This morning I'm reading the Chinese Labor News Translations blog. The blog is written by former Chinese labor activists now residing outside China and they're monitoring Chinese media and online blog discussions among Chinese Wal-Mart employees.
CLNT has found workers who take an active interest in their store union, and at least in one case, of an elected rank and file trade union chair using the trade union platform to actively defend workers’ interests.
What does the rank-and-file have to say? A worker at Walmart No. 3424 writes:
But just when colleagues thought the union could do something to benefit them and obtain even better protection and welfare, it all came to nothing. Also because the union had only just come into the company, most staff blindly joined our workers’ organization - the union - thinking that they would be pretty satisfied if they could get bottle of cooking oil or a bag of rice at festival time, when in the past we got nothing. But they didn't know the real responsibilities they face or the rights they enjoy after joining the union. And because it's like this, the company's union has become the same as a subordinate functionary department of the company. The union chair, deputy chair, and committee members also just obey the orders of the general manager who is also a trade union member like other union members. The real meaning of union has been lost.
Peasants in China know how to throw a revolution, they only lack Chairman. Forget Wall Street. Keep your eyes on the Great Wall. Jeff Hess: Have Coffee Will Write.

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