1990 年代的国有企业和私营企业似乎都面临劳资关系管理的问题。在其研究中报告的工人申诉范围很广，从长时间工作到十小时和十二小时不等。一些基于特定行业的工人甚至在周末也没有起飞。据报道，低爪和不安全的工作条件 (Taylon & Chang, 2003; Sundar 2004)。没有休息和仅仅几分钟的预定休息会导致很多工人倦怠。有时在工作场所创造生活空间，工人可以在这些空间获得指定的休息时间。 1994年广东省总工会的一项调查显示，全省至少有46%的工人会加班，其中约35%的人认为加班不是一种选择，而是强制性的。 .低工资的工作制度，除了工资之外几乎没有什么好处，导致 1990 年代劳资关系恶化(Chan，1995)。
There is research support for this argument, and the management indeed is seen to have the upper hand when it comes to industrial relation making. In the Hofstede’s dimensions on power distance, it has been identified that countries with a high-power distance will accept inequality and that these countries will have hierarchical relationships with the management controlling major decision making and employees/workers reduced to being less powerful members. Now China has a score of 80 indicating that there is extreme power division in the country. The unequal power distribution is accepted by individuals who prefer working under formal authorities, leadership etc.
The consensual pattern of human resource management will logically tend towards better power division where equality is supported, however, the very culture of China accepts authority, inequality and formalizes work structures and hence they do not mind having the power stance. Sometimes, a form’s trade union could even act as name sake and usually the middle manager handled the grievances of employees.
Both the state-owned enterprise and the private enterprises of the 1990s appeared to have face issues in industrial relations management. Worker grievances reported in its studies range anywhere from working for long hours, like ten and twelve hours. Some workers based on specific industry did not get to take off even on the weekend. Low paw and unsafe working conditions were reported (Taylon & Chang, 2003; Sundar 2004). No rests and scheduled breaks for just a couple of minutes led to much worker burnout. Living spaces were sometimes created in the workplace and workers could get specified time of rest in these spaces. A survey carried out in the Guangdong Province’s General Trade Union as of the year 1994 indicated that at least 46 percent in workers in the province would work over time, and around 35 percent of them opined that over time is not an option, it was mandatory. Low wage working system, with little benefits outside their wages led to deteriorating industrial relations in the 1990s (Chan, 1995).
Issues in industrial relations are often not strongly highlighted because of the government tendency to report everything in close connection to nationalistic pride or cultural pride. For instance, enterprises from Hone Kong and Taiwan are reported to have much exploitive practices when it comes to workers, and yet the closeness with the motherland makes these enterprises being viewed as the tongbao. They are officially the closest compared to the waizi, who were the foreign investors. Therefore, when exploitive practices are observed in industries within the country or closer to the county, the discourse of foreign investors versus nationality is brought into the question. In the creation of a myth of the greatness and goodness of the Chinese industry, the issues of Chinese industrial relations are hidden.