My column today for the Examiner is about Big Labor’s latest tactics to try to bring the retail giant to heel:
Big Labor has lately been attempting to organize work stoppages at warehouses and other facilities used by the retailer. They’ve had some modest successes.
In June, eight Mexican guest workers walked off the job at CJ’s Seafood in Breaux Bridge, La., a company that supplies Wal-Mart. They later filed a complaint against the supplier with the Labor Department. Wal-Mart has reportedly suspended the supplier.
There have been strikes at various company warehouses in California. A strike at a major supply center in Elwood, Ill., lasted for three weeks. Those strikers eventually got the attention of top officials as well as pay for the time on strike and the reinstatement of four fired workers.
Wal-Mart was willing to deal in part because those strikers weren’t Wal-Mart employees. Although it owns the warehouse, the workers were actually employed by a temp agency with whom Wal-Mart contracted — a standard arrangement within its supply chain.
So the company apparently felt it wasn’t giving unions much of a toehold. After all, if the workers did organize, Wal-Mart can just find a new contractor.
Nevertheless, the stories have become a cause celebre on left-wing websites and magazines. They represent some of the first victories, no matter how minor, that organized labor can claim against the retail giant.
Read the whole thing here.