BEIJING -- McDonald's China has promised to establish trade union branches in
its 40 restaurants in the eastern Zhejiang province this year, the All-China
Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) said Monday.
A McDonald's spokeswoman in Beijing could not confirm the announcement, but
said she would be seeking an official comment.
An ACFTU spokesman claimed that Zong Hao, central region human resources
director with McDonald's China, made the remarks when visiting the Zhejiang
Federation of Trade Unions (ZFTU).
The move would boost the harmonious development of labor relations, upgrade
the fast food giant's social image and help it fulfill its social
responsibilities, said Chen Dingxin, ZFTU vice chairman.
Chen said he hoped McDonald's China would lose no time in fulfilling its
promise in accordance with China's regulations on trade unions.
Earlier this month, Kong Xianghong, vice chairman of the Guangdong Trade
Unions Federation, said McDonald's had promised to set up trade union branches
in the southern Guangdong province before July this year.
But a spokesman for McDonald's in Guangdong refused to confirm Kong's claim
and would not comment.
McDonald's, KFC and Pizza Hut have been criticized for paying their part-time
employees in Guangzhou just four yuan (52 U.S. cents) per hour, up to 40 percent
less than the city's statutory minimum wage of 7.5 yuan.
The labor authority in Guangdong later confirmed that certain restaurants
belonging to the three international fast food chains had failed to sign labor
contracts with employees and had overworked staff.
But a spokesman with the bureau did not comment on potential violations of
the minimum wage regulations for students working part-time in McDonald's and
All workers in enterprises, public institutions and government agencies who
earn their living primarily from wages have the right to participate in and form
trade union organizations, according to China's trade union law.
Wal-Mart, which had refused to establish a trade union in its Chinese
branches, founded its first trade union in Shanghai in August last year.
Taking their lead from Wal-Mart, Kentucky Fried Chicken, McDonald's, Pepsi
and French bank BNP have all set up trade unions in China.