Wal-Mart and Unions: Who gets my $10?

Ok, let’s put aside the debate over whether I’m right about it. It’s my belief that Walmart exploits it’s workers by opposing with vigorous hostility any attempts to unionize. It’s my belief that Walmart employs shady leasing practices that have the effect of enriching Stan Kroenke’s accounts at the expense of small businesses. It’s my belief that Walmart may very well be in the business of “price gouging” to the extent that they willingly take losses at local stores, that they can afford to take, to drive the local competition out of business and then jack up their prices once the competition is bankrupt. Maybe I’m right.

Due to various extenuating circumstances over the past year, I have ended up spending maybe $20-25 at Walmart. I’ve been personally boycotting them, but in a small market like Columbia it’s just happened that on a couple occasions I ended up spending money there. I did, on both occasions, suggest unionization to the employees I encountered, so I hope my visits there weren’t purely in the service of evil. Nonetheless, I feel as if I need to make recompense to somebody.

Since I’m poor, I’m thinking that to ease my conscious I ought to donate half of what I spent there to some organization that fights them. My first thought was to donate to the IFCW, as they are the union which most likely would incorporate Walmart employees. Any other ideas? And if I did decide to donate to the IFCW (I’ve already paid them dues in past years, but they can take this money if I feel it belongs there) how do I go about it?


I’m not sure ten bucks will help a lot, especially since some unions are so top-heavy. But maybe you could go to Wal-Mart and use your $10 to buy a couple sheets of poster board and a magic marker. Then march around outside with some friends with signs citing their unfair practices. That might do more toward getting the employees to unionize than sending $10 to a union headquarters.

Just keep your wits about you, though. Don’t come across as a crazy loon on a mission. People need their jobs. They’ll not want to be indentified with someone the Wal-Mart management can easily make into a caricature and ridicule. Be dignified about what you do. Don’t yell at people who go in the store. Just greet them politely and ask them to say a kind word to the employees while they’re in there.

Anyway, just a thought.

“It’s my belief…” What are you, Bill O’Riley?? Please, don’t do the Poor Man’s Slander, it’s bad form.

Why do you only list the down side with out the up side. I’m poor as well. Places like Walmart save me time and money. Do I not count?

Moderator’s Note: Edited thread title for clarity.

Hey man, shop where you want. That’s my point, in fact. I don’t believe in taking actions to coerce businesses with government force. All I’m saying is that I personally find Walmart’s practices distateful, and I’m exercising my choice to make my own personal statement against them. I think that choosing where you want to shop is a valid part of the free market system, and I’m voting with my wallet as an individual. Clearly, the points you mention are what most people consider when they choose to shop there. I’m not trying to take that choice away from them, merely to make my own choice according to my belief about that company.

I prefaced it with “it’s my belief” because I didn’t want to have to get into the litany of reasons that I find Walmart distasteful and the specifics behind it. My thread, my prerogative. I would never begrudge you your right to frame the scope of a GD post as you wish, so don’t begrudge me mine.

Anyways, Lib, I’m really not into activism so I’m not sure I’d go for your idea. I have pretty much only one issue that has ever motivated me enough to be a sign-waving protester, and this one falls a bit below that. Activism just isn’t my style.

Here’s a question for you as a poor person. Would you (and thousands of poor people like you) rather spend less for garden hoses and George Forman grills or pay a higher price so Wal mart employees can earn a little bit more.

Rex wrote:

Oh. Okay. Well, maybe you could send your $10 to someone who would activate it. And that most likely wouldn’t be a union. Ten bucks to a union treasury is like ten cents to a millionaire.

For fear that I didn’t make my point above, if the union were going to do something, it already would have. And even if it IS doing something, your ten bucks will make zero difference. The union already has abundant resources, and it is doing whatever it is doing with those (including paying its bosses hefty wages). My advice is not to waste the $10. Use it on something that can make a difference. If you won’t and the union won’t, then find someone who will.

$10 will not put a dent in anything. You should commit psychological warfare, as

$10 will not put a dent in anything. You should commit psychological warfare, asLibertarian (i take it this is etiquitte) suggested. But if you’d rather not do activism i don’t know what you can do. Perhaps you can just inform 20 people about wal-marts practices. i didn’t even know wal-mart was so anti-union until a few weeks ago when my brother told me. now that i know, it hasn’t really stopped me from shopping there, but it had an effect. Some effect is better than no effect. Just make a few fliers explaining wal-marts practices and post them on important intersections where people walk by. You might get 20 or 30 to read them.

Personally, i don’t know if telling employees about unions is a great idea. Its my understanding that wal-mart immediately fires anyone suspected of unionizing. Some of those people only have their wal-mart paycheck to rely on for sustinence. If they ignorantly try to unionize they could/will lose their jobs.

Also, how does wal-mart bust unions with such impunity? I assumed it’d be illegal to do something like that.

Nobody seems to have answered msmith’s question yet, and it’s important. So again:

Would you all be willing to pay higher prices to shop at a unionized store?

The moment WalMart is unionized, someone else will open up a non-union store, use their cost savings to undercut WalMart’s prices, and guess what – they’ll do a LOT of business.

Unionizing WalMart is pointless until you convince the vast bulk of the American People to pay MORE for the privilege of shopping a unionized store. I don’t think you’re gonna have much luck at that. Price is king, and it’s all too easy to rationalize saving yourself a buck.

With all due respect, what you did was to make libelous remarks without any justification or evidence to back them up. You merely prefaced them with “It’s my belief”. Your thread, not your prerogative. Predatory pricing, IIRC, is illegal. If you have evidence to back up that claim, then go to the Justice Department.

As far as your ten dollars goes, use it to start a relief fund for the workers who will be displaced when Walmart is unionized.

Just thought of a good example:

Anyone remember the “look for the union label” commercial and jingle that ran all over in the 70’s…

Did wonders for the American Garment industry, didn’t it?

Nobody’s gonna pay more for “the union label.” Whether it’s a “coat, dress or blouse” or WalMart, or anything else.