Working in the age of globalization case study of working poor in hk university campuses
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Working in the Age of Globalization : Case Study of Working Poor in HK University Campuses. SOSC103D (Spring 2007) Kaxton Siu. Questions.

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Working in the age of globalization case study of working poor in hk university campuses

Working in the Age of Globalization : Case Study of Working Poor in HK University Campuses

SOSC103D (Spring 2007)

Kaxton Siu


Questions

Questions

  • In the age of globalization, what are the characteristics of labour market structure? And, how does such labour market structure affect industrial relations and workers’ livelihoods nowadays?

  • In what way did HK’s economy change in the past 50 years?

  • What are the impacts of economic restructuring on higher education sector in HK?

  • Through looking at HK university campuses, what labour problems can be found as a result of economic restructuring?


Working in the age of globalization

Working in the Age of Globalization


Segmented fragmented labour market structure

Segmented / Fragmented Labour Market Structure

Core

Periphery


Segmented fragmented labour market structure1

Segmented / Fragmented Labour Market Structure

  • Core

    • Full time, permanent employee and is central to the long term future of the organization

  • Periphery

    • Sub-group A: full time employees with skills that are readily available in the labour market, such as clerical, secretarial, routine and lesser skilled manual work

    • Sub-group B: part-timers, casuals, fixed term contract staff, temporary jobs, sub-contractors and public subsidy trainees


Segmented fragmented labour market structure2

Segmented / Fragmented Labour Market Structure

  • Core

    • Steadily shrinking

  • Periphery

    • Sub-group A: high labour turnover

    • Sub-group B: steadily increasing, less job security


Patterns of industrial relations in the age of globalization chiu and so 2003

Patterns of Industrial Relations in the Age of Globalization (Chiu and So, 2003)

  • There is no longer any job security.

  • More and more workers labor as casual and contingent workers who would be hired on daily basis or in a fixed term with no more than 60 days.

  • There is a major increase in job mobility in which large number of job-changers changes their jobs under involuntary situation.

  • As more and more service and production jobs have increasingly been outsourced, many workers are induced themselves to be self-employed or independent contractors.

  • Pay cuts and reduction in fringe benefits, as well as salary freeze, are come into being.

  • Work organization has been restructuring and increasing work qualification has been demanded. Workers are expected to work harder, coupled with constant upgrade with their skills.


The working poor in the age of globalization

The Working Poor in the Age of Globalization

  • The working poor:

    • Individual and families who maintain regular employment but remain in relative poverty due to low levels of pay and dependent expenses.


Hk in the age of globalization an historical overview

HK in the Age of Globalization: An Historical Overview


Hk in the age of globalization an historical overview1

HK in the Age of Globalization: An Historical Overview

  • During Economic Expansion: (1960s ~ mid-1980s)

    • The rise of wage and living standard of the working class, social stability, as well as low unemployment rate.

  • The Transition Period: (Mid-1980s ~ Mid-1990s)

    • Hong Kong manufacturing workers dropped drastically from 892,140 in 1980 to 275,766 in 1995

    • Service workers increased from 789,454 in 1980s to 2,648,600 in 1999

    • By the mid-1990s the hollowing out of Hong Kong’s manufacturing industry followed by a rapid expansion of service sector.


Hk in the age of globalization an historical overview2

HK in the Age of Globalization: An Historical Overview

  • During Economic Decline: (The Post-1997 Period)

    • Asian Financial Crisis: the prices of real estates dropped 60%; unemployment rate hit the highest at 7.8% in 2002; number of unemployed rose immensely from 71,200 in 1997 to 275,800 in July 2002

    • First government budget deficit was appeared in the fiscal year in 1998-1999.

    • Government Response:

      • After 2003, outsourcing has been launched in a manner under government policy of “big market, small government”.

      • Numerous projects aimed at making Hong Kong a more attractive to investors, visitors and tourists (cybe-rport, herbal-port, HK Disneyland, West Kowloon Cultural development area, etc)

    • Low wages, long working hours, high unemployment


The working poor in hong kong university campuses

The Working Poor in Hong Kong University Campuses


The impact of asian financial crisis and government budget cut on higher education

The Impact of Asian Financial Crisis and Government Budget Cut on Higher Education

  • Decline in recurrent grants for UGC-funded institutions

Table 4.1 Amount of Approved Recurrent Grants for UGC-funded Institutions,

1997-98 to 2003-04 (Source: UGC statistics, 1997-98 to 2003-04)


The impact of asian financial crisis and government budget cut on higher education1

The Impact of Asian Financial Crisis and Government Budget Cut on Higher Education

  • Decline in government expenditure on higher education

Table 4.2 Total Amount of Approved As% of Total Government Expenditure on Education (Source: UGC statistics, 1997-98 to 2003-04)


The impact of asian financial crisis and government budget cut on higher education2

The Impact of Asian Financial Crisis and Government Budget Cut on Higher Education

  • Pressure from Audit Commission of the Government

    • The Audit Commission urged all institutions to seek outsourcing as cost efficiency measure in services ranged from campus cleaning, security, lifeguard, landscaping, repair and management, etc.

    • In March 31 2003, the Audit Commission released its report in criticizing some institutions still retained a large number of in-house staff responsible for various estates management services.

      • In particular, the report commented that if all institutions outsourced all the campus cleaning and security services, potential savings could be amount to HKD31 million a year.


Increasing labour problems at the universities

Increasing Labour Problems at the Universities

  • Increasing workplace peripherization:

    • In 2003, except CUHK, all other universities in Hong Kong sought outsourcing practices to provide their campus cleaning services.

    • In November 2003, CUHK administration announced that contract and regular staff of Terms B and C (mostly rank-and-file workers) had to reduce salary from 10% up to a maximum of 32%.


Increasing labour problems at the universities1

Increasing Labour Problems at the Universities

  • Extremely low wage and long working hours:

Table 4.3 Comparison of Wage, Working Hours, Size of Workforce and Employment Patternamong 8 Universities in Hong Kong in July 2004 (Source: Mingpao Daily, 19 July 2004.)


Increasing labour problems at the universities2

Increasing Labour Problems at the Universities

  • Violation of labour law:

    • In summer 2004, it was found that at HKUST, some outsourcing cleaning workers enjoyed less legal paid holidays as what they legally entitled.


Increasing labour problems at the universities3

Increasing Labour Problems at the Universities

  • Other Problems:

    • Increasing difficulties for labour union to organize workers in subcontracting workplaces

      • Examples:

        • Dragon Guard Employee’s allowance cut in HKUST in Summer 2003

        • Wai-Hong janitors’ wage increase movement in HKUST in 2004


Working in the age of globalization case study of working poor in hk university campuses

So …

  • In face of increasing labour problems in the university campuses (or HK in general), what is to be done?


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