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Republican-Style Democracy in Action at Wal-Mart

Republican-style "democracy" rears its ugly head again in today's headlines, with retailing giant Wal-Mart denying reports that they have intimidated their employees in an effort to elect John McCain.

It should come as no surprise that they are lying now, saying it didn't happen.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer, denied a report Friday that it had pressured employees to vote against Democrats in November because of worries that a bill the party supports would make it easier for workers to unionize.

The measure, called the Employee Free Choice Act, would allow labor organizations to unionize workplaces without secret ballot elections. It was co-sponsored by Barack Obama, the presumed Democratic presidential candidate, and opposed by John McCain, the presumed Republican nominee.

That's right. with the U.S. economy now firmly in a recession, and American workers more concerned about losing their jobs, it's time for the Republican business interests to apply pressure on everyday Americans in order to get the big-business licking Republicans more power this November.

And unlike stories you'll read on conservative blogs that are spawned by some tin-foil hatted pajama-nista, this report comes straight from the bastion of business -- the Wall Street Journal.

A report in The Wall Street Journal said the Bentonville, Ark.-based discounter - which has rigorously resisted being unionized - had held mandatory meetings with store managers and department supervisors in recent weeks to warn that if Democrats take power in November, they would likely push through the bill, which the company says would hurt workers.

Wal-Mart (WMT, Fortune 500) spokesman Dave Tovar told The Associated Press that the company did discuss the bill with its employees, including what it sees as the negative impact, and noted that the company's stand on the legislation is no secret.

And so, of course, being good little Republican dweebs, the bosses are Wal-Mart deny any pressure was involved in the "discussions"...

Again -- the Wall Street Journal:

The Wall Street Journal cited about a dozen unidentified Wal-Mart employees who had attended such meetings in seven states as saying they were told that employees at unionized shops would have to pay big union dues while not receiving any benefits in return.

Furthermore, workers said they were told that unionization would mean job losses as costs rise, according to the report. The report said the Wal-Mart human resource managers who held the meetings didn't specifically tell the employees how to vote, but made it clear that a Obama victory would mean unionization.

Let's see now -- tell the employees that unionization will result in job losses as costs rise at Wal-Mart, and tell them that a vote for Barack Obama will mean unionization -- but then lie and say that no intimidation was involved.

Sounds like the typical Republican-style democracy in action. Business has been emboldened after 7 years of Republican domination, and the dinosaurs on the right are roaring loudly as their empire crashes down around them. Time to frighten American workers into voting for big business interests in Washington.

No, it's time for a change in "business as usual" in America instead.


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Comments (11)

Real negative news associated with Wal-Mart never amazes me. But this is a new low even for that company. Great feature, Lee.

ke_future:

as opposed to union-style democracy? you know, when the union can send a couple of their folks to "convince" you to sign a card. whether you want to or not.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

I worked in a union shop for 20+ years, and never once encountered any intimidation of any kind...

And here we have a report from the WSJ reporting on Wal-Mart's intimidation of its non-union employees, threatening job losses if Barack Obama is elected.

Do you have any links to credible reports of the type of union intimidation you referred to, ke? And by credible I mean a source as credible as the Wall Street Journal -- not "Captain Flapjack's Right Wing Blog" or some other moron.

ke_future:

lee, just go over to google and do a search for either union intimidation or union corruption. and while i wasn't a member of a union fo 20+ years, i have seen plenty of union intimidation.

and lee, if obama is elected, based solely on the proposals that i have heard, i have NO doubt that there will be job loses due to higher taxes and higher other costs of doing business.

johnnygeeha:

Over in the UK here we have a very robust set of laws regarding union membership and of course the very unalienable right to form and be part of a said union. I worked for Walmart (spit) for three months before losing my job due to a car breakdown 4 miles from work and being diabetic was unable to walk there. I was in fact in the union from day one once I found out what an horrific company it was to work for. It looks as if those in the USA get a far rougher deal with regards to the bully boy intimidatory tactics of the store management and with regards to the minimum wage, over here the minimum wage for an adult is well over the $10.00 an hour equivalent based on todays exchange rate from £ to $.

This companys disgusting and abhorrent behaviour never seems to raise an eyebrow now, they've gone below scraping the barrel with underhand dirty tricks, lies and deceitful tactics, now its running scared that WHEN not IF Obama gets in (and I pray to god that he does) the rules for unionization will make Wally suffer, meaning it will lose a little more of its stranglehold 'grip' on the work force. Up the union and down with the reublican stance on the rich get richer.

My heartfelt condolences to all who have to work in the opressive dictatorship called Walmart USA, they should try opening some stores in Zimbabwe, they like dictators and pay peanuts too.

Codekeyguy[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Lee,
I, too, was a union member for over 25 years. Most of my fellow members were Republican. BUT, union management ALWAYS SUPPORTED, AND CONTRIBUTED MY DUES, TO THE DEMOCRATS, TO THE EXCLUSION OF REPUBLICANS.
Also, the "Employee Free Choice Act" WILL eliminate FREE CHOICE. Typical democrat and union bu**sh*t. No FREE CHOICE to a secret ballot, only union goons (sory, professional organizers) intimidating them to sign.
Flame war in 5..4..3..

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Codekeyguy,

The union contributes mostly (if not solely) to Democrats for good reason. Democrats promote legislation that strengthen unions and working-class families.

Why would a union give to Republicans? I bet that happens almost never...if ever.

A union does not, and should not, distribute it's political funds in the interest of individuals, it should distribute the money in the best interest of the union.

A union is pro-labor. To give union money to Republicans would be anti-labor. Even if all of the members were Republican it wouldn't matter -- the union is there to promote the welfare of the union and its members.

Codekeyguy[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Lee,
And your opinion of eliminating the secret ballot option in the "Employee Free Choice Act" is......

Lee Ward:

My understanding of the changes that would be made is that the secret ballot option is not eliminated.

Current law requires a secret ballot.

The new law would require a secret ballot if the employees request it. It would eliminate the requirement that an election be held. It does not eliminate the option if that's what the employees want.

If enough employees check off the card and agree to join a union, and they don't want a secret ballot, they don't have to have one.

And that option -- the option for employees to join a union without a secret ballot, is what has big business all in a huff. They want to hae an election so they can intimidate the employees just as Wal-Mar is intimidating their employees now.

That's what happens in a election. The company threatens and coerces employees to not vote for the union.

The new law would eliminate the opportunity for big businesses like Wal-Mart to harass and harangue the employees --- unless enough of the employees request the election be held

It gives the employees the power to decide they need an election or not.

Thats my understand of the new law as it was written in 2007. I'm not aware of any changes, and I believe this is still true.

Funny that you'd be under the mistaken impression that the option is eliminated, codekey -- but I"m sure that's what you read on the right wing blogs -- that's the kind of lies Republicans are telling voters. Shameful, shameful lies....

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

An analogy on your concern over union dues being spent exclusively on Democrats...

Let's use a local Chamber of Commerce as an example. I join the Chamber of Commerce, and I pay my dues/fees -- and the Chamber of Commerce decides to write a big fat check to John McCain -- without taking into account who I want to be elected...

The same is true of fraternal organizations, like the Elks Club. Same deal - I pay my dues and the Elks Club board decides to donate to McCain.

I know when I join the Elks that they may donate to whoever they feel is the biggest supporters of the Elk org. and its ideals regardless of who I want. They don't ask me -- and the union doesn't ask you... Same deal.

You join a union, and you know they are going to support Democrats in most instances.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Ok, I checked -- if as little as 30 percent of the workers want an election then an election will be held.

The option is not eliminated -- the 'requirement' is eliminated.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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