Under pressure, Wal-Mart concedes right of Chinese workers to form unions

Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, has conceded to Chinese government demands that it allow branches of the All China Federation of Trade Unions to operate in its China stores. The superstore recently announced plans to open ten new stores in China. The ACFTU, a Communist Party controlled organization, had threatened to sue Wal-Mart if it didn’t allow unions.

From an AP report: “Branches of the Chinese union are usually 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. ”

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