China: Update on supporting workers’ litigation against Wal-Mart

Due to the new FNGO law blocking labor right groups to receive financial support from foreign donors and Wal-Mart China’s fiercely attacks on labor rights in its shops in China, WCWA decided to use crowd fund online campaign to raise funds to support the nationwide Wal-Mart employees’ legal actions against Wal-Mart’s forcing workers to accept flexible working hours system at workplace. For the first time, WCWA successfully raised CNY 50,000 (€ 6,300) which is solely used to cover attorneys’ fees for workers. The Association has not only provided detailed and effective legal support for the Wal-Mart employees, including preparing documents for litigation (arbitration), strategies and collecting evidence. The Association mainly supports those having financial difficulties in hiring lawyers for their litigation. For urgent appeal calling for donation to China Wal-mart workers litigation against Wal-mart China (Chinese only) in Dec 2016, please visit the link below:

http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_165118a8b0102wig8.html (Chinese only)

The link below shows that Zhang Jun, the WCWA Press spokesman announced that CNY 50029 was successfully raised and it was donated by 350 people/times:

http://m.qschou.com/project/index/16e8fbdc-c42f-488c-aa65-f717ecb6fe5e?uuid=3083033a-6a55-40c7-8e16-6e6c959138c7&platform=wechat&shareto=1×tamp=2016122323104325951284925&from=timeline&isappinstalled=0 (Chinese only)

How are the legal cases being supported?

To make the legal aid process more transparent: How the funds are being used and monitored, WCWA uploaded all the information to its blog regularly. Since the launch of the on December 25, 2016, each legal aid case was given an invoice number (i.e. 08873339) with the amount of the lawyer fees, i.e. CNY 3,570 (January 3, 2017) – The lawyer fees come from no. 1- 97 out of the 350 contributions of the crowd fund donation. For details, please refer to the calculation information of 1-97 contributions in the “summary of information” at the bottom of the article. (Chinese only)

http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_165118a8b0102wk0v.html

Achievements so far…

Until the end of July 2017, the WCWA supporters 9 cases with seven individuals who work in different Wal-Mart shops in different provinces and cities such as Shenzhen, Nanchang, Chongqing, Changsha, Wuhan, etc. To make cost effectiveness and the time to travel, the WCWA mainly communicates and collects evidence from these individual workers through new social media. After the case is confirmed, the WCWA helps the workers locate a good and credible lawyer from his/her province to defend the case. Among the 9 cases WCWA supports, three won and the success rate so far is 33%. Although the compensation involved is little but the implication of winning a case is an important sign to show that Wal-mart is wrong.

Conclusion

The Wal-Mart China is powerful and the non-unionized low-paid employees have very limited resources to fight back and defend their rights. Comparing with the Wal-Mart workers’ needs, the funding gap is huge and the existing funds available are far from enough. The WCWA tried to use the limited funds to support as many workers as possible and Zhang Jun hopes that funds will continue to come in so that the Association could support more workers’ lawyer fees.

Compiled by Globalization Monitor on August 5, 2017


P.S.

* Source: Wal-Mart Chinese Workers Association (WCWA) Blog