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Chinese Labor in a Korean FactoryClass, Ethnicity, and Productivity on the Shop Floor in Globalizing China$
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Jaesok Kim

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780804784542

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804784542.001.0001

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Clash of the Global and the Local

Clash of the Global and the Local

(p.191) SEVEN Clash of the Global and the Local
Chinese Labor in a Korean Factory

Jaesok Kim

Stanford University Press

Chapter Seven analyzes the limits of globalization by describing new developments on the shop floor such as a new plant manager from a Guatemalan maquila factory and an unprecedented workers’ strike. After the collision with the local power holders, management realized it could no longer rely on their unofficial support. Instead, management chose to push forward a “higher level of globalization” to restore shop-floor control. As part of its new managerial push, management decided to hire the new plant manager, expecting he would introduce managerial practices “more global” than those of Nawon. The “global standards” of the new management reinforced labor supervision and increased the intensity of labor. These changes, however, triggered a Han-Chinese workers’ strike, leading to the new plant manager’s resignation. The strike resulted from the “global” management’s ignorance of the workers’ expectation of “decent” wages and the previous management’s paternalist attitude toward the workers.

Keywords:   collective inaction, corruption, gangs, globalization, Guatemala, maquila factory, resistance, rightful resistance, strike

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