM, believing that it - really state-owned firm, agreed on November 26, 1997 to merge. Council of workers and serving (CPC) 22PM agreed too, having been sure that it WOULD will help to restore production on 22PM and will deal with issues of salary, medical care and social insurance for workers 22PM. However for two next years WOULD violate all the promises, and it became clear that it is private firm. The manager of BN said that after merge all property and the buildings 22PM belong to its firm and that in September, 1999 the factory will be sold, all workers aged up to 40 years will have to receive a severance pay and to leave factory. Workers 22PM sincerely believed that they have legitimate right to participate in definition of the future of property of their factory (page 51).

Labor union 22PM was absolutely incapable to resist to plans of the manager. Therefore in the summer of 1999 on 22PM the initiative group headed by the experienced and vigorous employee Li was spontaneously formed. On false charge of the authorities of Li it was arrested, but the group continued to act. It managed to establish that 22PM it was already actually privatized and that it carefully disappeared from all workers. The group made changes to the structure of Council of workers and employees (SRO) 22PM which began to fight for cancellation of illegal privatization of factory actively. Li was released from under arrest and again headed group. The group WOULD steal at the manager "the land certificate stored at him 22PM" - the official document confirming the property right on

all factory, which was at after merge. At the end of spring of 2000. Li said: "As the state does not take care of our factory, we will take care of it" (page 53).

of the Power were regarded by actions of activists as occupation of all factory ZZPM, and on August 8, 2000 1000 police officers rushed on the territory of ZZPM and arrested all group of activists. However protests from working ZZPM proceeded, and the management of made the decision to cancel documents on merge to ZZPM and to provide to ZZPM factory independence. As a result at factory the independent company which shareholders at first steel of 206 working ZZPM (page 55) was organized.


Resistance of privatization was shown as well workers of ZZPE and ZZEM. However they did not manage to achieve the same progress. Activists of ZZPM WOULD win because of relative weakness financial and organizational issues. At just there WOULD be no funds to solve all problems of the ZZPM factory which merged with them, to force to get again working ZZPM to work. At also there WOULD be no sufficient organizational experience as merge to ZZPM was its first experience in this area. Being young firm, it in very big degree depended on discretion of officials. When workers of ZZPM began a campaign of protests, the management could not carry out the necessary maneuvers to paralyze this campaign.

of U ZZPE and ZZEM at merge to secret firms. So, 8T and UT, two firms which respectively merged with ZZPE and ZZEM had the capital in several hundreds of millions of yuans everyone; 8T already absorbed seven other enterprises of a public sector of China as a result of merges, and UT was officially recognized "model private enterprise" which had big economic weight in the considered city. 8T had an opportunity to employ several hundreds of workers fired from ZZPE in the same city, and UT agreed to pay a grant to salary to working ZZEM according to terms of their length of service when terms of their work on the contracts which are earlier signed with the management of a public sector (page 58) came to an end. The government of China systematically assisted these two firms.

As well as all other measures, connected with orientation of the industry to the market, privatization renders destructive effect on workers of a public sector. The author writes that as results of his inspection and also other unofficial information testify, privatization often caused the organized resistance of workers as they considered quite lawful to oppose capitalists for protection of state ownership (in the same place). However, in spite of the fact that performances against privatization were organized under the class slogans, they do not represent the labor movement directed by independent labor unions and which is based on solidarity of all firms and industries. Nevertheless protests of workers against privatization allow to realize institutional restrictions of labor movement in China in the future. Meanwhile fight of workers against privatization happens only at the level of separate firms and did not develop into fight for common interests of all working class. It is interfered by generally political reasons.

of Activists at factories was constrained by determination of the government to suppress working disorders if they go beyond the separate enterprises. For the last few years the government of China began to treat more tolerantly disorders of workers at the separate enterprises and does not suppress them if in Beijing consider that they seriously do not break a political and economic order in the country. However the government is not ready to reconcile to the disorders of workers which are beyond the separate enterprises at all. It it was possible to see at least on the example of large disorders of workers at several enterprises in Liaoyang the Provinces of Liaoning in March, 2002

Despite this, personal contacts and even meetings of activists from several factories outside their enterprises took place and were allowed by the authorities (page 59). Activists are usually well informed on a situation at other enterprises. By the experience the author reports that activists from other factories well knew how the conflict on 22PM develops. However the present political situation in the country excluded possibility of mass working disorders (page 59).

If workers showed class consciousness, then, according to the author, it was a consequence of their former experience got in a condition of the state socialism, and their idea of capitalism taken from Maoist ideology. To a certain extent it explains scales of resistance of workers of privatization when they mixed class rhetoric with economic realities.

to Resistance of privatization were promoted as well methods of its carrying out by the authorities. Workers of the enterprises are completely deprived of the right of participation in it. All system of transfer of state property to private hands in China is deprived of transparency, badly fulfilled from the legal point of view, is carried out arbitrarily and most often infringes upon the interests of workers. At the same time the government did not refuse socialist ideology and phraseology and also never lifted privatization of the enterprises of a public sector to the level of official national policy (page 60). Therefore it is quite natural that workers use rhetoric of former years at formulation of the requirements, however in the strategic plan use by workers of standards and phraseology of former years prevents them to estimate correctly the interests and opportunities in the conditions of market economy and can make all their present fight not constructive as return to a former system is already impossible (page 60).

G.M. Kozhevnikov

privatization of the people's republic of china labor movement of the people's republic of china
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