This article examines the weakness of Hong Kong unions at the workplace, focusing on the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions (FTU). The FTU has adopted a more outward-looking approach to organizing, but some question the FTU's ability to balance the effective representation of workers with its association with the government, raising the question of whether the weakness of Hong Kong unions may be attributable to continued 'industrial pacifism'. The analysis suggests that the weakness of unions at the workplace may in some cases owe something to the policies of the unions, but that in general the causes of union weakness are rather more complex. In particular, management hostility towards unions makes it difficult for them to effectively represent their members, while employee apathy is a significant problem.
- dual union-organization commitment
- industrial relations
- union commitment
- union roles