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I know some people really love WalMart. I personally prefer Target (but that’s another story). We all know what a retail god Walmart is, but what about the way it tries to influence and intimidate its workers?

According to an article on msnbc.com, the AFL-CIO, along with at least three other labor groups, WalMart has been breaking the law by trying to press its employees to vote against Democrats. Why? Because Democratic candidate Barack Obama is the co-sponsor of a bill called the Employee Free Choice Art. This legislation, if signed into law would allow organizations to unionize workplaces. John McCain opposes the legislation.

WalMart is essentially using a fear to scar its employees against unions.  According to a report written by the Wall Street Journal on Aug 1, 2008, some employees from several states attending meetings where they were warned that if they unionizing they would pay big union dues and receive little benefits in return.

It is not a secret that WalMart is strongly against unionization of its workers.

(Excerpted from msnbc.com)

Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, employs 1.4 million workers. It has rigorously resisted being unionized and opposes the bill.

The Bentonville, Ark.-based discounter has said it did discuss the bill with its employees, including what it sees as the negative impact. It also said it has not advocated that its employees vote against backers of the legislation.

Wal-Mart spokesman David Tovar said on Thursday that if anyone representing the company “gave the impression we were telling associates how to vote, they were wrong and acting without approval.”

“We believe that if the FEC looks into this, they will find what we’ve known all along, that we did nothing wrong,” Tovar said in an e-mailed statement.

Federal election rules allow businesses to push for specific political candidates to shareholders, executives and salaried managers, but they prohibit such actions for hourly workers, which typically include department supervisors.

…The report said the Wal-Mart human resource managers who held the meetings didn’t specifically tell the employees how to vote but made it clear that an Obama victory would mean unionization.

The labor rights groups filed their claim with the FEC on Thursday.

Mary Beth Maxwell, executive director of American Rights at Work, criticized Wal-Mart for trying to influence the federal election system.

“Wal-Mart seems to be willing to break federal election law in order to stop their employees and all of America’s workers from having a fair shot at the American dream,” she said.

Sources: msnbc.com , Think Progress

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