Friday, August 1, 2008

Wal-Mart warns employees about the dangers of voting Democratic

From the page A-1 of today's Wall Street Journal:

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is mobilizing its store managers and department supervisors around the country to warn that if Democrats win power in November, they'll likely change federal law to make it easier for workers to unionize companies -- including Wal-Mart.

In recent weeks, thousands of Wal-Mart store managers and department heads have been summoned to mandatory meetings at which the retailer stresses the downside for workers if stores were to be unionized.

According to about a dozen Wal-Mart employees who attended such meetings in seven states, Wal-Mart executives claim that employees at unionized stores would have to pay hefty union dues while getting nothing in return, and may have to go on strike without compensation. Also, unionization could mean fewer jobs as labor costs rise.

Wal-mart is getting nervous about the potential passage of the Employee Free Choice Act, and have resorted to use their usual union busting tactics to threaten their employees over their vote in November:
"The meeting leader said, 'I am not telling you how to vote, but if the Democrats win, this bill will pass and you won't have a vote on whether you want a union,'" said a Wal-Mart customer-service supervisor from Missouri. "I am not a stupid person. They were telling me how to vote," she said.
Pretty funny for a company whose whole campaign against Employee Free Choice is based on the image of a union leader pressuring workers to join a union.

As egregious and borderline illegal as theses activities are, this story could really be a blessing in disguise. By going so over the top in attempting to "warn" their employees about a Democratic president, they have given national attention to a perfect example of why the Employee Free Choice is necessary. This may have made the news because the employer was warning against a Democratic win, but companies like Wal-Mart use these same tactics to prevent unions from organizing every day.
  • A worker will be fired for union activities in 30% of organizing campaigns
  • The company will threaten to move overseas in 49% of organizing campaigns.
  • A professional union busting consultant will be used in 82% of these campaigns.
Passing the Employee Free Choice Act depends on a public understanding of these facts, and the struggles that workers face everyday to organize. And thanks to Wal-Mart's over the top fear of unions, we have a textbook example of these tactics on page A-1 of the Wall Street Journal.

Spread the word!


  1. see, not ALL MEDIA OUTLETS are self-serving and partially biased... only most of them! as we've discussed before, you can always count on quality, unbiased from the Wall Street Journal, not because it's a beacon of truth and justice, but because if there is any bias in its stories people could lose lots of money. so, it's not for the right reasons, but the WSJ is hands down one of the best sources to get your news.

  2. D'oh!!!well, that's the last time I stick my neck out for the Wall Street Journal, I can tell you that much! that was just a waste of time

  3. Hahaha! Oh, well.

    I do agree with you, by and large, though. I feel like both The Economist and the Wall Street Journal (I group them together in my mind, for some resson) can be counted on to deliver what they deliver, even if they occasionally print total nonsense.