When China became the world's sweatshop and number one exporter of cheap goods, this brought about a big leap forward for its ports and related industries. In mainland China, the Chinese government has been very capable in building a corporate state to mediate the interests of opposing classes through compelling all payers to join its state-sponsored organisations. At times the corporate state does pacify class antagonism, but there are also times when it fails to function, and class conflicts erupt into a triangular struggle between the employers, employees, and the state.
In the 2007 Yantian crane divers' strike, for instance, it was obvious that the official union was useless in conveying workers' grievances to the local authorities. This not only gave workers no other option but to go on strike, it also prompted them to target the official union and demand the right to set up an autonomous union. [...]