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August 17, 2008

Wal-Mart Threatens Workers' Jobs If They Vote For Democrats

Wal-Mart has already been ruled against several times by the National Labor Relations Board for violating the law by retaliating against workers for supporting a union. Now they're trying a more insidious approach in an effort to control who their workers vote for in November.

Wal-Mart has a long history of breaking laws, abusing their workers and decimating small towns across the country. Now they're threatening their workers with the loss of their jobs if they vote for democrats.

According to a NY Times article, several labor groups filed a complaint last week with the Federal Election Commission, accusing Wal-Mart of violating election rules. The unions learned that thousands of Wal-Mart store managers and department heads were summoned to mandatory meetings where they were told that if Democrats won in November they would likely pass a law to make it easier to unionize companies.

They then warned that if that happened, Wal-Mart would be forced to cut jobs and that even those employees who weren't fired would end up having to pay union dues and be forced to go on strikes, which would, of course, result in lost pay.

By telling workers who are paid by the hour (which includes all of their department supervisors as well as virtually all floor employees) how to vote, they blatantly violated the Federal Election Campaign Act.

The law they were referring to is the proposed Employee Free Choice Act which would allow unions to organize companies if more than half the workers signed cards agreeing to join, dispensing with the need for a secret ballot. That legislation is supported by a vast majority of Democrats, including Senator Barack Obama, who co-sponsored the bill.

I stopped shopping at Wal-Mart years ago as soon as I learned about them locking employees in the stores and forcing them to work overtime without pay.

I do understand that many people shop there solely because they can save money during these financially stressed times. But that comes with a very high price. Even though I've been out of work since February and could save a lot of money simply by going to a Wal-Mart, I just can't bring myself to walk through their doorways. To me, they represent the worst of what a so-called American business can be.

I know that many of you will still feel that you have to shop there. The only thing I can do is ask you - where do we, as human beings, draw the line?

To read the full NY Times story, go to: New York Times