Wal-Mart employees in the southeastern city of Quanzhou set up the company's first China trade union Saturday. Employees elected union officials during a meeting approved by the government-sanctioned All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU). A Wal-Mart spokesman told the Wall Street Journal over the weekend that the company had not been formally notified of the move. The creation of a union for store employees is a major departure for the firm, although it has some unionised stores, which it took over through acquisitions in Brazil and Japan. Wal-Mart has no unionised stores in the US. The ACFTU is different from unions in the US, since it focuses on promoting the employer-employee relationship rather than on workersï¿½ rights and collective bargaining. Wal-Mart is speeding up growth in China, where it has 60 stores and 30,000 employees, following the elimination of regulatory barriers to foreign retailers in 2005.
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