Wal-Mart Store Execs Get Anti-Democratic Lecture

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Wal-Mart Store Execs Get Anti-Democratic Lecture

08/04/2008
It didn't change its slogan to "Save money, vote Republican," but Wal-Mart reportedly did warn store-level managers across the country that a Democratic president could make it easier to unionize the company by changing federal law, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Wal-Mart employees who attended the meetings told of executives' claims that they would end up paying high union dues at unionized stores without receiving much benefit, and might have to go on strike without pay. The employees said company executives told them that unionization would cause labor costs to rise and result in fewer jobs. Executives made it clear in the meetings that they were not telling employees which presidential candidate should receive their vote, the employees said.

The federal law referred to by Wal-Mart executives is the Employee Free Choice Act. This bill would allow labor organizers to unionize without secret ballot elections. The bill was co-sponsored by Barack Obama, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee and was opposed by John McCain, presumptive Republican nominee.

Wal-Mart spokesman Dave Tovar told The Associated Press that the company did discuss the bill with employees, but the company denied that it warned employees about the possible consequences of a November Democratic presidential victory when discussing the bill. He also said the company was not pushing employees to vote against legislation backers.