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Colours of Money, Shades of Pride

Historicities and Moral Politics in Industrial Conflicts in Hong Kong

Fred Y.L. Chiu

Publication Year: 2003

In June 1986, a Japanese watch factory in Hong Kong tried to fire 36 of its women workers. This provoked an unprecedented sit-in by 300 of the women employed at the plant. The sit-in lasted for 13 days and accounted for over half the days lost to labour unrest that year.

Published by: Hong Kong University Press, HKU

Title Page, Copyright

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Preface

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pp. ix-xx

After many years of revision I now present my readers, the interlocutors of my lived experience, with narratives and analyses of an unprecedented sitin, waged by some 300 female workers, in Hong Kong during the first two weeks of June 1986...

Abbreviations

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pp. xix-xxi

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Cast of Characters

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pp. xxii-xxvi

During the first two weeks of June 1986, an unprecedented strike and sit-in broke out at the Japan Watch Multinational (JWM) in Hong Kong. It erupted spontaneously after thirty-six workers were fired on 31 May. Or was it nineteen?...

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1. Introduction

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pp. 1-28

During the first two weeks of June 1986, an unprecedented strike and sit-in broke out at the Japan Watch Multinational (JWM) in Hong Kong. It erupted spontaneously after thirty-six workers were fired on 31 May. Or was it nineteen?...

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2. Hong Kong and the Japan Watch Multinational: The Political Economy of Profit-Generating Machines on a Capitalist Periphery

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pp. 29-50

Hong Kong was formerly a British enclave at the mouth of the Pearl River. The island was occupied by the British in 1841, during the first Opium War (1839-42) between Britain and China. Its secession to Britain was ratified in the Treaty of Nanking (1842). Further territory (Kowloon) was added in 1860, and in 1898 the New Territories...

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3. On Methodologies and Procedures

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pp. 51-68

To use various incidents in our case to illuminate things cultural, social, political and economic, three genres of narrative have been set out to serve as referents. However, the physicality of these referents is not to be taken for granted, for they neither simply exist 'somewhere out there' nor exist merely as linguistic utterances...

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4. The Ethnographic Narrative I:Before the Event (Day -35 to Day -2)

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pp. 69-132

For eight months Ma Po-kwan had tried everything possible to get a factory job in order to carry out field research on shop-floor dynamics in Hong Kong. He shaved off his moustache, cut his hair, changed his eyeglasses and went on a diet — all to no avail...

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5. The Ethnographic Narrative II:During the Event (Day-2 to Day 1)

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pp. 133-244

The situation was pressing. A letter to the Registrar of Trade Unions, informing him of the union's inaugural meeting, was drafted: 'Since at present there is a dispute between the production line workers and the management, we write to you in the hope that you will expedite the processing of our case as we fear that the management might sabotage our union...

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6. The Ethnographic Narrative III:After the Event (Day 1 to April 1987 and beyond)

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pp. 245-276

Gu and Fu called JWM from the Centre at 10:00 a.m. and learned that there was no work for the weekend. Production would resume on Monday. Management undoubtedly wanted to distance itself from the memory of the sit-in, but the Centre's job was to keep the memory and its spirit alive — the struggle was not over...

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7. The Reflexive Narratives:Strategic Dialogues and Dialogical Strategies, Narratives of the Coming-into-Consciousness of Being Historical Agents

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pp. 277-358

These are typical of the statements I heard when I returned to Hong Kong in September 1987 and began inquiring into the pre-event history of the JWM dispute. Step by step, as records of my conversation with workers accumulated, I was led discursively across the contested...

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8. Opening up, by Way of an Epilogue

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pp. 359-384

In concluding this ethnographic project and in initiating detailed analyses which lead beyond the scope of this monograph, some observations and provisional formulations are in order, to indicate the nature of the problematique...

Appendix: Selected Reports from the Press —the Journalistic Construction of Reality- as Discursive Practice

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pp. 385-422

Works Cited

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pp. 423-427


E-ISBN-13: 9789882200807
Print-ISBN-13: 9789622096257

Page Count: 456
Publication Year: 2003