It's a fair bet that a group holding an event with a media sign-in sheet isn't too worried about keeping the event a big secret. But it seems that Walmart felt the need to send a spy to the release of a report on the company's domestic supply chain:
At first, the spy identified herself as “Zoe Mitchell,” a USC student “interested in terrible and illegal conditions inside warehouses that move goods for Walmart.” She told warehouse workers that she was a reporter looking into their plight.
But then WWU discovered her true identity. Zoe is actually Stephanie — Stephanie Harnett of Mercury Public Affairs, a giant public relations and lobbying firm that brags of specializing in “Latino Communications”
Harnett's act was uncovered
when she showed up at another event critical of Walmart.
Even aside from the pointlessness of sending a spy to a media event for the release of a publicly available report, Warehouse Workers United, the group holding the event, points out that "For months warehouse workers have been asking to meet with Walmart." The workers aren't hiding, even though many have faced retaliation for their activism already.
According to "Chain of Greed," the report that Zoe/Stephanie was so interested in, workers in warehouses supplying Walmart face hazardous conditions and frequent wage theft violations, falling especially hard on a disproportionately Latino workforce. Walmart warehouse contractors in California have been cited for hundreds of thousands of dollars in wage and hour and workplace safety violations.
Those violations are only rarely tied to Walmart, though, since just as Zoe/Stephanie doesn't work directly for Walmart but for a public relations and lobbying firm, warehouse workers doing work tightly controlled by Walmart are often employed through contractors and staffing agencies.
8:15 PM PT: Gawker's Hamilton Nolan gets responses from Walmart and Mercury. Both disavow any knowledge of Harnett's actions, and a Mercury spokeswoman says "I can confirm that she is no longer with the company."