Winning the Labor Union Fight Against Wal-Mart
by zarkon65, Sun Jun 11, 2006 at 07:51:56 PM EDT
It seems to me that there is a fairly straightforward (but not necessarily simple) strategy for unionizing Wal-Mart. As you probably know, Wal-Mart is so anti union that when the butchers organized a union, they eliminated their butchers. When a Wal-Mart in Quebec unionized, they closed the store.
Why can’t a union develop a relationship with a unionized department store (or store that is willing to be unionized)? This company could promise to develop a new store if Wal-Mart closes its store in the local market. And the new company could promise to hire all of the current Wal-Mart employees for their new store, with the union covering any interim wages. In fact, one could imagine the union taking out a lease on some large building close to the current Wal-Mart that could serve as a temporary replacement store for the community. This way, Wal-Mart faces a difficult choice. It can allow its store to be unionized, or it can close, and lose the market to a competitor.
This may sound like it would cost a lot of money, but remember, Wal-Mart employees don’t make a lot of money, and the turnover is very high. As people got new jobs, they’d be cut from the rolls. And jobs at the new company would almost certainly pay more than their previous jobs.
This strategy would probably work best in rural markets where Wal-Mart has basically cornered the market. In this case, there would be continuing demand that would guarantee a good business for whatever company was ready to respond to it.
Maybe there’s a reason why this wouldn’t work? What do you think?