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This can't be legal, right?

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 ...

The Wal-Mart human-resources managers who run the meetings don't specifically tell attendees how to vote in November's election, but make it clear that voting for Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama would be tantamount to inviting unions in, according to Wal-Mart employees who attended gatherings in Maryland, Missouri and other states.

"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.


Original story from the Wall Street Journal

Follow-up on the Huffington Post

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
sunk
Aug. 3rd, 2008 10:14 pm (UTC)
The anti-Obama lectures aren't confined to the meetings. A friend of mine's mother is a Wal-Mart store manager, and she was encouraged to "anonymously" print and post "Obama would be bad for Wal-Mart" flyers in employee-only areas.

F%$#@*.
alicia_stardust
Aug. 3rd, 2008 10:16 pm (UTC)
There are no words to express how much I loathe Walmart. They are just cheap bastards that don't want to have to pay living wages and benefits to their employees. I've never seen a company work their employees the way they do, going so far as to nitpick over a person's lunch break going one minute over. This union shit is no surprise to me, but I still find it appalling.
djnevermore
Aug. 3rd, 2008 10:24 pm (UTC)
ooh I read that yesterday. scary usa, eh?
dawna
Aug. 3rd, 2008 10:24 pm (UTC)
I saw this earlier and its really not surprising when it comes to Wal-Mart. They are terrified of having to treat their employees with respect and diginity and having to give them proper benefits and wages that aren't a freaking joke.
the_leh
Aug. 3rd, 2008 11:21 pm (UTC)
In Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price they talk about how Wal-Mart spend billions each year on their Anti Union Task Force. They even have a jet designated just for that so it can fly around to each store and stop any union plans.
k00kaburra
Aug. 4th, 2008 12:27 am (UTC)
That's insane.
(Anonymous)
Aug. 4th, 2008 01:34 am (UTC)
Not surprising, but it really pisses me off.

Have you ever cornered a Wal-Mart employee and asked him/her if he/she's ever thought about forming a union? They're taught this great "I am perfectly satisfied with my wage and benefits" response. It's sad.
aphephobia
Aug. 4th, 2008 06:24 am (UTC)
I hate Wal-Mart. And I'm not even American.

And the anti-unionisation scares the crap out of me, because isn't stuff like this just going to set precedents elsewhere? If employers treated their staff properly, they wouldn't be scared of unions like Wal-Mart are. What kills me, too, is that company is so frequently used as an example of "success" yet... at what cost?
(Oh, human rights, but who gives a crap coz they're just poor people, right? *seethes*)


Wal-Mart executives claim that employees at unionized stores would have to pay hefty union dues while getting nothing in return,

Except better-working employees who are more confident and feel more secure in their workplace.

and may have to go on strike without compensation. Also, unionization could mean fewer jobs as labor costs rise ...

Wal-Mart aren't INTERESTED in giving people jobs, though-- that's cheeky! They just wanna pay some desperate schmo $2.50 an hour to bust their arse and suck up to people. Calling retail like that a job is like calling McDonald's a restaurant.
emzebel
Aug. 4th, 2008 03:42 pm (UTC)
It really feels wrong, but I'm sure that the army of lawyers being payed above market salaries to live in Bentonville, AR have carefully vetted the entire speal to make sure that it gets as close as possible to union busting without actually violating labor laws. :/
seamonkey
Aug. 9th, 2008 01:19 am (UTC)
The anti-union films aren't anything new. I had to watch one when I worked there back in 99
ashbet
Aug. 24th, 2008 02:18 pm (UTC)
That is just awful -- I hope that they DO get caught stepping over the line with that, and get a serious smackdown for it. Bastards.

-- A :(
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )