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Title: Informalization of labor in contemporary China
Authors: Chan, J 
Issue Date: 2023
Source: In M Atzeni, D Azzellini, A Mezzadri, P Moore, & U Apitzsch (Eds.), Handbook of research on the global political economy of work, p. 591–601. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2023
Abstract: Chan assesses major transformations of the Chinese economy and its impact on the lives of workers through the intertwined realms of production and social reproduction. In an active way, the government excludes student interns from the rank of "employees" under the current internship regulations. In a passive, or possibly unintended way, the rollout of new legal requirements - such as restrictions over firings of long-serving employees and limitations on the overuse of agency workers - has given rise to various types of labor outsourcing and subcontracting. Outside of the formal, state-defined labor relations framework, technological innovators recruited workers through digital platforms to establish a system of on-demand labor services. From the bottom-up, labor informalization shapes contentious new forces and resistance. In a slowing economy, and particularly in the face of the Covid19 pandemic since 2019, the struggle for redistributing resources and creating greater social protections for all workers assumes yet greater importance.
Keywords: The Chinese state
Informalization of labor
Flexible employment
Precarious work
Labor law
Worker resistance
Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-83910-657-6 (cased)
978-1-83910-658-3 (eBook)
DOI: 10.4337/9781839106583.00067
Appears in Collections:Book Chapter

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