Walmart, the world's largest retailer, and scores of its employees at a store in central China's Hunan Province have agreed to seek an out-of-court settlement after the conclusion of a two-day arbitration over a labor dispute.
The dispute arose after Walmart announced on March 5 that it would close its store in the city of Changde on March 19 even with promised job transfers and compensation for dismissals.
The staff and the labor union at the Walmart outlet said the company's action was an illegal termination of labor contracts as the employer did not notify them 30 days prior to the closure and also did not consult with them over the pay-off plan.
Over the past three months, dozens of workers have blocked the entrance to the store 24 hours a day in three shifts, preventing the employer from transferring goods and materials.
On April 25, 69 workers and the labor union filed an arbitration over the labor dispute. The arbitration was heard on Monday and Tuesday at the Changde arbitration committee for labor dispute.
Huang Xingguo, the labor union chairman at Walmart's Changde store, said the pay-off plan should be declared invalid as the employer's move violated the collective contract and the employer should consult with the labor union over a plan.
The arbitration committee said the two sides need to work out the settlement plan within three days.