Walmart China Employees’ Association Press Release Number 52
Zhang Liya - Walmart China Employees Association Chief Representative
On October 17th at 9:00am, 12 brave employees from the Walmart Shenzhen Huaqiangbei 1056 store, arrived with their lawyer punctually at the 5th Court of the Shenzhen Futian District Labor Arbitration Committee, suing Walmart for changes that the company had made to the labor contract. The lawsuit was related to employees having not received their full wages, amongst other matters.
The Labor Arbitration Committee began the court session at 9.30am, 11 employees and their lawyer represented the plaintiffs. Two lawyers represented the defendant, Walmart.
Today, Walmart’s management used means to prevent workers from around 20 Walmart stores in the Shenzhen area in attending the court session to support workers. They also sent dozens of management staff to the Futian District Labor Arbitration Committee to undergo a “lookout” for employees! Walmart did not allow these management staff who were on the “lookout” to enter the court, and listen during court session. Instead, they only allowed their lawyer along with a Director of Human Resources’ Assistant to enter, and after speaking, they then left the court. The general manager of Walmart’s 1056 store, Xiao Hong, arrived at the court at 9.50, almost 30 minutes after the session had started. He said he lived far and wasn’t able to catch a cab in time!
The small stop outside the court was surrounded by management staff from Walmart, and Walmart didn’t allow them to even come close to the court. Walmart is afraid their shady ways will be exposed. The management staff are also victims. The rights of basic employees and management staff are interdependent. If the legal rights of basic employees have been violated, the rights of management staff cannot escape from violations either. Walmart has undergone a many violations which are illegal, and they are afraid that their management staff will defend their interests, should they find out about these violations! Walmart only lets management stand outside the entrance to a shop, crowding around the door, and has actually affected the business of other people, what a joke!
During the court session, the plaintiff’s lawyer used his superb legal knowledge to debate, leaving the defendant’s lawyer speechless and unable to defend themselves. The 12 of us Walmart employees had prepared and planned for one day at the trial, however the session finished in half a day. Judgement was not made on the day. Upon finishing the session, Walmart’s lawyer wanted to include additional evidence!
We are clear about one point: regardless of the result of the trial, we are determined, and will continue to sue Walmart! The country’s Walmart employees are supportive, and will help each other. Everyone should support those workers who file lawsuits at their stores. We depend on each other, and are interdependent. Walmart will now attempt put pressure on us to disintegrate, be careful! As long as we are determined, join forces and are brave, then we are winners! We will strongly defend the legitimate rights and interests of workers; human dignity should not be violated!
We hold highly the spirit of President Xi’s May First Speech and defend the dignity of Chinese laws and regulations. Walmart Chinese employees are now creating a new history, long live the solidarity of Walmart's Chinese employees!