Communist Party Head Pressed for Wal-Mart's First Chinese Union: Report

BEIJING and BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- An order by Hu Jintao, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, was behind a labor group campaign that ultimately led to the creation of the first union in a Wal-Mart'in China, according to a report in the Beijing Times.

The All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) has been credited for forming the Wal-Mart union late last month.

In a written order to the ACFTU in March, Hu said, "Do a better job of building (Communist) Party organizations and trade unions in foreign-invested enterprises," the newspaper reported.

The ACFTU began by setting up an office targeting a Wal-Mart in the southeastern city of Quanzhou. Employees there voted July 29 to form the company's first Chinese union. Since then, employees at 16 other Wal-Marts in China also have formed unions, according to the ACFTU.

Wal-Mart said earlier this month that it would cooperate with the ACFTU to organize its Chinese employees.

In other Wal-Mart news, the chain said it named Susan Chambers, e.v.p. of the People Division at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., to chair a newly formed corporate advisory council for the National Hispana Leadership Institute (NHLI). The council, which will be comprised of top NHLI corporate supporters, will focus on fundraising, partnership, publicity, and promotion on behalf of the NHLI.

"It is a pleasure to join the National Hispana Leadership Institute's Corporate Advisory Council," said Chambers in a statement. "Wal-Mart has strongly supported NHLI over the last six years because of its work as the premier institution in the country that fosters professional development for Latinas and impacts Hispanic communities across the country. NHLI programs have directly impacted thousands of women from more than 28 states across the country."

The National Hispana Leadership Institute is a national non-profit organization dedicated to the education and leadership development of Hispanic women.

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