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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Wal-Mart: don't vote for Dems

Wal-Mart management has been telling workers not to vote for Democrats, according to complaints set to be filed with the Federal Election Commission by numerous worker advocacy groups.

One such complaint, filed by the AFL-CIO, said “There is reason to believe that Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has made prohibited corporate expenditures by expressly advocating against Sen. (Barack) Obama’s election to employees who were not in its restricted class. We request that the commission immediately open an investigation to determine whether a violation occurred and, if so, to take all appropriate steps to remedy that violation of federal law.”

If reports on the actions by Wal-Mart management are true, it looks like the superstore mega-chain may have broken federal law that prohibits management from talking to employees about election issues and effectively telling them how to vote.

According to the AFL-CIO official blog, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney said that “Wal-Mart has bullied its workers and managers for years.”

“Now it wants to bully the political process, and the FEC should take Wal-Mart’s threats very seriously. Wal-Mart has shown exactly why our nation needs the Employee Free Choice Act. We must outlaw the kind of behavior for which Wal-Mart is famous and give workers a free and fair choice on whether to form a union. “

Workers groups say that the reason for Wal-Mart’s alleged actions is the desire by stores like Wal-Mart, and the Republicans they support, to defeat the Employee Free Choice Act, which aims to "amend the National Labor Relations Act to establish an efficient system to enable employees to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to provide for mandatory injunctions for unfair labor practices during organizing efforts, and for other purposes.”

According to the AFL-CIO, it “would go a long way toward rectifying the imbalance that currently exists between workers seeking to form unions and employers that oppose them.”

The complaints were expected to be officially filed with the Federal Election Commission as early as today.

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