Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Wal Mart Bashes Unions

Wal-Mart, America's biggest employer and owner of the ASDA brand in the UK, has been lobbying hard this week to defeat a bill currently before the US Senate that would have made it easier for unions to organise local branches within companies.

The Employee Free Choice Act would allow unions to form a new local "bargaining unit" simply by collecting a simple majority of signed cards by employees. Opponents of the measure argue for a secret ballot to be required before such unionization could take place on their site.

More than 500 business organizations had formed the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace to oppose "card check" as the new measure is known. The lobby group - which includes Wal Mart - has spent up to $10 million on its campaign to oppose the measure, fearing increased unionization and rising labour costs. The bill now looks unlikely to pass through Congress with several moderate Democrats announcing their intention to oppose it or seek to renegotiate its terms.

"We were outspent, outhustled and outorganized," said one union leader.

Source, LA Times

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