Interesting reading. Occupy Wall Street got hold of internal documents at Walmart that instruct managers how to fight unions. From Think Progress:
…the company depicts OUR Walmart organizers as money-hungry exploiters looking to fleece Walmart associates without providing any material benefit to the workers, and it urges managers to nudge workers away from unions while taking care to frame their comments in ways that don’t violate the letter of U.S. labor laws.
The materials also target the non-union (but union supported) OURWalmart organization, which provides a base for employees but with no negotiating power. It’s important, because labor laws prevent retaliation against employees in such groups.
Those protections have been crucial as Walmart has disciplined and fired scores of associates for engaging in OUR Walmart protests and discussions. The evidence of illegal retaliation by the company was strong enough to convince the National Labor Relations Board to file charges against Walmart in 13 different states for violations including threats to fire workers who joined strikes and other protests.
The group’s major objective is $25,000 annual pay for full-time Walmart workers, or about $12 an hour. Think Progress says average pay is currently about $8.81 an hour, about 25 percent less than similar retailers. Low pay means bigger taxpayer subsidies for such workers. Says Think Progress:
A single 300-worker Walmart store accounts for between $900,000 and $1.7 million per year in public benefits costs for its workers.