China Labour Bulletin has published an interesting update on the Wal-Mart union developments (there are now 17 unions registered, and counting). They note that the recent action was taken after direct intervention by President Hu Jintao. They quote New Capital News as follows:
“According to the ACFTU’s records, On March 14 this year CPC Central Committee General Secretary Hu Jintao issued instructions on a report titled A Situation Analysis on the Factors of Instability in Foreign-invested Enterprises in China’s Coastal Area, and Some Proposed Countermeasures. Hu Jintao ordered: “Do a better job of building Party organizations and trade unions in foreign-invested enterprises.” This created a new and opportune moment for union building in foreign enterprises. On March 16 the ACFTU instructed its staff to study Hu Jintao’s comments, and it set the target of unionizing 60 percent or more of the country’s foreign-invested enterprises by the end of 2006, and 80 percent or more by the end of 2007.”
It seems all foreign-invested companies in China should watch the union issue, and the new Labour Law, with care.
See the full article here: Wal-Mart Unionisation Drive Ordered by Hu Jintao in March A Total of 17 Union Branches Now Set Up (China Labour Bulletin)