Wal-Mart (WMT), the recession’s countercyclical darling, is wading into controversial territory. According to the Wall Street Journal, WMT is not so subtly warning its store managers and department supervisors that an Obama win in November is bad news for all parties involved. Specifically, the retailing behemoth is worried that a Democratic win means more unions.
The piece of Democratically supported but stalled legislation that WMT specifically is shaking in their boots about is called the Employee Free Choice Act. The EFCA would allow a union to form if more than 50% of workers simply sign a card (over an extended period of time) saying they want to join. Currently unions have one shot to form with a secret ballot vote.
WMT is not new to labour controversy, but as the nation’s largest private employer, it is walking into a minefield. WMT can advocate specific political candidates/positions to salaried employees, but not to hourly wage earners. While store managers are on salary, department supervisors are not.
But one thing’s clear, WMT isn’t betting on actually bullying through a McCain win. In 1996, 98% of Wal-Mart’s political donations went to Republicans. Now 48% of its over $2 million in political contributions go to Democrats.
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