Friday, October 13, 2006

Every Wal-Mart in China Unionized

Official Union in China Says All Wal-Marts Are Organized
Workers have set up unions at all 66 Wal-Mart outlets in China, beginning what a Chinese union official described Thursday as a wider campaign aimed at other foreign companies.

Wal-Mart has long battled to ban unions from its stores and distribution centers, and Guo Wencai, a senior organizer of the government-sanctioned All-China Federation of Trade Unions, called the establishment of union branches at the Wal-Mart stores a “breakthrough” for organized labor.

Mr. Guo said at a news conference here that the success at Wal-Mart would be a springboard to similar efforts aimed at Eastman Kodak, Dell and other companies.
Unionization, however, isn't quite the same as it is in the United States:

It is unlikely, though, that the existence of branches of the official union will lead to increased worker militancy. Labor activists at times accuse the labor federation of siding with management rather than acting as a champion of workers’ rights. At best, they say, the official union sometimes tries to mediate disputes.


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