Alan Greenblatt is a GOVERNING correspondent.E-mail: email@example.com
The Wall Street Journal reports today that Wal-Mart is seeking help from store managers in defeating Democrats during this election cycle, worrying that putting that party in power would make it easier for store employees to unionize. (And are they wrong?)
In recent weeks, thousands of Wal-Mart store managers and department heads have been summoned to mandatory meetings at which the retailer stresses the downside for workers if stores were to be unionized.
According to about a dozen Wal-Mart employees who attended such meetings in seven states, Wal-Mart executives claim that employees at unionized stores would have to pay hefty union dues while getting nothing in return, and may have to go on strike without compensation. Also, unionization could mean fewer jobs as labor costs rise.
Wal-Mart denies that it has been explicitly telling its staff how to vote, which would be a no-no. And, the story notes, the company is holding its nose in recognition of growing Democratic strength in recent congressional cycles:
Twelve years ago, 98% of Wal-Mart's political donations went to Republicans. Now, as the Democrats seem poised to gain control in Washington, 48% of its $2.2 million in political contributions go to Democrats and 52% to Republicans, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan organization that tracks political giving.
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