Not only the pure fact that the ACFTU got its agreements had a high symbolic value, also the initial pay raises for the two-year contracts of eight percent annually, had a high symbolic value. The number eight is an
auspicious number in China, figuring luck. That is why the Beijing Olympics start in August at eight past eight o'clock in the evening, on the eight day of the eighth month in 2008. You did not have to be much of an old China-hand to suspect that symbolism was more important than economics to get this deal done.
Some lawyers who are typically hired by foreign companies in China had some misgivings about the financial paragraph, writes Forbes:
Inflation in June was nationwide at 7.1 percent year-on-year, eating away almost all the advantage Wal-Mart employees might have had in the first year. On Monday 28 July the National Bureau of Statistics said that in the first six months of 2008 urban salaries had gone up 18 percent year-on-year. That suggests that Wal-Mart workers have been paying a high price for being represented by the ACFTU.
The economics in China might vary very much from place to place and in Shenzhen the contract delivered
workers and management."