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Harmonization by Law – Labour Conflicts in China and the New Labour Conflict Law


  • Guenter Schucher


Over the last decade the number of labour disputes in China has increased dramatically, and even more so since the introduction of the Labour Contract Law on 1 January 2008. On 1 May 2008, the new Labour Dispute Mediation and Arbitration Law took effect, replacing the previous 1995 Labour Law. The new law has the potential to streamline the highly frustrating administrative procedures that have plagued labour disputes in China and have deterred labourers from seeking redress. While the Chinese government continues to advocate for mediation at the grass-roots level, the declining effectiveness of such mediation points to the fact that labour conflicts have become more complex and more complicated to resolve. Workers taking to the streets, however, are so far no danger to the Party’s power as protests are scattered and localized. Whether the new law will succeed in improving the institutional conflict resolution mechanism remains to be seen.

Suggested Citation

  • Guenter Schucher, 2008. "Harmonization by Law – Labour Conflicts in China and the New Labour Conflict Law," Journal of Current Chinese Affairs - China aktuell, Institute of Asian Studies, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, vol. 37(4), pages 64-110.
  • Handle: RePEc:gig:chaktu:v:37:y:2008:i:4:p:64-110

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