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Trade unions and privatisation in Taiwan: A case study of the railway union

Lee, Fa-Hsien 2008. Trade unions and privatisation in Taiwan: A case study of the railway union. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.

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This thesis explores Taiwanese privatisation in the context of global neo-liberalisation. It is a study of the relationship between the state, capital and trade unions in relation to privatisation and the policy-making process in Taiwan and the Taiwan Railway in particular. It pays attention to exploring the three dimensions: first, how the state plays its role in the privatisation process second, what private capital does in order to extend its financial interests and third, whether trade unions have capacity to shape privatisation policies. The thesis draws upon extensive fieldwork that took place in Taiwan and the Taiwanese railway industry in particular between May 2005 and November 2007. It documents how Taiwanese public sector unions, dependent on the party-state system, sought to transform themselves into independent unions during the period of privatisation. Using qualitative and participant observation methods, including semi- structured interviews, fieldnote taking, and documentary analysis, this thesis provides, for the first time first-hand, rich, deep, holistic and contextual data on issues that had previously been hidden from public debate. These are discussed and analysed with particular reference to British and former Soviet Union's experience in the context of privatisation. Although the research was explicitly located in the context of Taiwan and the Taiwan Railway, it is hoped that it has more general significance. Taiwan's experience, until now neglected in debates on privatisation, could extend contemporary debates on the topic especially in relation to the various roles of the state, capital and trade unions. In particular, it raises for discussion the finding that under certain circumstances, instead of being marginalised by privatisation, certain trade unions could gain strong bargaining capacity, weakening the role of the state and private capital, and significantly shaping the policy process.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
ISBN: 9781303183294
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2017 15:28

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