Wal-Mart Stores may stiff-arm unions in the U.S., but not in China. The giant retailer has just signed a new collective bargaining deal with the All China Federation of Trade Unions, the government-controlled union representing Wal-Mart's Chinese workers. Under the agreement, which for now only covers two Chinese cities (Quanzhou in the southeastern province of Fujian and Shenyang in China's northeast), Wal-Mart employees will get 8-percent pay raises this year and next.
The deal is a victory for the government, which successfully forced Wal-Mart to unionize its 48,000 local employees in 2006. It's also a sign that employers in China, both local and foreign, are starting to take labor, safety and environmental issues more seriously.
Source: Business Week, http://businessweek.com
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