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Friday, August 1, 2008

Wal-Mart's Ruling Elite Articulates its Non-Agenda for Workers

This watch dog is warning you about the latest shenanigans from Wal-Mart. Olbrich Botanical Gardens, Madison, WI.

In an overt return to its classic form of labor relations, Wal-Mart is requiring managers and department heads in many states to attend meetings in which the employees are instructed about the corporate-line for the fall Presidential election. The Wall Street Journal.

In essence, the wealthy and well-compensated top tier of the retail giant told its managers to vote Republican or else face the possibility of future changes in the law that would potentially streamline the procedure to unionize a store. Unionization, Wal-Mart warns, would lead to employees making more money and obtaining health care coverage. More employee compensation? Que horrible!

Wal-Mart has a reputation for squeezing down the amount of compensation it expends for employees as tightly as it squeezes suppliers of soap and toilet tissue. For example, The New York Times reported a story in 2005 about a memo written by Wal-Mart's executive vice-president for benefits to the board of directors. The memo recommended that Wal-Mart hire more part-time workers and discourage unhealthy job applicants by making every position require some physical activity.

That leaked Wal-Mart memo noted that 46% of its 1.33 million U.S. employees were uninsured or on Medicaid.

You know who pays the tab for Medicaid, right?