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Chinese Workers Strike at Honda: A New Beginning?

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Case Details:


Case Code : HROB136 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 500;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 500 + Rs. 25 for Shipping & Handling Charges


Labor Unrest / Industrial Relations / Labor Unions
Case Length : 27 Pages
Period : 2007-2010
Organization : China Honda Auto Parts Manufacturing Co., Ltd
Pub Date : 2011
Teaching Note : Not Available
Countries : China
Industry : Automobile / Manufacturing


This case study is about the worker unrest at Honda Auto Parts Manufacturing Co., Ltd. Foshan, and the implications of labor unrest such as this for the Chinese economy. It brings out the approach of the workers when faced by a hostile management and a dysfunctional labor union. It shows how workers can use technology as a medium to organize themselves.

The strike at Honda Auto Parts Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (Honda) drew global attention. There were increasing wage demands from workers that threatened China's competitiveness. The strike brings out the difficulties faced by China as it moves forward in its process of growth.

Some experts felt that the country could make the shift from merely exploiting labor in export-oriented industries to a greater reliance on home markets that could be achieved by a higher pay. The strike had serious implications for the global supply chain.

Experts had mixed views regarding these unprecedented developments. It was reported that Shenzhen had drafted labor legislation which might set the pace for reforms in the country. However, the role of the state-owned labor union ACFTU and the way the changes would actually be implemented over time will determine the shape of the new China that is taking shape.


Understand the issues surrounding the particular context of a labor movement.
Examine the role of the labor unions.
Bring out the factors that lead workers to organize themselves.
Understand the critical role of unions in securing employee wellbeing.
Understand the need to have good faith in the relations between employees, employers, and the union.
Understand the role of grievance handling in a union.
Appreciate the importance of constructive labor legislation.
Examine how the labor union activity is linked with the Economic System.


  Page No.
Increasing Labor Unrest 1
Honda's Operations 3
The Strike at the Foshan Plant 4
Strikes at other Honda Facilities in China 11
Digital Crusaders 11
Genesis of the Problem - The China Model? 12
Increased Radicalization? 15
Implications of the Strikes 16
Within Distance of the Right to Strike? 19
Exhibits 22

Key Words:

Labor Unrest, Labor Union activism, Strikes, Dysfunctional Labor Union, Emergence of Leadership in a Union, Collective Bargaining, Negotiation, Lewisian Turning Point for economy, Labor Legislation, Grievance handling, Difficulties in Economic Growth in China, Internship programs, Impact of strikes on the global supply chain, Taylorism, Competitiveness of Chinese Economy

Increasing Labor Unrest - Next Pages >>


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