By Liu Weixun
Published: 2007-11-14

From Corporation, page 25, issue no. 341, Nov 12 2007
Translated by Zuo Maohong
Original article:

Having left his position at Wal-Mart three weeks ago, 29-year-old Li Ming (a pseudonym) is still furious.

After 14 months of service for the Shanghai branch of Wal-Mart's Global Procurement Center, Li, together with more than 20 colleagues, was suddenly dismissed by the retail superstore that is famous for its prudence and standardized management.

Altogether, Wal-Mart's Global Procurement Center has eliminated approximately 110 staff from China, about half of the total number of its global staff reduction.

"The lay-off is purely meant to optimize the purchasing system and totally within the law. Besides, dismissed staff will be fully compensated," Dong Yuguo, public relations director of Wal-Mart China, told the EO.

But some media has interpreted the act as a special response to the new Labor Law, which will take effect on January 1st, 2008.

There's no sufficient evidence for this interpretation yet. But the harshness the company has adopted during the lay-off process had left dismissed workers smarting and thinking otherwise. As a result, the dispute between the company and some of the dismissed, including Li, is going to arbitration after interference from government departments failed. Unconfirmed reports say that the All China Federation of Trade Union and the Guangdong Provincial Labor and Social Security Department have launched investigations into the matter.

A Groundless Layoff?

Li and his colleagues claim they were totally unprepared for what they call the unilateral layoff. On the morning of October 22nd, Li attended a meeting organized by his branch that the company had informed him to. During the meeting, the manager of the branch announced the company's decision to reorganize the purchasing system for the reason that income from the system has been growing far slower than cost. Some staff was laid off that same day.

 1  |  2  |  3  |  4