SPEAKER 1: The following is a presentation of the ILR School at Cornell University. ILR-- advancing the world of work.
MARY CATT: Good afternoon, and welcome to ILR online. Today's webcast is about a book written in China by workers and edited by Professor Eli Friedman of the ILR School at Cornell University. This is an interactive and live webcast, and we welcome your questions. If you look to the right of your screen, you'll see where you can send your questions to us. And we will probably address them towards the end of the webcast, around 12:20 starting. But please, get them in line so that we can answer all of them. We'd like to do that.
So right now, I'd like to introduce Professor Eli Friedman, who edited the English translation of China on Strike. Welcome, Professor. And if you could start by filling us in on the genesis of this very non-traditional book.
ELI FRIEDMAN: Yeah. China on Strike is a really interesting and, like you said, untraditional kind of a book. It was originally written as a Chinese book, and came out a couple years ago in the Chinese version. In each step of the process, it's been a little bit unusual. So it's worth explaining how it came to life.
The book was written by a group of activists in China. Activists, scholars, and workers. And it was written collectively. And the way they did it is that these folks actually went and were working in factories. A number of them had previously been college students. They had worked for labor NGOs in China, and were very familiar with and cared deeply about the situation for workers. And then they went and they actually became workers themselves.
And this is not an incidental point, because one of the really fantastic things that we see in China on Strike is the incredible depth of these first-person narratives. And what this reflects is that the people who were interviewing them had developed some real sense of trust and rapport with the workers. And we see a lot of academic studies where interviewers will go in and talk to people about their participation in strikes, but because strikes in China don't have any sort of legal protection, it's a politically sensitive sort of a thing.
Oftentimes, it's difficult for people to really open up about their participation in these strikes. And so by working in the factories, by sort of being one of the workers, they really were able to establish a good sense of rapport, and got people to really open up. And you see that really clearly in many of these narratives, where people are talking about their personal situations, very personal sorts of reflections about work life, about participation in strikes and things like that.
So this group of people collected these narratives and brought them together. And they had a couple purposes in doing this. The first was, because there had been so many strikes in China, particularly in the Pearl River Delta section of Guangdong, which is where this book focuses, but there haven't been that many attempts to develop a kind of systematic knowledge about what's happening to try to identify patterns. And so that was the first thing. The second thing is that they were doing this-- they published this book with the idea of reaching out to workers. So it's very much oriented towards a worker audience, rather than sort of an intellectual audience or an academic audience.
MARY CATT: And this book is banned in China, correct?
ELI FRIEDMAN: The book is a so-called underground publication. There's no official publishing house that would be willing to publish this kind of thing because it's dealing with strikes. And again, strikes are politically sensitive. So they had to publish it on their own. The group of activists that put it together have been putting together a magazine, a worker-oriented magazine since, I believe, 2012, as well. And so they've been in this constant cat and mouse game with the authorities around trying to find places where they can publish things. So you can't just walk into a store in Beijing or Shanghai and buy this book.
MARY CATT: I think people here who've read it have mentioned to me how difficult it is for workers in China. Could you give us some insight into what these vignettes tell us about what it's like day to day.
ELI FRIEDMAN: Yeah. Well, the book is called China on Strike, and clearly we deal with strikes, but in each of the narratives workers begin by talking about what their experiences were at work. If you want to know why workers are going on strike, what the cause of the strike is, well then you need to know a little bit about their personal lives and a little bit about what their working lives are.
Again, I want to emphasize that this is focusing on a particular part of China. It's the Pearl River Delta, the area just to the north of Hong Kong, in Guangdong province. And this is China's industrial heartland. This is where a lot of the manufacturing jobs have gone to over the past 25 or 30 years. So it's focusing really on factory workers, and it's focusing on migrant workers, people who come from the countryside to urban areas. So it's a particular kind of worker. But they're mostly producing consumer goods. A lot of electronics, textile workers, toys, these sorts of things.
MARY CATT: The types of things consumers in the States and elsewhere buy on a daily basis.
ELI FRIEDMAN: Absolutely.
MARY CATT: Could you give us some examples of some of these products that are produced by workers under these harsh conditions?
ELI FRIEDMAN: Sure. Well, your cell phone. You know, your iPad. Basically any of the electronics that you're going to buy-- not all of them will be made in the Pearl River Delta, but a lot of them have been. And a lot of the components are also produced there, though not exclusively. These products are certainly very global in origin. But a lot of the assembly is taking place there. So it's very much people who are producing the things that we all buy.
And the companies are mostly based in Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea. Those are the biggest sources of investment. And they're producing things for global brands, all of the American, European brands that we know very well. And you know, to come back to your original question about the working conditions, what we see in this book is maybe not surprising. I think most people have this impression that working conditions for Chinese workers are not that good. But we get a little bit more detail here.
So there's long hours. There's low pay. Oftentimes, the pay is illegally low. It's below the local minimum wage.
MARY CATT: Could you give us an example of how low it is?
ELI FRIEDMAN: Well--
MARY CATT: [INAUDIBLE].
ELI FRIEDMAN: --so it's been changing quite a bit in recent years, but now the minimum wage in most of these areas is around $300 a month for a 40-hour work week. But a lot of workers will have to work overtime in order to get that kind of wages. And it's certainly--
MARY CATT: Six-day work week being the norm?
ELI FRIEDMAN: --six-day work week is the norm, but seven-day work weeks are not at all unusual. Having just, you know, one, maybe two days off a month. So that's quite common.
MARY CATT: And many factory workers are not going home to their own homes or apartments, they're going to dormitories where they live en masse.
ELI FRIEDMAN: That's right. So particularly in this region, this is a model that a lot of the manufacturers have, where the workers live on-site in dormitories, for a number of reasons, in part so that management can exercise more control so that they don't have to spend time commuting. So they're living in dormitories. Most of the people historically, at least over the previous sort of 25 years, have been pretty young, and have been unmarried, and will live, you know, six, eight people to a room. That's not at all uncommon.
One of the things that I think is interesting, and maybe sort of surprising, about this book that people might not have thought of is that a lot of the strikes are-- it's not just because wages are too low. That, of course, is a big part of the problem, but because workers are living within these factories, in these dormitories, a lot of times it's the so-called living conditions that are the source of strikes.
So you know, I've got to walk up three flights of stairs in order to get hot water. I have to wait in line for half an hour in order to be able to take a shower. In a couple of the cases, the food was intolerable, and workers were finding insects in the food. And so that was kind of the cause of the strike. Obviously, there's always other issues going on. So again, long hours, low pay are certainly there, but there's a lot of other concerns that these workers have.
MARY CATT: Once again, I'd like to remind our viewers to please submit your questions. We'd love to be able to take them, starting in about probably 10 minutes. So please do so. One question that came up already from our viewers was there are tens of thousands of strikes going on in China, and this seems very unusual to many people elsewhere because, you know, in Europe we know there's numerous strikes, but when strikes happen in this country, it's much more unusual. So tens of thousands, yet nothing seems to really roll out of the strikes for lasting change in China. Could you talk about that?
ELI FRIEDMAN: Absolutely. So the first thing to understand is that, in 1982, the Chinese government removed the right to strike from the constitution. A lot of people have the misconception that striking is illegal in China. And that's actually not the case. It's a little bit more complicated, where strikes are neither explicitly legal nor illegal.
So if you want to have a strike, you can't apply to the government and say we're going to strike on such and such a day for x amount of time, as would be the case in many other countries. That being said, when you go on strike, there's no specific law that the government can point to to criminalize you. So they use other sort-- there's other ways in which they can criminalize strike activity, mostly around disturbing public order or something like that.
So every time workers go on strike, it's what we call a wildcat strike. It's without legal protection, and it's without a trade union. The problem, because workers don't have their own organization, because the only trade union that exists in China is the All China Federation of Trade Unions, which is controlled by the Communist Party, doesn't really represent workers, these strikes are very ad-hoc.
It's not to say that they're-- sometimes people talk about them as spontaneous. I don't think thinking of them in that way really makes sense. The strikes are never spontaneous. Workers have long-standing grievances, and workers are always talking to each other and organizing and figuring out ways to exercise power. So they typically are planned, but oftentimes planned just by a small group of people. So when you talk to workers about their participation in strikes, one of the things that you'll frequently find is that workers had no idea that a strike was going to happen until the line actually stopped.
Then what happens-- we see this time and time again in China on Strike-- workers go on strike, and there's this kind of upsurge of excitement because they're taking matters into their own hands, but they're not sure what to do next. There's no union there to sort of say, OK, here's the process of collective bargaining, now go do it.
So oftentimes, they'll try to escalate actions. They'll go and they'll block a road. They'll go to the government offices and protests there. And typically, the first thing the government and management will do is to say select representatives. Well, workers oftentimes don't want to select representatives, because immediately the representative faces the danger of being thrown in jail. So you have the situation of a kind of leaderless form of worker unrest.
MARY CATT: The lack of infrastructure stops these protests from becoming more very often, correct. People just don't have a place to go. They don't have worker centers like we do in the United States, and there's no proliferation of unions. So it just kind of-- it happens, and very often it can be a peaceful occurrence, but there are risks, correct? I mean, some people who do choose to strike are beaten by police. It's a little haphazard how things roll out usually.
ELI FRIEDMAN: It's very unpredictable. And some people have talked about this unpredictableness as a strategy of the government. They don't want to make the rules too clear, which then gives the government flexibility to intervene at some times and not at others, dependent on a whole variety of situations, including what kind of political connections the management might have, including how much of a disturbance the workers are causing. If they're really sort of blocking a major highway, or as soon as they leave the factory, you know, then that changes the government's calculus a little bit.
So, you know, sometimes people think, oh, China, you know, it's an authoritarian government. Every time they go on strike, the police are going to come in and beat up people and arrest a lot of people. And that's actually not the case. You know, it's impossible to say with any precision how often that happens, because there's no official statistics. But oftentimes, the workers go on strike, particularly if they stay within the factory compound, they might send the police, but the police will just stand watch and won't engage the workers.
That being said, sometimes things become particularly violent. And you see cases where they bring out police dogs who are attacking workers, or they bring out truncheons. They bring out the riot police, and will force workers back into the factory. The way they use sort of the legal system, or the court system is a bit more selective. It's uncommon for there to be mass arrests. Usually, they'll just try to pick out a few people that they identify as ringleaders. Mostly, they just keep them detained for a few days. You know, try to scare them a little bit. But it's pretty unusual for them to keep workers in prison for a long period of time, though there are some important exceptions.
MARY CATT: And the culture, it seems, perhaps plays into the fact that there's no consistency within specific factories, because people are migratory and do tend to switch jobs quite often, because even if something is patched up after a strike and back wages are paid, the next set of back wages aren't paid. So people disperse very often.
ELI FRIEDMAN: That's right. I mean, that's one of the really remarkable things about China, is how high the turnover is, how kind of ephemeral all the relationships are amongst workers, and between workers and their employers. And there are some statistics which reveal the incredibly high rates of turnover in factories in China.
And you talk to workers about it, and, you know, they sort of say, well look, we're in a situation where establishing a long-term relationship with the employer seems sort of impossible. Why would they even want to do that? They don't like their jobs. These are not good jobs. So workers are kind of in this constant search for something better, this hope that I can go somewhere else and things there might be a little bit better.
This creates major problems from the perspective of management, having to deal with-- at some factories you have one to even 200% turnover every year. So every six months, the entire workforce has left. That creates problems for management. But it also creates problems from the perspective of workers.
If you're interested in building worker power, if you think about any case where you've had a labor movement or workers have been able to exercise some sort of power, you need some degree of stability. If you're going to have some kind of worker organization, you need institutional knowledge, you need people who know each other and know how to get things done. And if people are leaving, you know, if staying in a factory for a year is a long time, then that makes it basically impossible.
And one of the really puzzling things-- interesting, but puzzling-- that I found working on this book is that, in a lot of cases, you have people who participate in these strikes, are very enthusiastic in participating in strikes, and as soon as the strike ends, they leave. Now this, to me, was really puzzling. If you're going to take the risk of going on strike in China, it's a risk. You could lose your job, or something worse could happen.
The strike ends, and, in many cases, they don't always get all of what they're asking for, but in many cases they get some of what they're asking for. Why would you then leave? It's something that I haven't quite worked out yet, but I think it's really a reflection of how much churning of people there is through these factories.
MARY CATT: Amazing. I'd like to remind our viewers once again that we'd love to take your questions. So please do send them in, and Professor Eli Friedman will be happy to answer them. We're going to wrap up around 12:30, so please do so, if you can, right now. We'd love to be able to accommodate every question that comes our way.
One of the things that I found frustrating about the book was I see such terrible conditions. And we're all buying these items as consumers. What can we do as individuals to contribute to possibly finding some ultimate resolution to this situation?
ELI FRIEDMAN: Right. You know, I mean, this is something that people in the United States have been concerned about for a long time. I get students who ask me about this all the time. What can we do as consumers to help address the labor rights violations that are happening in China? And I'm just not that optimistic about what consumers can do to address this situation.
And the first reason for that is, well, people have been talking about this for at least 20 years. You can go back to the mid 90s, when there was all these scandals with Nike's labor rights violations. And you know, a lot of consumer activism around that. There have been some improvements in the production of Nike shoes, but from my perspective, these are very marginal kinds of improvements.
And by and large, if you went back to, say, 1995 and asked people what do you think consumer activism is going to accomplish by 2016, I think that they would be hugely disappointed by the results. And the reason for that is because these companies are still, at the end of the day, you know, they've set up social responsibility departments and things like that. At the end of the day, the social responsibility part of the corporation still doesn't have the power to go to the sourcing part of the corporation and say, we want you to just pay 30% more for this. They don't.
There's a lot of reasons for why that's the case. There's sort of a course of competition within the market. But we see this very clearly. And in fact, in Guangdong, in the Pearl River Delta, a lot of these companies have decided that labor in China has already gotten too expensive. And so they're already relocating production from China to places like Vietnam and Cambodia. Bangladesh, of course. A lot of the garment manufacturing has gone there.
So it seems like every time there's some kind of marginal improvement in workers' standing that these companies still have the capacity to move somewhere else. So I'm not that optimistic about what consumers can do in this kind of situation.
MARY CATT: One last question before we go to the excellent questions our viewers are sending in. And that is the book can be a source of inspiration for people, for readers in their own local areas.
ELI FRIEDMAN: Right. Yeah. And you know, that's very much connected to your last question. I mean, people say, well look, you know, workers have problems in China. We want to do something about it. I'm not optimistic about what you can do as a consumer, but if you look at the history of labor movements-- not just in China, but in the United States and places in Europe and elsewhere in Asia-- the thing that actually has improved conditions for workers is workers organizing themselves and building connections in their own communities.
So if you look at these stories, you know, it's not overwhelmingly optimistic. And I don't want to sort of paint too sunny a picture here about what's happening in China. There's still huge challenges. They don't have a real labor movement. But what we do see is that, if there's any possibility of workers improving their situation, it's going to come from them building their own capacities in their own workplaces, in their own communities.
And so when I talk about it as a source of inspiration for people outside of China, you know, a lot of the problems are not all that different. Well, we don't have workers that live in dormitories and, you know, maybe the hours are not quite as long, but you know, when we think about the United States, oftentimes we're thinking about factories that are shutting down and moving to some other place, and what do workers do in that situation.
Well that's actually precisely the same problem that workers in Guangdong are already facing. As I said, their labor has gotten too expensive. And so now we see a big increase in the number of labor conflicts that are over factory relocations. So I think what it does is it shows us that actually, you know, people can organize in your own community. And that's probably the most effective thing that you can do, rather than worrying too much about what can I do as a consumer to help someone on the other side of the earth.
MARY CATT: Definite parallels. And because of the questions that have come in, we've decided to extend the webcast a bit. So please know that we'll be going beyond 12:30 in order to address some of these questions. Let me start with this question from Tom. How do you think the new NGO law in China may affect getting access to information about workplace strife?
ELI FRIEDMAN: Yeah. So the new NGO law in China, what it seeks to do is to bring NGOs under the control of the government. So they have to have some sort of direct sponsoring organization within the government, they have to register with the police. There's a series of steps which will increase the government's capacity to control nongovernmental organizations, as well as to potentially intimidate them, or kick them out of the country if they're not abiding by their laws.
Now, over the past 15 years or so, there has been a small labor NGO sector that has developed. It's never been easy for them. So in some ways, looking at this law, and it's like, well, this is just another thing that they're going to have to deal with. But under Xi Jinping, the current president of China, who's been in office since 2012, things have gotten notably more repressive towards NGOs, and particularly towards NGOs that receive any kind of funding from foreign sources. It's worth noting that there aren't very many domestic sources that would be willing to fund labor NGOs.
So Tom's question is excellent. These NGOs are facing an increasingly difficult situation. There was an arrest of a number of labor NGO leaders in Guangzhou, which is in the Pearl River Delta, back in December. The question is, how is it going to affect our capacity to get information? I think it definitely will affect it. I think that fewer NGOs are going to be able to exist. I think the NGOs that will continue to exist will be much more tame. They'll be more directly under the control of the government.
Not that, say, you know, Oxfam or the Ford Foundation are sort of radical organizations, but they have a little bit more independence to support organizations that I think were doing some good work. And these NGOs have played a really important role in getting information out. Even in my own research, you know, NGOs have really helped me in a lot of different ways. And it's not just me, it's for many researchers.
So I think this is a source of concern. You know, on the other hand, the internet has allowed for access to all kinds of information that we couldn't have imagined having access to even five years ago. So we're building an archive here at Cornell called the China Labor Collection. And we're harvesting all kinds of information about labor protests in China from the internet. This, again, wouldn't have been possible five years ago. So you know, we're losing out I think on the NGOs, but there will continue to be sources of information.
MARY CATT: Our next question asks about the firms. How do they deal with these strikes? Do any firms employ any conflict management systems? If so, how do those conflict management systems work?
ELI FRIEDMAN: So it varies a lot by firm type. So you have state-owned enterprises, which are sort of at one end. They have the fewest conflicts to begin with. The firms that we're looking at in China on Strike are mostly, as I mentioned, private firms from other Asian countries-- Taiwan, South Korea, and Hong Kong-- who are invested in China.
And typically, they have a very ad-hoc sort of a response to strikes, which in some ways I find surprising, because there's been so many strikes at this point. You would have thought that they'd have a better way of dealing with this. But it's not-- in the American context, a company, presumably one of the first things they would do when they have a strike or threat of a strike is they'd get a team of lawyers together. Well in China, there's no law. So when you're negotiating strike outcomes, there's no legal basis by which you can adjudicate these sorts of conflicts.
Companies have been moving towards developing some sort of internal mediation processes. The government has also been really promoting various forms of mediation, as well as arbitration. There's no binding arbitration in China. But to be honest, one of the most common forms of strike resolution, which we see a number of times in China on Strike, is to hire thugs. And there's a lot of connections with organized crime. And so they'll bring in people, and either rough them up or intimidate them. And so this is an unfortunately common occurrence.
MARY CATT: Another viewer writes in, what role do the corporations have in the living conditions? Do they own the dorms? Do they charge to live there like the company stores in the '20s and '30s?
ELI FRIEDMAN: Yeah, so it depends what you mean when you ask about corporations. If we're talking about the brands, the purchasers-- so let's say Apple-- Apple doesn't own any factories in China. Apple contracts. The most famous one of their suppliers is called Foxconn. And Foxconn assembles iPhones and iPads and things like that.
So Apple doesn't own those dorms. They have no relationship there. This is all subcontracted, essentially, to Foxconn. But Foxconn is going to charge workers something to live in-- and all of these supplier factories will charge workers something to live in the dorms and to eat. You know, typically it's not that much money. It's certainly cheaper than it would be to live outside of the factory. But it is another source of conflict because workers sometimes will say, well, you're giving us wages with this one hand, and taking it away with the other. And particularly when the living conditions are intolerable-- again, you've got to walk up three flights of stairs to get some hot water, you're finding insects in your food-- then that can be a real source of conflict, as well.
MARY CATT: Another question about labor rights groups, such as migrant workers centers, in these disputes. Do they have any impact?
ELI FRIEDMAN: They do. And this has changed, it's evolved over the years, the role that they've played. These worker organizations began being established in the mid '90s, particularly in Guangdong province. There's a smaller number elsewhere in the country. You have some in Beijing and some in the Yangtze River Delta, but most of them are still in Guangdong province.
And it's evolved over the years. For a long time, mostly what they were doing is just providing legal advice, so just going around to workers and saying, you know, literally here are laws. And even that was dangerous. You know, I've come across cases of people who were literally just handing people copies of the law and were arrested for doing that. So things were, and continue to be, in many ways, very repressive.
The role has evolved a little bit, and a lot of people noted this particularly in 2014, where it became clear that a couple worker organizations-- not that many, but a couple of them-- were becoming more actively involved. It's not that they were leading strikes. And these organizations are very clear on that. If they begin to really act like a union, and calling strikes and pushing workers to take actions which are not legally protected, that they will put themselves in extreme danger.
So they're not doing that. But oftentimes, when workers had grievances, they would counsel them on, you know, what can you do. And during the course of a strike-- we saw this very clearly in a big strike which took place in 2014 at the Yue Yuen shoe factory. It was a strike of about 40,000 workers, a shoe factory that produces for many well-known global brands, like Adidas and Puma, and some NGOs were very actively involved.
They were sort of helping workers select representatives, helping them to formulate a set of demands. They were writing open letters, they were publicizing it. This was one of the ways that a lot of people around China and internationally found out about this strike. So they began to play a more active role.
But then, in December 2015, the government cracked down on all of these NGOs, imprisoned a bunch of people. So it's this kind of ongoing, I think, oscillation where NGOs realize that there's a lot of risks, they act sort of conservatively, begin to take a few more risks, the government cracks down. And there's been a number of waves of these. And right now is, I would say, the most-- probably the most repressive period of time that China has had in the past 20, 25 years.
MARY CATT: So are there fewer strikes, or the same? Any impact on the number of strikes or [INAUDIBLE]?
ELI FRIEDMAN: No. Well, and that's one of the things that I think is really interesting, is that the government's strategy more recently has just been repress. Right? And Xi Jinping has been employing this across a whole range of areas. It's not just labor, but also in labor. So there's been more repression towards the labor NGOs. I would say more repression towards striking workers, as well, though that's hard to definitively prove.
And, you know, they're concerned about social instability. Strikes and labor movements, in many other contexts, have posed a threat to authoritarian governments. And so that's why they're afraid of it. The problem is, is that their strategy is not going to work. So they're going in there threatening these NGOs, but the NGOs are not actually-- they're not unions. They don't represent workers.
So workers are never asking the NGOs before they go on strike-- they don't go to the NGOs and say, hey, should we go on strike? The workers go on strike. And that's going to continue to happen. There's no indication that that's slowing down. And there's been a big increase in strikes over the past-- you know, certainly since 2008. Strike levels have been incredibly high in China. And I don't see any sign of them coming down anytime soon.
MARY CATT: And no increase-- no improvement in working conditions or wages seem to be occurring, or are there spots?
ELI FRIEDMAN: You know, it's uneven. I mean, wages have definitely gone up. And if you talk to owners of factories in China, across the board they'll say wages have gone up, this is the biggest problem, it's harder for us to compete for orders from foreign buyers. It's an open question about how much that means for workers in terms of improvements in quality of life. The cost of real estate, in particular, in the Pearl River Delta has gone up just dramatically.
So my sense of this is that most of those wage increases have been wiped out by increases in the cost of living. So at least in these privately-owned, export-oriented factories, there have not been significant improvements in workers. Some areas that have gotten a little bit better are child labor. There's definitely less child labor now than there was 20, 25 years ago. And there's been some improvements, as well, in health and safety issues. But in terms of wages, if we think about the way the 20th century worked in the West, if you think about factory jobs as being the road to building a middle class, that's definitely not happening in China.
MARY CATT: One viewer writes in, where can she buy the book?
ELI FRIEDMAN: You can buy the book-- it's published by Haymarket. So if you go to Haymarket's website, you can get it. I believe if you Google China on Strike, the first link that comes up is to the book.
MARY CATT: OK. Well, thank you, Eli Friedman. It's been wonderful talking with you. And thank you to our viewers for coming in. This will be available online, of course, after this webcast. Thank you.
SPEAKER 1: This has been a production of the ILR School at Cornell University.
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China has been the fastest growing economy for a generation, yet people in the United States have very little knowledge of the current status of workers in China.
Eli Friedman is an assistant professor of international and comparative labor at Cornell's ILR School. The primary focus of his research is labor relations and worker rights in China, which includes the study of development, globalization, social movements and urbanization.
In this program, Friedman discusses his latest book, "China on Strike: Narratives of Workers' Resistance" and issues facing workers in China. The book is a translation of a work that has been banned in China for its discussion of politically sensitive topics. It is based on embedded research in China's factories, and draws on dozens of interviews with workers to document the processes of migration, changing employment relations, worker culture, and other issues related to work and China's explosive growth.