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This case study focuses on strategic mediating roles of labor newspapers. Concentrating on minimum wage strikes from 2005 to 2006, it shows the state’s pro-foreign direct investment policy, tensions between state bureaucracies and labor unions, and their debates. It demonstrates alternatives to the “race to the bottom” thesis. The larger implication is that labor organizing and spontaneous collective actions can be successful even within a one-party state. It remains to be seen how the new strike law ratified in 2006 addresses structural weaknesses of the labor unions and the state, and how it affects labor organizing for workers’ rights and interests.


Postprint version. Published in Labor Studies Journal, Volume 32, Number 4, December 2007, pp. 430-451.

The final publication is available at SAGE Journals via