Paper Example on Unionization of Workers

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Middlebury College
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The unionization of workers is the process where employees come together and create one body that will seek to address all their work-related issues and welfare. The groups formed are called unions, and they are the sole advocates for the right and liberties of employees in any given organization's long as the workers of the organization are under a union. The unionization of workers has proven to have some impact on the average amounts of wage for workers either daily or monthly. Over the years, the welfare of workers in the organization has been a factor of concern and has led to studies being conducted so as to find out the effectiveness of unions in representing the employees or workers. One of the studies conducted on this topic was conducted by Chinese scholars in a bid to find out the relations between unions and workers welfare in Chinese firms. Published by the Journal of labor economics the paper uses the Chinese population as a case study to get to affirm or contradict hypotheses that were held by the authors of the paper.

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The contents of this paper are focused on giving a review on the paper. The review will entail a pragmatic evaluation of the paper in question to draw the gist of the original paper. Evaluation the general hypothesis of the paper will be given as well as the methods that were in the research. The methods of data collection that was used in the research will also be stated and discussed accordingly. The results and limitations of the paper will be given and finally, recommendations for the results of the paper will also be discussed. In a concluding statement on the paper a critique on the contents of the paper will also be discussed to give the general overview of the paper.

Hypothesis of the paper

When evaluating the relationship between unions and union workers in China, the paper took some hypotheses or stand that were to either be proven or disapproved by the research that later followed in the paper. One of the main hypotheses of the paper is that there are some unions that are better organized and they offer their member a better representation regarding looking after the welfare of its members as opposed to others. In support of this, the study looked at the nature f state-owned enterprises (SOEs) as the main case study for this hypothesis. This hypothesis was based on the fact that state-owned enterprises have been around for a longer while and they have a longer history of unionization as opposed to private companies.

The second hypothesis of the paper is based on evaluating the consistency in effect on unions on the welfare of the workers. The paper holds the belief that unions are expected to continually improve the welfare of workers if some construct in the workers welfare is constantly looked after. In this aspect, the paper went forth to look at some of the major factors that impact on the consistency of a union in looking after its members. The paper looks at how training, accident cover, amenities at the workplace and finally, benefits. In this context, the paper avoids looking at the effect of the unions on h performance of the organization.

Following studies in the same field, the authors of the paper held the belief that unions in China operate under very complicated environments. This is to mean that, unions in Chana are not allowed to operate as independent entities but rather operate under the umbrella of the organization. The fact that the unions are related to the organization begged the third objective of the paper which is that both the workers welfare and the unions are directly impactive on the performance of the firm. This meant that by looking at the performance of the firm, one could be able to easily deduce the performance of the unions in the process. By seeking to get more data on these three hypotheses, the paper will gather enough data that will aid in finding out about unions and workers welfare in China firms.

Data being used

The data on the research was drawn from the International Finance Corporation survey on the CSR (corporate social responsibility) of Chinese firms. The survey was conducted in 2006 with the aim of finding out how Chinese firms related to their employees and the environment around them. In the study, data was collected from more than 1,268 firms in more than 12 cities in China. The data from this research was backed up by other secondary data that was collected from books and journals. The selection of the cities in the study was drawn in order from the north to the south of China. The selected cities were used as a representative of the sample population of firms in China. This was to enable the study gather data in a manner that will represent the whole population in totality. The data in this manner was to aid represent all the geographical locations China. The data from the study was collected by the National Bureau of Statistics. 100 companies in every city were selected as random samples representing companies that had revenues of over 5 million Yuans in a year.

In the study, the data was divided in the category according to the ownership of the firm in question. The division was in the form of; domestic private enterprises/privately owned companies (DPEs), state-owned enterprises, and foreign investment enterprises (FIEs). After this was done, the data was divided according to the size of the firms in the country. The data was collected by the use of questionnaires that were administered to personnel with the aim of finding out the was the organizations performed their corporate social responsibilities. Of the data collected 854 of the firms that were used on the study were unionized organization while the rest were not under any unions. This made sure that most of the data were on unionized firms and the rest would represent the data for comparison. The data used is set to answer the hypothesis of the paper and also help in finding out the relationship between the welfare of workers in Chinese firms and unionization of workers. A list of variables is used in the evaluation of the data so as to bring out a clear relation of the data into the context of the research question.

Finding of the study and relation to other literature

From the data and the study conducted it was found out that larger firms in the study were more unionized than small firms. This was in agreement with most other studies that were conducted before this one in China. The study also found out that the level of unionization in the organizations was dependent on the nature of the organization. Organizations that had migrant workers were less likely to have unions as opposed to localized organizations. On the effects of the unions on the welfare of the workers, the data showed that unionized organization presented better employee welfare packages than ununionized firms. The manufacturing sector is one of the largest representatives of unionized organizations.

The better part of the results satisfies the basic thesis statement of the paper that, unions help in improving the welfare of workers in Chinese firms. To show this, the paper looked at the two forms of contract that are mostly exerted upon by unions. Recent studies had shown that the collective bargaining of employees has proven to aid in getting an increased wage for personnel. The study also drew from earlier papers that had evaluated the wage gap between the different terms of contracts. ACTFU, the federation of trade unions in China, is focused on unionizing workers to help them have a larger collective bargain to help in increasing their wages. This because in China some ways (like striking) in which a union can represent the pleas of its members are considered illegal. The focus on collective bargain by ACTFU shows that there is a positive relation between increased wage in the form of welfare and unionization. From the sample, it was shown that only 4% of the organizations that were used did not have any written with its employees. This showed that there is a high number of organizations that represented their workers in unions. From an evaluation of the results, it was found out that there was a 13% chance of increased wages among unionized firms. The paper showed that unionization helped improve the welfare of employees in China mostly through giving them a bargaining ground. The increase in salary and performance of the organization was also linked to unionization of the firms that showed performance.

Limitations and implications of study

The deviations and wide ranges in the data proved to provide a wide area of error when it came to correlating the sample spaces to the larger population. The study had more than 65% of the total sample drawn from domestic private enterprises. This means that the data would not fully and correctly relate to the wide spectrum of organizations in the country. The effects of unionization were not fully represented because unionization in China is highly concentrated in the manufacturing sector thus proving a difficulty in representing the diversity of industries. The high concentration of unions in the east-central regions of China also affected the viability of the results of the study.

From the data and analysis of the data, it can be seen that unionization of workers in China is at the edge of tipping into the next stage of development which is to break away from the controller the government into separate and own entities. By doing this, the unions will be able to use the full potential of their representative leverage to improve the welfare of workers in the Chines market.


The study clearly shows that unions have the power to improve the welfare of the workers and also the efficiency of an organization. The results of the study pose very serious concerns on the nature of unions in China and the need for more unions in the country. The study shows that poor representation of workers in the country attribute the high rate of poor work terms in China. The results from the study pose as a pointer to the need for reforms in regulations managing unions.

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