Thanks go to Harold Meyerson for an excellent editorial in today’s Washington Post on the recent announcement by retail giant WalMart that it would be willing to recognize unions in its operations in China. The link is below. As Meyerson suggests this is irony of the highest order. WalMart is notoriously hostile to unions in its U.S. operations and yet for some reason has made a public annoucement of its openness to unions in China. What explains the contradiction? Is it hypocrisy? Hardly. In China the only unions the government allows are those it controls and those are unions in name only – they are used to monitor and control workers not to advance their interests. In light of growing worker unrest in China WalMart may have realized that the road to labor peace in China lies in a deal with the state controlled labor federation, the All China Federation of Trade Unions. For more on the nature of the Chinese labor movement see my article on the new Race to the Bottom linked in a post below.