Retailer Carrefour yesterday announced the opening of a trade union to cover its five outlets in the city.
The organization, which is the company's first in Guangdong Province, will have a branch in each outlet and represent some 590 employees. It will be chaired by Li Wenkai, a department manager at one of the stores.
Pierre Bertholat, vice-president of Carrefour China, said: "We hope the union will play an active role in organizing activities and do its bit to contribute to an invigorated corporate culture and to the protection of the worker's rights."
Joanna Meng, human resources director, said establishing the trade union was part of its localization strategy.
"Carrefour is witnessing a rapid expansion in China and we will step up efforts to set up trade unions in all of our outlets across the nation," she said.
Carrefour has opened 13 outlets in China this year, taking its total to 100, and plans to open a further 10 by the year's end.
Zeng Fanqiang, trade union chairman of Guangzhou Development District, where Carrefour's South China territory is registered, said the setting up of the union was a positive move.
"I hope the union will aid Carrefour's labor-management relations and unite employees," he said.
More than 70 percent of the province's 36,200 foreign-funded companies now have a union. Sixty-eight were set up last year.
In addition, more than two-thirds of the multinationals represented in the province have established unions, with the remainder expected to do so by the end of the year.