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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:06 PM
Original message
Wal-Mart backs down and allows Chinese workers to join union


Full story: http://business.guardian.co.uk/story/0,,1842080,00.html...



Wal-Mart backs down and allows Chinese workers to join union

Move sets a precedent for hundreds of foreign firms
Workers unlikely to benefit from membership

Jonathan Watts in Beijing
Friday August 11, 2006
The Guardian

Wal-Mart, the world's biggest retail company, conceded defeat yesterday in a two-year battle against the world's largest labour federation, by offering to support the formation of labour unions at its 60 stores in China. The American supermarket giant - which is notoriously reluctant to support workers' organisations throughout its global empire - said it would cooperate with the government-controlled labour federation to establish unions for its 28,000 Chinese employees.

Although the move is expected to set a trend for hundreds of foreign companies, it is unclear whether it will benefit the workers. Chinese unions are not independent. Organised from the top down, they have little influence on personnel decisions and are often used by the government and management to placate employees.

Wal-Mart's climbdown comes less than two weeks after workers at a store in Fujian province established a union and affiliated themselves to the All China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU). Employees at four other shops have followed suit, raising the prospect of a domino effect in the company's 60 outlets in China.

Although the group had questioned whether the workers joined of their own volition or as a result of ACFTU inducements, it backed down yesterday. In a statement, it said it would work with the federation to find "an effective and harmonious way of facilitating the establishment of grass-roots unions".


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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:09 PM
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1. See, even walmart will compromise its beliefs in the name of MONEY
China must have played hardball with them :)
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eleny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:23 PM
Response to Original message
2. Chinese in unions = Yes/ Americans in unions = No
:banghead:
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Lefty48197 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:25 PM
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3. Chinese union members don't enjoy workers' rights like our union members
do.

It's the workers' rights that Walmart has a problem with, not unions (apparently)
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dogman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:25 PM
Response to Original message
4. Is this significant?
Since unions in China are reportedly like religious organizations in China, government controlled, isn't this just the Chinese government taking control of the Mall-Wart labor force?
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