Union-Non-Union Conflict Resolution in the South China Garment Industry

March 7, 2012 – In a closed door, open forum facilitation in Shanghai, China, Joshua Estrin, an Associate and Forensic Behavioral Expert in the firm of Stephen A. Estrin & Co., Inc., offered his facilitation expertise to some of the largest international brands in the garment industry.

As China experiences unprecedented change within its labor market, transforming from a system of central economic planning to a more open, market-oriented economy, it is no surprise that the transition has engendered systemic challenges, the least of which is a need to address internal unrest within its enterprises while expanding its labor’s regulatory structure to meet changing circumstances. As one of the most traditional industries in China, the textile industry is experiencing substantial pressure to address these challenges and specifically, how to incorporate labor-related standards into its central business operations.

With a focus on corporate social responsibility in the Chinese Textile Industry, Mr. Estrin worked with leaders of the trades to facilitate sustainable growth without undermining human value of the work force. The strategy focused on the creation and implementation of a comprehensive training and support services program for managers as well as front-line workers, authenticating the effectiveness of the approach through action research. Joshua spent nearly a week listening to the concerns of all parties and creating a forum where positive outcomes were looked at against a long- and short-term continuum with an integral part of the discussion being that of a decrease or total elimination of workplace violence in any and all forms.