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German Union Launches

NEW YORK — The German Employer’s Federation, a retail workers’ union, launched a two-day strike at several dozen Wal-Mart stores in that country on Friday and Saturday, hoping that the strike would get the U.S.-based giant to join...

NEW YORK — The German Employer’s Federation, a retail workers’ union, launched a two-day strike at several dozen Wal-Mart stores in that country on Friday and Saturday, hoping that the strike would get the U.S.-based giant to join the country’s regional wage bargaining system.

A spokeswoman from Wal-Mart Germany GmbH & Co., said in a statement, “We do not understand why the union has taken this action. Wal-Mart is not a member of the employers’ associations involved in the wage negotiations, which means that no pressure is exerted on the current negotiations by strikes at our stores.”

She added that the strikes were unnecessary because the American retail chain has already been providing “binding declarations” to the works councils, which “recognizes all collective wage agreements in all tariff zones for all employees.”

As reported, Wal-Mart is not legally required to become a federation member, and therefore is not required to honor any benefits negotiated by the union.