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German Union Strikes at Wal-Mart Stores in Germany

FRANKFURT, Germany - Germany's retail workers' union on Friday began a two-day strike at several dozen Wal-Mart stores in an attempt to make the retailer join Germany's regional wage bargaining system, The Associated Press reports.

Wal-Mart maintained that it has been obeying all German wage laws and paying union scale to its employees. It said the stores affected were still open for business.

The ver.di union, which estimated that around 2,000 employees at 46 stores joined the strike, has been negotiating a new wage contract with the retail employers' association.

In Germany, most wage agreements are negotiated between unions and regional employer associations that represent companies in a given sector of the economy, instead of company by company, the AP reports. Even companies that don't belong to the associations, such as Wal-Mart, must pay the union contract minimums by law.
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