Walmart’s gotten a lot of heat recently for suddenly shutting down five stores in four different states—supposedly to fix five simultaneous sets of “plumbing problems,” which makes a lot of sense if “plumbing” actually means “unions.” Because as you can see in the video above, Walmart really hates plumbing.
Walmart comes with a rich and storied history of anti-union propaganda, but this is one of the first times we’ve seen an actual training video to that effect. And in light of the rumors swirling around about Walmart’s union-busting shutdowns, the company’s party lines hit hard.
Starting at about the 2:30 mark, you’ll hear:
Our company prefers to have open and direct communication with our associates—we don’t think a labor union is necessary here. And because our associates have said time after time that they don’t want a union, we usually don’t spend a lot of time talking about them.
Of course, this is easy to do when you shut down stores as soon as employees start making noise.
And, as the video explains, “Unions get almost all of their money from monthly dues and initiation fees.” A fact they highlight with this large, meaningless pile of animated cash:
In other words, unions provide a service in exchange for compensation. Just like everything else.
But what’s Walmart’s official policy? According to the video, the company is “pro-associate,” citing the open door policy as its way to ensure that workers are able to speak on their own behalf. Says one actor in front of a Walmart green screen, “Frankly, I don’t think Walmart associates should have to have someone to speak for them. It’s just not that kind of place.”
Which, as far as anti-union propaganda goes, would be fairly counterintuitive if this video was aimed at its seasoned employees—the ones who’d already had some experience with exactly how far “speaking your mind” at Walmart gets you. But what makes this video so troubling is that it’s directed at new employees. They’re the ostensibly hopeful ones who really do think Walmart just might heed their lone, minimum-wage cry.
Walmart also wants to remind employees that, “signing a union card isn’t just about you, you could also be affecting the people who have been trying to work here for years.”
Good point. Those are exactly the people who deserve a union the most.