Walmart is Fine With Unions Unless You Are an American Worker

Walmart Allows Its Workers To Unionize In Other Countries, Just Not In The United States
By Travis Waldron on Jun 8, 2011 at 12:40 pm
To complete its acquisition of Massmart, a chain of retail stores in South Africa, Walmart struck a deal that must seem extraordinary to the company’s American employees. To win government approval of the acquisition, Walmart made concessions to a South African labor union, agreeing to avoid worker layoffs, honor existing union contracts, and use local suppliers.
The idea that Walmart negotiated with and made concessions to a labor union in South Africa may seem odd to workers in the United States, where Walmart has developed a reputation as one of the country’s most virulent opponents of organization efforts. In fact, Walmart’s workers are organized in many of the foreign countries in which it does business.
In Brazil, Argentina, China, the United Kingdom, and now South Africa, some Walmart employees are organized. In China, Walmart is required by law to recognize union membership, and in Mexico, 18 percent of its workers are organized. British labor leaders describe their dealings with Walmart as “honest,” and in Argentina, organized employees make as much as 40 percent more than employees at retailer’s major competitors.
Walmart has a convenient response to why it lets workers organize in these countries, as the Washington Post reports:
“We have a local philosophy,” Wal-Mart International Chief Executive Doug McMillon recently told reporters. “It’s our intention to demonstrate that we are a great corporate citizen.”
In Brazil and Argentina, meanwhile, Walmart says it allows workers to unionize because “that’s what the associates want”:
“We recognize those rights,” said John Peter “J.P.” Suarez , senior vice president of international business development at Walmart. “In that market, that’s what the associates want, and that’s the prevailing practice.”
Apparently for Walmart, however, it matters not what workers want if those workers happen to be American.
article from ThinkProgress  By Travis Waldron  on Jun 8, 2011
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5 thoughts on “Walmart is Fine With Unions Unless You Are an American Worker

    • Do you not realize how asinine this starts to sound after about the 15000th time? SRSLY, come up with something that’s happened in the last few years? It’s like claiming that America supports slavery, ’cause we did in the 1700s.

      • U.S. corporations, including Walmart, do “support” slavery- they have people working as slaves (and being beat as slaves) all over the world. And in U.S. prisons where the United States Constitution allows for slavery. Outside U.S. prisons, American prisoners are used as slaves for every kind of job you could imagine, HERE in America.

  1. American prisoners are ‘forced’ into slave labor? What a load of rubbish. I used to work for CDCR, and you have no idea what you’re talking about. Prisoners are assigned jobs and if they decide not to go do them they have their privileges taken away, which means that, instead of walking around on the yard or doing something constructive, they get to stay nice and cozy in their cells, and likely watch some TV. They aren’t ‘forced’ and they’re not beaten, unless it’s by a guard who needs to himself be beaten.

    Based on this alone, I find it very difficult to picture somebody wearing a WalMart name-badge cracking a whip at slave workers. I know there are plenty of websites full of anti-WalMart propaganda that say things like this (actually, isn’t this one of them…?), but show me something that’s actually been documented by a “real” source. And don’t show me isolated incidents, or that ‘production house X’ in ‘country X’ did something in ‘year X’; labor conditions in foreign countries are what they are, and it’s not just WalMart as a company who does this. It’s called ‘private enterprise’, and even local businesses like Sun Valley Floral Farms do it by hiring foreign laborers so they can pay them less. (Remember that incident with ICE a few years ago? Same thing.)

    This is a classic example of why we shouldn’t let half the population vote until they prove they are functionally literate.

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