Wandering China

An East/West pulse of China's fourth rise from down under.

Singapore Strike: The Full Story [Wall Street Journal] #Singapore #RisingChina


The Chinese bus-driver strike is Singapore’s first real strike in decades.

Push has become pull. Along with China’s rise and more self-assured place in the world, more Chinese are turning to a sojourn from the mainland for a better economic future.  This recent surge in numbers has solidified the overseas Chinese presence overseas, now accounting for easily over fifty million.

Above, Singapore’s historical strike data from 1946 to 2009. In this chart, man-days lost refer to the total number of working days lost annually due to industrial action. It is calculated by multiplying the duration of industrial actions (in days) with the number of workers that were affected. Source - Ministry of Manpower, Singapore

Above, Singapore’s historical strike data from 1946 to 2009. In this chart, man-days lost refer to the total number of working days lost annually due to industrial action. It is calculated by multiplying the duration of industrial actions (in days) with the number of workers that were affected. Source – Ministry of Manpower, Singapore

The contrast with China’s >100,000 mass incidents yearly shows a stark difference in approach.

The Chinese tolerate a certain level of dissent, Wukan is a good example.

In this case, I believe the drivers simply felt they ran out of viable options and decided to go for broke, and go straight to the decision makers just like they would back home.

– – –

Singapore Strike: The Full Story
By WSJ Staff Reporter Chun Han Wong

This story of a strike by Chinese bus drivers in Singapore offers a close-up look at a major issue facing the Southeast Asian city-state today: The growing number of migrant workers who underpin Singapore’s economy and the social tensions that their presence can generate. 

What happened over two days in late November 2012 rattled the foundations of Singapore’s economic success – its business-friendly governance and industrial harmony – and prompted a robust response from the government.

The strike, a rarity in Singapore, resonated across Asia, where other countries are grappling with a growing dependence on foreign labor, too. And it provided a window into ordinary lives seldom-seen: the migrants who fan out from China in search of a fatter paycheck abroad.

How to balance the need for new workers from overseas with the preservation of established ways, presents a major dilemma that policymakers and citizens will wrestle with for years to come.

Please click here to read the entire article at the Wall Street Journal online.

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, China Dream, Chinese Model, Culture, Economics, Education, Ethnicity, Government & Policy, Greater China, Human Rights, Influence, International Relations, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Public Diplomacy, Singapore, Social, Soft Power, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Wall Street Journal

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