August 6, 2008

Wal-Mart Intimidates Employees

If you live in the United States, you probably already have an opinion on Wal-Mart, our country's largest private employer. You probably have answered the question of whether their low prices make up for the many questionable labor practices. Maybe you support them with your business, and maybe you do not. Regardless, I expect that you will be as outraged as I was to learn that Wal-Mart is interfering with our next presidential election by instructing their nationwide army of "associates" not to vote for Obama or other Democrats. So great is their fear of unions and the possibility that Democrats will pass the Employee Free Choice Act that they have decided to flex their corporate muscle.

After the Wall Street Journal printed the story, the AFL-CIO's Working Families e-Activist Network sent out the following action alert:
Today marks a new low for Wal-Mart. No, not low prices; low and dirty anti-worker tactics. We’ve known for years that Wal-Mart has violated labor and anti-discrimination laws and ruthlessly fought efforts by its workers to form unions.

And now, according to The Wall Street Journal, Wal-Mart is so intimidated by the very possibility of a unionized workforce that its supervisors have been holding mandatory meetings essentially telling employees to vote against Democrats and Sen. Barack Obama this November.

Wal-Mart is taking this outrageous step because the Democrats and Barack Obama have committed to pass the Employee Free Choice Act to restore workers’ freedom to form unions and bargain for fair wages, health care, decent working conditions and a real voice on the job. All of America’s workers have the right to freely decide whom to vote for independent of employer pressure and intimidation.

Wal-Mart’s reported actions are just one piece of a large and well-organized effort by corporate America to continue exploiting America’s workers by preventing them from forming unions. With our economy struggling and workers’ wages stagnant, it is critical that we fight workplace intimidation and other heavy-handed corporate tactics. CEOs and Big Business already have too much influence in our political system and telling their employees whom to vote for is simply unacceptable.

Corporate giants like Wal-Mart have been suppressing workers’ wages and passing along health care costs to hardworking taxpayers like you for years. Wal-Mart executives are getting rich, while we’re being left behind. They understand what is at stake in this election, and so do we—a real voice at work for:

* Fair pay;
* Health care for all;
* Equal treatment;
* Safe workplaces; and
* A secure retirement.

And Wal-Mart is ready to use its incredible corporate power as America’s largest private employer to corrupt the political system to safeguard its profits.
Please consider joining me in signing this petition asking Wal-Mart to stop intimidating their employees.

H/T to God is for Suckers!

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