Earlier this month the Wall Street Journal reported that Wal-Mart, fearful of mandatory labor laws, is politically bullying its employees to vote Republican in this year’s election. The controversial company has been under fire for preventing employees to unionize, driving out local businesses and other particularly egregious policies and practices for years. Wal-Mart claims that high union dues would prevent it from hiring new employees, lead to greater economic hardships for existing workers and increase costs for the consumer.

Wal-Mart strongly opposes the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), which supports unionization and seeks to establish higher penalties for violations of employee rights. The EFCA would likely be passed under a democratic leadership, so Wal-Mart educates its employees about its strong rejection of the bill, but doesn’t tell them how to vote, according to David Tovar, Wal-Mart’s spokesman.
With the EFCA still dormant, the company’s managers are told to call a special hotline prepared to swiftly diffuse any type of situation that may involve potential employee organization.

American News Project traveled to one of the mega-giants’ stores in Virginia to ask shoppers what they thought about the Wall Street Journal report. Most agreed that no company should be telling its employees how to vote. If Wal-Mart convinced all its employees to vote Republican, McCain would be gaining over 500,000 ballots cast in his favor.

Elizabeth Giegerich

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