OK

This is only a Preview!

You must Publish this diary to make this visible to the public,
or click 'Edit Diary' to make further changes first.

Posting a Diary Entry

Daily Kos welcomes blog articles from readers, known as diaries. The Intro section to a diary should be about three paragraphs long, and is required. The body section is optional, as is the poll, which can have 1 to 15 choices. Descriptive tags are also required to help others find your diary by subject; please don't use "cute" tags.

When you're ready, scroll down below the tags and click Save & Preview. You can edit your diary after it's published by clicking Edit Diary. Polls cannot be edited once they are published.

If this is your first time creating a Diary since the Ajax upgrade, before you enter any text below, please press Ctrl-F5 and then hold down the Shift Key and press your browser's Reload button to refresh its cache with the new script files.

ATTENTION: READ THE RULES.

  1. One diary daily maximum.
  2. Substantive diaries only. If you don't have at least three solid, original paragraphs, you should probably post a comment in an Open Thread.
  3. No repetitive diaries. Take a moment to ensure your topic hasn't been blogged (you can search for Stories and Diaries that already cover this topic), though fresh original analysis is always welcome.
  4. Use the "Body" textbox if your diary entry is longer than three paragraphs.
  5. Any images in your posts must be hosted by an approved image hosting service (one of: imageshack.us, photobucket.com, flickr.com, smugmug.com, allyoucanupload.com, picturetrail.com, mac.com, webshots.com, editgrid.com).
  6. Copying and pasting entire copyrighted works is prohibited. If you do quote something, keep it brief, always provide a link to the original source, and use the <blockquote> tags to clearly identify the quoted material. Violating this rule is grounds for immediate banning.
  7. Be civil. Do not "call out" other users by name in diary titles. Do not use profanity in diary titles. Don't write diaries whose main purpose is to deliberately inflame.
For the complete list of DailyKos diary guidelines, please click here.

Please begin with an informative title:

PICO RIVERA, CA OCTOBER 4, 2012 - Walmart employees strike out side of a Walmart store in Pico Rivera, California on Thursday October 4, 2012. The employees accuse Walmart of unlawful retaliation against workers who speak out for change at the company. Th
Among all the ways Walmart tries to intimidate workers away from trying to join a union, this is the potentially legal one the company will tell Bloomberg Businessweek about:
"We have human resources teams all over the country who are available to talk to associates, and we will get questions about joining a union," says David Tovar, a spokesman for the company. "We would say: 'Let us remind you of all that Walmart offers, and of what might go away. Quarterly bonuses might go away, vacation time might go away.'"
You can take it as a given that if this is what a vice president of communications is admitting to publicly, it's the velvet glove on Walmart's anti-union efforts. The real meat of those efforts include firings and other very direct forms of intimidation. Those things are illegal; Walmart does them because most of the time it can get away with it, and even when it's caught, the penalties are laughably small.

But there are legal questions and dangers associated with even this "quarterly bonuses might go away" business. Labor law experts told The Nation's Josh Eidelson that it's all about context: Does that "you might lose your bonus and vacation" come across as a prediction or a threat? The first is legal, the second isn't—and the line between them is very much in the eye of the beholder, though if the words are delivered as part of a more comprehensive anti-union package, the line moves toward threat. Also, what else is Walmart's anti-union "human resource team" member saying in that conversation?

"To be safe," added [Cornell labor law professor Lance] Compa, "management normally has to couch the possible loss of benefits in a discussion about collective bargaining, saying that bargaining is a two way street, wages and benefits are negotiable, management has the right to bargain hard, you might lose some benefits, you might gain some benefits, maybe nothing will change except you’ll be paying dues, and so on."
The question isn't just whether Walmart's corporate guidelines tell human resources staffers and local store managers to do all that, it's whether they do it every time. Every single time a Walmart manager delivers these lines so carefully calibrated to walk the edge of how strong a threat a company can legally make, does he or she stay just to the legal edge? And how does even the most mild version of these lines sound to a worker who's just seen an activist coworker fired for a trumped-up infraction? How does it sound when it's delivered in a captive audience meeting, where workers have been rounded up to hear a long anti-union lecture? This is the day-to-day meat of anti-union campaigning, and it's historically very effective at frightening workers away from standing up for themselves and fighting for something better than Walmart's poverty pay, wage theft, and discrimination. That some workers are increasingly willing to fight back is a sign of just how bad things have gotten.
Intro

You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 07:09 AM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.