Industrial relations in South-East Asia: a cross-examination

Le Queux, Stephane, Cooke, Fang Lee, and Cox, Anne (2018) Industrial relations in South-East Asia: a cross-examination. In: [Presented at the AIRAANZ 32nd Annual Conference]. From: AIRAANZ 32nd Annual Conference, 7-9 February 2018, Adelaide, SA, Australia.

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Our presentation is based upon the Editorial exposé of a special issue on industrial relations in Asia recently published by the Chronique Internationale de l’IRES (Delahaie and Le Queux 2016). Contributions were drawing on original research work and covered up to seven countries from the South-East Asian region (Taiwan, The Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore) plus China. Three streams were under scrutiny: 1) Low wages and decent work; 2) Migrant workers and informal labour; 3) Industrial conflict, and the way labour organisations (or the State) dealt with it.

Contributions on Indonesia and Thailand touched upon decent work in low-wage economies, and the one on The Philippines on precarious employment more particularly; those on Singapore and Taiwan addressed the challenges and contradictions of maintaining a productivist agenda under tight corporatist regimes. The one on Malaysia focused on migrant labour and informal work. Contributions on China and Vietnam reflected on the nature and modality of industrial disputes and how these came to challenge established Communist labour institutions. China and Vietnam were given additional attention as they provided ground for a comparative analysis.

Observations are congruent with the literature: States still play a dominant role of 'pacification' of industrial relations, with capitalist accumulation’ being the primary motive (Ford and Gillan 2016); international pressures are indispensable yet commitment to the enforcement of workers' rights remains problematic; echoing a long-lasting assessment (Deyo 1981; Leggett 1999), the overarching conclusion is that the interface between development and industrial democracy is a key determinant in the region.

Item ID: 56907
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Keywords: industrial relations, Asia
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Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2020 00:56
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1503 Business and Management > 150306 Industrial Relations @ 100%
SEO Codes: 91 ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK > 9104 Management and Productivity > 910401 Industrial Relations @ 100%
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