- Associated Press - Thursday, July 7, 2016

BEIJING (AP) - Wal-Mart faces protests by employees in China over what they say is a drastic change in work schedules, as the company overhauls its struggling business amid an economic slowdown and competition from e-commerce.

Weakening demand for traditional retailers has added to trouble for Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which has had slow and uneven growth since its first China outlet opened in 1996. Its labor tensions reflect rising expectations among workers to share in China’s prosperity and a shift by the ruling Communist Party away from treating them only as a source of labor toward trying to create a consumer society.

Employees said Wal-Mart wants them to work 11-hour shifts on weekends and as little as four hours on weekdays under a system it started to roll out in June.

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