Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Unions' New Approach to WalMart

Unions are using the power of the blogosphere in their efforts to organize Wal-Mart workers.  According to Timothy Spence (Hearst News Service):

The union organizing movement against Wal-Mart Stores has all the trappings of a grass-roots political campaign: a snappy Web site, volunteer action list, and an issues-based platform that focuses on wages, health care and retirement security.

If the unionizing campaign at the retail behemoth has a familiar ring, it may be because one of its leaders honed his skills in the 2004 presidential campaign of former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic nomination.

Paul Blank was the national political director for Dean, whose strong showing early in the contest was credited to an Internet-based campaign that appealed to young voters and donors disillusioned by big-party politics....

Blank says the union has signed up more than 40,000 supporters on its anti-Wal-Mart Internet site in just a few weeks, although the UFCW is not using the Web to raise money. Those supporters include community activists concerned about Wal-Mart's impact on small businesses, environmentalists opposed to "big-box" stores and Wal-Mart workers who want better pay and benefits.

Campaign to unionize Wal-Mart 'waking up': A former aide to Howard Dean takes it to the Web

Some other recent news reports about Wal-Mart:

Wal-Mart Leaves Bitter Chill Quebec Store Closes After Vote to Unionize by Doug Struck)

The retailing behemoth, whose $10 billion annual profits are based on low prices, low expenses and its relentless pace of store openings, announced it will shut the doors here May 6 after workers voted to make this the first unionized Wal-Mart in North America.

Wal-Mart Faces New Public Image Battle (by Frank Langfitt)

A new advocacy group has bought a full-page ad in Monday's editions of USA Today, criticizing America's largest retailer for destroying American jobs by purchasing most of its products from China. A watch group called Wal-Mart Watch launched the operation.

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