Friday 8 July 2016

Striking Wal-Mart workers in China return to work - for now

SHANGHAI/CHICAGO: Workers striking at Wal-Mart Stores Inc outlets in China have returned to work after the firm agreed to consider their protests against a new work scheduling system that some fear could be used to cut overtime pay, workers and labor activists say. The strikes started at the beginning of the month in the southern city of Nanchang and spread with the help of social media to Wal-Mart hypermarkets in two other cities, the activists and workers said. Worker unrest has surged in China as slowing economic growth and high costs have squeezed companies, but it is relatively rare for workers to organize across provincial lines. Wal-Mart said on Thursday it had introduced the new work hour scheduling system in July across its hypermarkets in China, and a majority of its employees supported it. But Duan Yu, a worker at Wal-Mart in Nanchang who was representing the strikers in discussions with management, said employees had been voicing their displeasure about the system since May to no effect. 

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