Bentonville, AR - Biggest Retailer In U.S. Hints To All Employess To Vote Republican
Last updated on: August 1, 2008 01:28 PM
Bentonville, AR - Wal-Mart Stores Inc is mobilizing U.S. store managers to lobby against Democrats in November’s presidential election, fearing they will make it easier for workers to unionize, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.
In recent weeks, thousands of Wal-Mart managers and department heads have been summoned to mandatory meetings at which the retailer stresses the downside for workers if store workers unionize, the paper said.
About a dozen employees who attended meetings in seven states said executives stressed employees would have to pay hefty union dues and get nothing in return, and might have to go on strike without compensation, and warned that unionization could force the company to cut jobs as labor costs rise, the Journal reported.
The Wal-Mart human-resources managers who have run the meetings didn’t tell those attending how to vote in the November elections, but made it clear that voting for the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Sen. Barack Obama, would be tantamount to inviting unions in, the Journals said.
Wal-Mart 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.
“We believe the Employee Free Choice Act is a bad bill and we have been on the record as opposed to it,” he said.
But he said the company wasn’t advocating that its employees vote against backers of the legislation.
“If anyone representing Wal-Mart gave the impression… they are wrong and acting without approval,” said Tovar. In fact, he said that Wal-Mart has been working with both Republicans and Democrats.
“Half of our (political action committee) contributions are to members of each party,” Tovar said. “We regularly educate our associates on issues which impact our company, and this is an example of that.”
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