In an action far removed from the naked antagonism the company displays towards organized labor in North America, Wal-Mart's British branch and the G.M.B. labor union reached an agreement establishing nationwide collective bargaining for the company's distribution center employees. The branch, Asda, had faced a five-day shipping strike that would have coincided with the spike in beer demand that will accompany England's next World Cup match. The agreement gives the union input on a wide range of workplace issues, as well as more open recruitment rights; the union plans on establishing collective bargaining in Asda's retail stores next.
See Heather Timmons, The New York Times, June 29, 2006