The reign of the market: Economy and industrial conflicts in Hong Kong

Research output: Book/ReportBooks

Abstract

Making use of a unique near-textbook case of market society, this paper has attempted to test various hypotheses pertaining to the relationship between market and strikes. With extremely low level of institutionalization of industrial relations as in Hong Kong, workers’ strike activity is highly dependent on their changing market position. Buoyant labor market, rising real wages, and brisk product demands augment the bar-gaining power of labor vis-à-vis the management, remove psychological barriers to protest, and increase the strategic appeal of strikes. Converse-ly, slackening economic growth, decline in employer propensity to invest, stagnant real wage growth, and low job security foster passivity and tilt the balance of power towards the capital. In general, propositions derived from the collective action perspectives performed well in explaining both the short-run variations and secular trends in strike activity. Theories stressing the incidence of psychological stress, however, are found to be complementary to the collective action perspectives in the short-run, when price inflation is likely to induce strikes.
本文以高度市場主導的香港社會作為個案,嘗試驗證各種有關市場與罷工之關係的理論。因為香港的勞資關係制度化程度甚低,勞工之罷工行為深受其市場位置之轉變影響。當勞工市場呈現緊張、工人實質工資增加、商品銷售暢旺時,工人相對於資方的議價能力相應提高,更從而掃除了工人抗爭的心理障礙,及加強了罷工策略上之吸引力。反之,當經濟增長放緩、企業投資意欲減低、實質工資停滯不前時,市場趨向令工人變得消極,更令勞資之間的力量對比明顯變得對資方有利。在理論層面,本文之分析指出集體行動理論似乎較能解釋罷工行動的長期及短期性變化。此外,強調心理因素之集體行為論與集體行動論亦有可以互相補足之處,因為通貨膨脹之壓力亦會在短期內增加罷工的機率。 Copyright © 1992 Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationHong Kong
PublisherHong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
ISBN (Print)962441016X
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1992

Citation

Chiu, S. (1992). The reign of the market: Economy and industrial conflicts in Hong Kong. Hong Kong: Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Keywords

  • Alt. title: 《香港經濟與勞資糾紛》

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