Retailing, Franchising, and Consumerism Business Intelligence in China

Trust-Mart Fires Eighteen Taiwanese Senior Executives

Eighteen Taiwanese senior executives of Trust-Mart have been fired. This is the biggest firing incident for Taiwanese senior executives after Trust-Mart was acquired by Wal-Mart and it has reportedly caused great internal repercussions in the supermarket.

So far, some of those concerned executives are said to have applied for labor arbitration, acording to local Chinese media.

Around February 18, 2008, Wal-Mart sent COO of Trust-Mart Rene Mang and vice COO of Trust-Mart Ron Virta to tell the eighteen senior executives in East China, South China and West China of Trust-Mart that the company would not renew the contracts with them, so when their respective contracts with the company expired on March 14, they were not allowed to enter the company to work.

Among the eighteen senior executives, fourteen are from East China area, three from South China and one from West China. They previously were deputy general managers and assistant managers who were responsible for business, commodities and investment and four of them are supermarket store managers of Trust-Mart. Their ages are between 45 and 60 and their average length of service in Trust-Mart is more than five years. One of the managers even participated in the founding of the supermarket.

An insider has told local media that the eighteen Taiwanese senior executives signed with Bounteous Company Ltd, which is registered abroad and then they were sent to work in Mainland China. According to the contracts signed with BCL, the work duration expired on March 14. However, they need the contracts of Trust-Mart to apply for employment permits and temporary resident permits in the Mainland. Therefore, the local branches of Trust-Mart signed contracts with them for different durations. Those contracts are used to deal with local labor departments and have no effect on Trust-Mart. But the eighteen senior executives insist that since they have been working in the Mainland, they need to observe the laws of the Mainland. Therefore, some of them have applied for labor arbitration because those contracts have not expired.

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