State led informal disputes settlement in China

Research output: Conference Papers (RGC: 31A, 31B, 32, 33)31A_Invited conference paper (refereed items)Yespeer-review

View graph of relations


Related Research Unit(s)


Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jul 2018


TitleILERA 18th World Congress (ILERA 2018)
PlaceKorea, Republic of
Period23 - 27 July 2018


This paper examines a seldom discussed aspect of informal disputes resolution activities in China, in the form of local governments’ forming crisis teams to stop conflicts urgently. These teams, whilst tending to stop conflicts quickly often by forcing employers to meet workers main demands, undermine the development of mature industrial relaitons mechanism for conflict management. Through experimentation and development of a legal framework, China has instituted a clear and unified formal framework for settling industrial (labour – employer) conflicts. There is a growing analysis concerning the 2008 Labour Disputes Resolution law in various aspects of its impact on industrial relations. The tightening of the mediation, arbitration and litigation procedures have not had a major effect on reducing strikes and other forms of mass labour incidents, although there are no official statistics to very any claims made regarding overt industrial conflict.

Alternative disputes resolution has become of major interest, especially since the wave of strikes in 2010, in which workers, supported by NGOs forced negations on management and the official unions. However, there is also is also a seldom discussed alternative procedure initiated by local governments, based on more central government requirements. These procedures generally include ‘emergency procedures/ plans’ in their titles, reflecting the intention of managing ‘mass incidents which threaten social stability’ of various kinds. Some large-scale strikes and even, smaller strikes where workers move their conflicts outside the employers’ workplace to government offices or public transport hubs, are often considered such threats. The plans require officials from various government departments to coordinate to stop the conflict as quickly as possible, rather than resolve underlying problems. This often involves officials becoming on the spot mediators or arbitrators. The paper examines example procedures as well as some examples of these procedures in practice. The paper concludes by highlighting how problems arise from high ranking officials rushing to fire fight these disputes.

Bibliographic Note

Information for this record is supplemented by the author(s) concerned.

Citation Format(s)

State led informal disputes settlement in China. / Taylor, Bill; Li, Qi.

2018. ILERA 18th World Congress (ILERA 2018) , Seoul, Korea, Republic of.

Research output: Conference Papers (RGC: 31A, 31B, 32, 33)31A_Invited conference paper (refereed items)Yespeer-review