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Development Of Industrial Relations In Hong Kong Commerce Essay

In reacting to the inquiry, I agree with that the organisation of industrial dealingss in Hong Kong has been less formalistic and less centralised. There are three critical factors influenced the development of the industrial dealingss in Hong Kong. In the undermentioned essay, there will be a definition and description on industrial dealingss and the function of trade brotherhoods in Hong Kong. And discourse the background of economic, political and institutional sociology environment in station settlement Hong Kong that impacting the map of trade brotherhood.

Industrial Relations and Trade Union

The footings of “ Industrial Relations ” is used to specify the relationship and interactions between the employees ( workers ) and employers ( direction ) within the organisational scenes. Those interactions or activities were involved all facets of the employment relationship, human resource direction, employee dealingss and union-management dealingss. The chief parties to the employment relationship and the cardinal histrions are workers and workers ‘ organisations ( normally merchandise brotherhood ) , employers and directors and besides the province ( Bacon, 2009 ) . Since there have difference position among employers, employees ( workers ) and trade brotherhoods ( workers organisation ) , the industrial relation means different things to different people. For workers, they wants equity of employment result, better wage, workplace safety, occupation security and preparation, while employer wants more efficiency, more productiveness, more flexibleness in the work force.

In general, trade brotherhoods have a broad scope of good result. They can be the histrion to force directors improve human resources direction patterns, being the function of confer withing, advancing occupation equal chances, increasing occupation satisfaction and cut downing labour turnover. Meanwhile, trade brotherhoods besides acted as a representative of employee to voice out their demands every bit good as express their positions and involvements in the workplace. Furthermore, they can make issues covering on the rewards and working hours, to promote employees to be better manufacturers for their employers and guarantee employers provide better working conditions for employee through the activities of corporate bargaining and dialogue. Therefore, industrial dealingss were frequently capable to joint ordinance which required cooperation among employee and employer engagement in determination devising.

However, in Hong Kong, brotherhood effects today appear to hold reduced evidently or merely use limited consequence in some particular circumstance. It likely caused by the alteration of industrial dealingss since World War II, under the administration of Colonial British regulation for 150 old ages prior to China ‘s sovereignty.

Critical factors taking that influence trade brotherhoods in Hong Kong

Economic Factors

First of wholly, from the facet of economic factors, entrepot trade was the pillar economic system in Hong Kong. Nevertheless, with the declined of transshipment center trade, the sudden inflow of refugees and the capital from Shanghai and other major Chinese metropoliss transferred to Hong Kong that influenced the motion of brotherhoods in labour relation. With the enlargement of fabrication sector ( such as vesture and electronics ) that facilitate the semi-worker and the accomplishment transferred among difference industries. Manufacturing activities have accounted for the big portion of labour force together with other sector, such as eating houses and hotels, sweeping and retail, commercialism and finance ( Ng, 1984 ) . At that clip, Small house of single concern provided more employment chances. Hong Kong has accomplished a high rate of economic growing with lower unemployment rate.

Under this circumstance, brotherhood rank is low and the corporate bargaining is practically non-existent. There was no inducement to acknowledge trade brotherhoods or deal jointly within workers. In add-on, the perceptual experience of British ‘voluntaristic ‘ tradition, ‘gentlement ‘ understanding among the workplace are more important than corporate understandings, the lacking of legal duty of enforceable contract that allow employer adjust their labour force in conformity to accommodate with the market status ( Chiu and Levin,1996 ) . Meanwhile, the new economic construction merely focused to suit the economic expert prescription in the organisational degree in respect of employment dealingss. Government had following a “ non-interventionist policies ” in the societal and economic domain that had no purpose to reconstitute the industry by implementing ordinance, revenue enhancement policies or subsidies, remains the lowest revenue enhancements among the universe to continue economic system inducements ( Tang, 1999 ) . It had created a capitalist model of the economic system that encourage private sector to pursuit the market capitalist economy. Furthermore, the free market attack, Laisse-faire policies initiated by the authorities on economic activities merely consist with minimum regulative, no minimal pay statute law, no repairing monetary values. That means people can purchase from whom they want, to sell from whom they buy and to put they want or to engage whom they want, to work for whom they want ( Tang, 1999 ) . As a consequence, the collusion between authorities and employer that emerged conflictual involvement between labor and capital that empower employer over the labour procedure and employment dealingss by dickering between single employers and workers. ( Chiu and Levin, 1999 ) . Furthermore, trade brotherhood in Hong Kong are all in political orientated, they are merely interested in recognizing political aim instead than seeking economic benefit for the workers through set uping formal regulation doing agreement with employer ( Chiu and Levin, 1999 )

Political and Sociology Factors

The nature of political understanding for Hong Kong ‘s alteration to China was maintained the British regulation of economic administration. Under this old theoretical account, disposal worked was closely worked with concern community that to guarantee the stableness of societal and economic environment. Such policies were besides included public lodging programme, comprehensive system of instruction, public wellness, subsidized in conveyance and societal service. Colonial authorities attack of non intercession policy that allowed concern elite integrated mostly in administration the system of colonial Hong Kong by explicating public policies in responds to the involvements and demands of the dominant resources accountant and economic elites ( Chiu and Nevin, 1996 ) . In the aftermath of the economic environment, a magnitude domestic perturbation posed major crises of legitimacy, which alert the colonial authorities had to construct a new footing of legitimacy in order to increase the committedness to voluntarism ( Chiu and Nevin, 1999 ) Since the Hong Kong Government had made a formal committedness for the civil retainer over the employment term and status that initiated the pattern tendency of civil-service to private-sector attack. This sort of ‘voluntarist ‘ model had influenced the development of private sector to be more formalized in labour dealingss in civil service that ensuing a procedure of both formal and informal force per unit areas on the dependant and cultural outlook within the organisation. Meanwhile, trade brotherhood being recognised by the colonial authorities and making formal channels for their engagement in determination devising on footings and status of employment which is more advanced than other private sector employers. ( Chiu and Nevin, 1996 )

Through the spread outing minimal criterions of employment non entirely for the capitalist but besides coincide the involvement for vulnerable classs of employees in the work force. The birth of the international statute law for adult females and child labor and the passage of the Employment Ordinance and its subsequent amendments were established in 1920 and 1966-67 severally in order to keep domestic stableness and legitimacy. The policy are set for prohibit any favoritism and warrant to all individuals equal and effectual protection against favoritism on any land such as race, coloring material, sex, linguistic communication, faith, political or other sentiment, national or societal beginning, belongings, birth or other position ( Chiu and Levin, 1996 ) .

In add-on, the set up of Labour Department in 1947, the constitution of the Employment Ordinance in 1974 ( Chiu and Levin, 1996 ) and the reform of political construction in 1980s, constitution of territory boards with elective members to rede the authorities on the affairs impacting the public assistance of the territory ( Tang, 1999 ) , begun elected seats onto the Legislative Council as the British and Chinese authorities negotiated for Hong Kong ‘s future. Political parties stand foring grass-root and labour involvement were able to exert far more to act upon in the legislative assembly ( Tang, 1999 ) . Since it opened up of the political system, little concern and houses, every bit good as labor groups were more active in viing for political support to progress involvements. Besides that, the set up of the Trade Unions and Trade Disputes Ordinance, that allow multiple brotherhood to organize in the same trade, industry or endeavor that facilitate brotherhoods atomization and cut downing possible unfastened resistance from organized labor to colonial regulation. The attack of ‘positive non-intervention ‘ taken by Labour Department, emphasised non to enforce tight control over brotherhood ‘s activities and political orientation.

However, the behavior of the trade brotherhoods FTU & A ; CTU in Hong Kong, ever fall into opposite and competition place between two Chinese authorities ( pro-Chinese Communist Party and pro-Kuomintang Party ) instead than utilizing their resources to heighten the involvement of workers through their domestic political action.

Cultural Factors:

The cultural factors of “ Neo-Confucian ” ideological which suggests workers in Chinese society accept autocratic direction and avoid confrontation with the employer ( Chan and Snape, 2000 ) . The traditional Chinese cultural of paternalism and ‘instrumental individuality ‘ in the work topographic point, can be interpreted as the ‘collectivistic particularism ‘ of the Chinese household ( Ng, 1984 ) which is a construct of ‘utilitarianistic familism ‘ that typically concerned about the involvement of household over social or other group involvement, therefore, they are low in take parting of societal engagement with colleagues and neighbors ( Chiu and Nevin, 1999 ) . Therefore, with these two political orientations among employee, employment merely viewed as their secondary concern. The low degree of societal engagement of political apathy that underpinning the low degree of engagement in the unionisation and corporate action among workers.

On the other manus, the practical exercising of Chinese workers preference unofficial methods and personal web to accomplish their ends instead than in a formal channel. In add-on, the rapid growing of labour population by the inflow of refugee that had influenced the attitude and behavior among the workplace as their primary involvement was maximising the income to acquire familial group endurance.

Main brotherhoods grouping in Hong Kong

The brotherhoods in Hong Kong are encompassed with three chief federations. The Hong Kong Federation of Trade Union ( FTU ) , the largest brotherhood in Hong Kong and was established in 1947. Second is the pro-democracy Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions ( CTU ) was formed in 1990 and has been worked near with the Christian Industrial Committee ( CIC ) that concentrating on labour instruction and reding workers on grudges. Third, is pro-nationalist Hong Kong and Kowloon Trades Union Council ( TUC ) , was established in 1948. There are besides many difference independent brotherhoods which are smaller in specific sector, such as Hong Kong Chinese Civil Servants ‘ association ( HKCCSA ) and Hong Kong Professional Teachers ‘ Union ( HKPTU ) .

Traditionally, FTU have the function of taking an overly compromising line in labor differences and concentrating on the proviso of public assistance services to its members. However, it took a more moderate position that in line with Beijing ‘s compromising unfastened door policy that non merely take parting in societal personal businesss, endeavoring for rights and benefit for workers but besides advancing societal stableness and economic prosperity in Hong Kong.

While CTU aims to construct independent brotherhoods and promote Hong Kong workers to see brotherhoods rank being about the protection of their involvements ( Snape and Chan,1997 ) . The leading of CTU was aimed to obtain the support from the grass-roots by efficaciously stand foring worker ‘s involvements to authorities and to employers, playing a positive function in labour differences by following an inclusive attack to unionisation and desired to keep stableness which enable CTU is frequently cast in the function of trouble-shooter, and stressing the importance of CTU ‘s political liberty that to develop a political consciousness and to continuing trade brotherhood and other freedoms in Hong Kong.

TUC, the association of KuoMinTang ( KMT ) , affiliate has been seen as an look of trueness to the Nationalists. It displayed their influence chiefly through their engagement channel of communicating with the authorities merely. ( Snape and Chan,1997 ) such as Labour Advisory Board. The leader of TUC has implemented low profile attack that in order to avoid choler Beijing. And the leading were comes from the older age group that impacting the enlisting activity was more less than other brotherhoods and have been troubles in enrolling younger workers.


However, conformity to the historical background, the effectivity of trade brotherhood activities in Hong Kong is unfastened to inquiry. Given that the impact of “ Neo-Confucian ” , Chinese household and paternalism had influenced the outlook of Chinese workers and the first migratory coevals, participated in the colonial educational system which restricting corporate challenge towards colonial authorities should non be exaggerated. However, the combination of statute law and regulative of voluntarism and the cultural position can non be overlooked. This was non merely influenced the establishments of household and instruction system but besides foster the laterality of single and instrumental labor market strategic.

In conformity to its political background, authorities ‘s non-intervention attack, corporate bargaining in after universe war II seems effectual fro most of large concern houses, nevertheless, the institutional environment had influenced the new signifier of modern labour organisation in Hong Kong. That emerged the declined of labour motion and the new club origins with a common assistance map.

From the facet on public assistance orientation, trade brotherhood acted as a rule bureau between two competition Chinese parties, Kuomingtang and Chinese Communist Party. With inclination of enlarge their power and seeking the support from employer. However, it can take to the reshape of industrial relation administration construction every bit good as trade brotherhood while the economic bend weak. In add-on, trade brotherhood in Hong Kong can be viewed every bit mimetic as it replete with radical and chauvinistic motion. ( Chiu and Levin, 1999 ) Under this circumstance, trade brotherhood lobbying benefit for worker are become ineffectiveness and gave the evidences for authorities and employer for defying bargaining dealingss with the brotherhoods.


In general, trade brotherhood ‘s function in other states are reasoning dickering with employers for better wage, fillips and allowance, better working conditions and more public assistance benefit and seek to acquire affect in the determination devising are supported by employee. However, it does n’t non intend employee prefer representation and engagement through trade brotherhood in Hong Kong. It can be interpreted due to the outlook difference among Hong Kong and others. The culturally conditioned fatalism and typically in-depth and influence employee in Hong Kong that lead to resistance of corporate action ( Chan and Snape, 2000 ) . Besides the economic, political and sociological factors, employee apathetic to merchandise brotherhood can be seen as a cardinal factor that influence trade brotherhood in Hong Kong became less formalistic and less centralized.

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