The purpose of this dissertation shall be to evaluate the impacts that the Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) have towards the reduction of exploitation of the workers in China.
The undertaking shall focus on both domestic and foreign entities which have invested in the various regions across the country and analyze the extent to which these policies are applicable and effective in relation to safe guarding employees against exploitation by their employers.
The evaluation shall be done through the use of interviews and questionnaires where various workers and employers from different companies shall be encouraged to participate in a bid to find the source of the problem, and thereafter suitable solutions for the same.
The study shall utilize the descriptive correlation method of research to effectively provide answers to the following question: To what extend do FDI reduce exploitation of Chinese workers?
Average mean shall be used to pin point the major concerns raised by the participants in regard to the working conditions, payments and safety protocols presented to them by their companies during their employment period. Data collected shall at the end help in establishing the extent to which these FDIs are beneficial or not to the overall welfare of the workers in China.
Background of the Study
There has been an increase in the number and frequency of complains concerning the poor treatment of workers in most industries in China over the past few decades as compared to other nations (Aitken, 1996). The issues that have been raised include poor working conditions, meager pay, child labor and overworking of the workers.
Gills (2002, p. 157) suggest that in the 80’s, an estimated 80% of all workers in the local and multinational garment industries in China were experiencing some form of exploitation. These employees were faced with various challenges such as sexual harassment, poor pay and pathetic working conditions.
This situation has over the years escalated to worrying levels due to the governments neglect to impose strict labor policies to these industries.
This is partly due to their need to protect the profit base that comes with inward FDI’s. Consequently, increased interest has been developed by policy makers towards the transformation of the rules and regulations that govern the recruitment, sustenance and protection of these workers (Blalock, 2008).
Statement of the Problem
Statistics provided by the China labor watch show that most workers in the industrial sector are often subjected to poor working conditions. In a report by the labor watchdog, four internationally renowned garment/ textile industries in the Guangdong province were red flagged for severe exploitation of their workers. Workers were expected to work an average of 12 to 15 hours a day with an average wage of 45cents per hour.
In addition to this, new employees were not provided with insurance cover for the first year of their contract. The living standards provided were also in poor conditions and no safety training was offered to the employees. On the same note, there were workers aged below 18 years working in these industries and it was noted that there was no freedom of speech in most industries.
Some industries also deducted a mandatory fee on the wages of new employees for at least the first three months so as to cover for working uniforms and health examinations. Ironically, these industries claim to have maintained high levels of ethical and moral standards towards their workers and their operations.
According to Alon (2008, p. 128), FDI’s often present workers with a chance at a better pay, good working conditions and better technology therefore increasing their productivity. This study sets out to investigate to what extent this statement holds true with regard to the Chinese workers.
Related Literature Review
According to Tseng and Rodlauer (2003), the Chinese economic progress over the years has been remarkable with the country’s experiencing increased manufacturing the exportation. This has been as a result of rapid technological advancement brought in by FDI’s, and the increase use of labor intensive techniques of production.
However, due to increased competition and high costs of production, there have been cases of workers exploitation in a bid to counter these limitations. The authors give examples of these tendencies and offers solutions and efforts that are in place to reduce the same.
In his article on reform and openness Gallagher (2002) asserts that the Chinese government is to some extent to blame for the increased abuse of works in China.
The government of China is seen to have effectively managed to maintain a strong grip on order all the while denying workers their labor rights through polite demands and red tape measures. This has consequently resulted in prevalent worker exploitation in most regions causing suffering and distress to the workers.
However, it can still be contended that FDI’s have resulted in positive results as is illustrated by Blalock (2008) who asserts that the social welfare of the host country is much improved.
This is mostly as a result of the technological transfer that is gained by the local suppliers which in turn improves productivity and quality all the while increasing the GDP of the host country and their ability to compete in the global scene.
The Research Method
According to McGuire (2008, pp30), the most suitable tool to use while evaluating situations is analyzing the correlations that exist between the aspects presented. As such, the study shall use the descriptive correlation research method. This is because it seeks to identify the relationship between two variables which in this case are the FDI’s and labor policies in China.
The data collected will consist of testimonials from some selected workers and reports from various sources related to the labor policies governing foreign and local investments in the country.
The data collected shall then be compared to data generated by other related studies to evaluate the efficacy of FDI’s in China as regarding their contribution in reduction of exploitation to Chinese workers. To answer the questions designed for this study, the key concerns shall be established to provide guidelines for the interviews and the criteria to be used in data collection.
Data Gathering Procedure
As earlier mentioned, an evaluation methodology shall be used to design the procedures through which the purpose of this study can be realized. The participants for the interviews shall preferably be selected from industries located in the Guangdong region. Questionnaires shall be distributed among the locals, workers and employers from various regions in order to gauge whether the situations are similar in all FDI’s.
Appropriate diagrammatic presentations in form of charts and table shall be provided and narrative explanations of the same offered. The proposed methods shall suffice in addressing all the questions posed in this study because they provide credible data from the one on one interviews and the answers posted on the questionnaires.
In addition to this, the mean obtained after compiling the data, shall provide accurate information regarding to the topic and the correlation shall be used to identify the causes of problems that are in the Chinese industrial sector.
The whole research is supposed to cover an overall duration of….. Weeks and it shall adhere to the following timetable.
|Activity||Expected date of completion|
|Prepare proposal by|
|Complete literature review by|
|Complete fieldwork by|
|Complete analysis by|
|Give presentation on|
|Complete final report by|
The timeframe offered to cover the whole study might be little due to the shortness of the semester but I will make due with that and produce a well researched and informative dissertation. In addition to this, there may be a language barrier during the interviews and in answering the questionnaires since most participants shall be of Chinese descent.
I intend to get a liaison from the particular area of study that shall help me gather all the required information with a considerable amount of ease. Also I shall be communicating with him through e-mail messaging and telephone in order to get daily updates. The rest of the data shall be collected from credible sources over the internet and this shall save me time and produce valuable data which shall be beneficial to this study.
Blalock, G., and Gertler, P. J. 2008, Welfare Gains from Foreign Direct Investment through Technology Transfer to Local Suppliers, Journal of International Economics.
Gills, D. S, & Piper, N 2002, Women and work in globalizing Asia, Routledge publishers.
Alon, I & McIntyre, J. R 2008, Globalization of Chinese enterprises, Palgrave Macmillan.
McGuire, C. K & Ikpa, V. W. 2008, Policy, leadership, and student achievement: implications for urban communities: Achievement gap, research, practice, and policy, IAP.
Gallagher, M. E. 2002, Reform and openness posted on April retrieved from <https://www.jstor.org/stable/25054191?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents>
Tseng, W & Rodlauer, M. 2003, China, competing in the global economy, International Monetary Fund.
Aitken, B., et al 1996, wages and Foreign Ownership: A Comparative Study of Mexico, Venezuela, and the United States, Journal of International Economics, Vol. 40, No. 3/4, pp. 345-371.