If you're going to hang the greater part of your very existence to selling cheap plastic crap from China to Americans then cutting out the cost of shipping by selling cheap plastic crap from China in China makes perfect sense. That has been part of Walmart's strategy for 20 years. There have been bumps in the road, but on balance, the concept continues to work. The latest bump comes as Walmart workers in China try to figure out how to deal with Working the Walmart Way vs. Working The Union Way, a challenge American workers have dealt with for decades. Joe McDonald, reporting in Wal-Mart in China faces employee protests for The Associated Press, writes:
Wal-Mart faces protests by employees in China over what they say is a drastic change in work schedules as the company overhauls its struggling business amid an economic slowdown and competition from e-commerce. Weakening demand for traditional retailers has added to trouble for Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which has had slow and uneven growth since its first China outlet opened in 1996. It tried to expand into online retailing but sold its operation last month to China's No. 2 e-commerce operator. Its labor tensions reflect rising expectations among workers to share in China's prosperity and a shift by the ruling Communist Party away from treating them only as a source of labor toward trying to create a consumer society. Employees said Wal-Mart wants them to work 11-hour shifts on weekends and as little as four hours on weekdays under a system it started to roll out in June. Some said that might result in lower pay and interfere with their ability to work second jobs.Silly workers, that's not how the system works in a capitalist economy. Jeff Hess: Have Coffee Will Write.