Trying to work up some old-fashioned outrage this morning reading the Wall Street Journal story about how Wal-Mart is sending HR mopes to tell managers that if the Democrats win in November, unions will come in and everything will go to shit.
But I found myself scratching my head instead of pounding the table.
Let’s see: Wal-Mart has about a million employees in the U.S. Spread across 50 states, so they average out to roughly 20,000 per. Now what percentage of those employees—and Wal-Mart’ll have to reach them cleverly, as it’s illegal for companies to electioneer to their hourly workers—are going to be moved by their employer’s political persuasion? Super-optimistically speaking, maybe a thousand in a single state?
Is Wal-Mart so strategically keen to keep the union out that it’s occupying hundreds of HR staffers to conduct these mandatory meetings and condemning the PR staff to a week in the bunker and marring its new green Sustainability Suit, all for a few hundred votes in a few important states?
Or are we maybe dealing with something a little less rational here?
I dunno, but I didn’t appreciate the sudden move away from butchers when they unionized, and then the sudden closing of a store when it unionized. Not at all subtle. But not enough to outrage anyone other than those affected, I suppose.
David – you ask two questions at the end of your post. The answers, are:
“Yes” and “Yes”
But I agree that reaction is likely to be more of the eye-roll variety than the “Let’s converge on their headquarters and burn it to the ground” sort.
Since this sort of stubborn, stupid behaviour is par for the course with Wal-Mart, and since they are so gargantuan they don’t have to give two shits what anyone else thinks of how they behave, it seems almost pointless to get our knickers in a twist over something we probably can’t do a damn thing about.
I, however, do get to once again feel smug and virtuous since I don’t ever shop at Wal-Mart on principle.
Amy Jo says
Did you hear about the latest Wal-Mart creepiness?
TAMPA – When Karen Armatrout died in 1997, her employer, Wal-Mart, collected thousands of dollars on a life insurance policy the retail giant had taken out without telling her, according to a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court.
Armatrout was one of about 350,000 employees Wal-Mart secretly insured nationwide, said Texas attorney Michael D. Myers, who estimated the company collected on 75 to 100 policies involving Florida employees who died.
Myers is seeking to make the Armatrout lawsuit a class-action case on behalf of the estates of all the Florida employees who died while unwittingly insured by Wal-Mart.
“Creepy’s a good word for it,” Myers said. “If you ask the executives that decided to buy these policies and the insurance companies that sold them, they would say this was designed to create tax benefits for the company, which would use the benefits for benevolent purposes such as buying employee medical benefits.
“If you asked me, I would say they did it to make more money.”