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Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Wal-Mart workers in China can have a union

From AP.
The unionization drive was the latest attempt by the union -- the sole body permitted to organize workers in China -- to penetrate the most dynamic sector of the economy, shore up its declining membership, and boost its lowly political status.

Branches of the Chinese union are usually toothless management-controlled bodies that work mostly to prevent conflict.

Wal-Mart, which operates 39 stores in China employing 20,000 people, didn't say what specifically prompted its announcement. But it did note recent media coverage about the company's relationship with the union and said the statement was intended to "clarify that relationship."

"Wal-Mart is currently in full compliance with China's Trade Union Law, which states that establishing a union is a voluntary action of the associates," the statement said.

Wal-Mart has no unionized stores, although workers at a Wal-Mart in Canada recently had their union accredited by the local labor board. Wal-Mart was expected to fight that ruling.

The retailer has more than 4,300 outlets in nine countries employing more than 1.3 million people.
So the "communists" have more rights than American workers! Still, the concept of 39 Wal-Marts in China terrifies me. Who the Cheney is making the crap they sell there? American sweatshop workers can only afford to shop at Wal-Mart because the crap is made by Chinese sweatshop workers. I'd have to guess that Wal-Mart is a "high-end" department store in China for the new capitalist class. They're probably buying the same crap that the working poor buy here.