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Used to be, if you were annoyed by the antics of big business, you’d pick on General Motors, world’s biggest, most arrogant, automobile manufacturer.
Difficult to be anything but sorry for GM these days, as they Hummer their way into business oblivion.
No, these days if you want to vent your spleen regarding unpleasant aspects of big business, Wal-Mart is your most appropriate target.
After all, these are the guys who have rolled back prices so relentlessly that they’ve rolled up entire industries and sent the jobs and our treasure to China, at the expense of zillions of decent paying blue collar jobs in the U.S.
And, as an employer, they are infamous for poor pay, are niggardly with benefits, and have fought an equally relentless battle against unionization, lest their workers have any real means of changing their working conditions.
Those friendly greeters? Just minimum wage retirees who are really posted at the door not to smile weakly at you, but rather to make sure that shoplifters exiting the store are caught.
Just to be certain that their own underpaid and cowed staff stays that way, they have begun a campaign, documented by the Wall Street Journal, no less, to warn their managers and supervisors that a prospective Democratic presidential administration endangers Wal-Mart’s non-union status.
Wal-Mart Warns of Democratic Win
By ANN ZIMMERMAN and KRIS MAHER | August 1, 2008; Page A1
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 far from the only employer that opposes the Employee Free Choice Act (co-sponsored, by the way, by a certain junior senator from Illinois), but as the largest private employer in the U.S. they certainly have the most to lose, and that largest body of private employees in the U.S. has the most to gain.
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