China Shows U.S. the Way on Unions
Thanks for hanging with me through my time off. As I read through the paper this morning, I went through my normal routine of scanning the front page, checking out the editorials, and catching up on sports. I took a second look through the paper, and obviously the news out of Lebanon dominated much of Section A. However, on page 6A, there was a one-paragraph news brief that grabbed my attention. The headline read: Wal-Mart workers in China form union This seemed very strange and out of place to me, so I then read the brief article. Indeed it stated, "Workers at Wal-Mart Stores have formed their first trade union in China…" Yes, workers in China, Communist China, have a union, while Wal-Mart associates (the company refuses to refer to them as employees) are thwarted at every turn in their attempts to organize. I won't go into how Wal-Mart get's over on these associates, nor the conditions that they work in so that we can save a nickel on a package of cheese. But check out the work at WakeUp Wal-Mart.com . As I did a quick internet search, I realized this news was not a surprise. The Washington Post had reported as early as December 2004 that Wal-Mart would honor the wishes of their Chinese workers if they desired to form a union. And who will run this union? The All-Chinese Federation of Trade Unions, dominated by -you guessed it- the Chinese Communist Party. As the United States looks to spread democracy and freedom throughout the world, it would be good to see that those values are promoted on American soil. Wal-Mart workers receive low wages, are pressured to work off the clock, and have almost zero access to health benefits. But look on the bright side. At least we saved big on that Recordable DVD player last Christmas.