Chinese Law Prof Blog

Editor: Donald C. Clarke
George Washington University Law School

Monday, May 5, 2008

The emergence of real trade unionism in Wal-Mart stores

Here's a fascinating report from China Labor News Translations on what's been going on with labor unions in some Wal-Mart stores in China. I'll quote the first paragraph to whet your interest:

The trade unions in Chinese Wal-Mart stores are often dismissed as hollow shells set up by the All China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) without workers’ involvement. But through monitoring Chinese media and online blog discussions among Chinese Wal-Mart employees, CLNT has found workers who take an active interest in their store union, and at least in one case, of an elected rank and file trade union chair using the trade union platform to actively defend workers’ interests. While most – if not all – of the trade union branches are heavily dominated by Wal-Mart management or local governments, some workers have seized this union-building exercise and try to turn the unions into a body that they identify as their own to protect and to use in their struggle against Wal-Mart management.

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