Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Progressives Sink Knives Into Walmart

In all my years of politics and political science, I can't recall as aggressive or intense attacks on American business than the current era. It's nothing short of demonization of private property and the right to earn profits. The collectivist mentality asserts that if businesses are successful, it's because workers have been raped. And of course Walmart's the biggest criminal of them all, especially as it's a non-union shop and is among the richest companies in the world. It must, therefore, pay for its crimes. You can just feel the contempt and hatred dripping off the screen at this MSNBC clip:

And here's this, from Cole Stangler, at The American Prospect, "Wal-Mart: Always Low Wages" (via Memeorandum):
Part of why the recent actions are so remarkable is that Wal-Mart is one of the most notoriously anti-union companies in the country. Based in right-to-work Arkansas, the retailer has maintained an almost entirely union-free workforce for most of its existence, even once resorting to shutting down a store in Quebec shortly after a successful union drive there. The company has never before dealt with coordinated labor protest on this scale. “In the past, Wal-Mart would fire people, would threaten people … and that would be enough to stop people in their tracks,” said Dan Schlademan, director of Making Change at Walmart, another organization backed by the UFCW which works closely with OUR Walmart. “The difference now is workers are using Wal-Mart’s own tactics to challenge the company and not backing down. Really, for the first time in Wal-Mart’s history, the tools that are used to keep people silent and under control are now being used against them. That’s significant.”

Indeed, OUR Walmart has framed its strikes and the upcoming Black Friday action as an “unfair labor practice strike”—that is, as a response to the company’s alleged retaliation against employees. Workers have already filed a handful of unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board—the independent federal agency that governs labor relations in the private sector. While Wal-Mart employees aren’t unionized, they’re still covered under the National Labor Relations Act, which protects the right of nonunion workers to go on an unfair labor practice strike without being permanently replaced.

Venanzi Luna, a deli manager at the Wal-Mart in Pico Rivera, California, said she’s witnessed management retaliate against her co-workers. At Luna’s store, where she and some of her co-workers went on strike in October, workers have filed two unfair labor practice charges. “If an associate speaks out, they retaliate by taking their hours, not giving them full-time hours, they write them up, they can ‘coach' them,’” Luna says. “It’s the little things that that they do, whatever they can file, anything for them to retaliate against associates that are either part of OUR Walmart or speak out against [Wal-Mart]. They’ve gotten to the point where they’ve fired associates because of it.”

When asked to address those allegations, Fogleman said that the company has “strict policies prohibiting retaliation.” He adds: “If someone feels they have been retaliated against, we want to know about it, so we can look into it and take the appropriate actions to resolve the situation,” Fogleman says.

OUR Walmart isn’t trying to push for union representation for Wal-Mart workers. The campaign is organizing behind a broad set of demands by building a network of allies and trying to pressure the company. “The fundamental difference is this isn’t a collective-bargaining organization, it’s a rights-based organization. At this point, there’s not a battle for a collective-bargaining agreement, there’s a battle to change the company,” Schlademan said of OUR Walmart. “All the other things that are the heart and soul of the labor movement and of workers’ organizing are there, which is collective action, workers pulling their resources together so they have a bigger voice, and utilizing the public to educate and build power to change the company.” As the organization builds toward a Black Friday strike, OUR Walmart is partnering with the nonprofits Engage Network and Corporate Action Network to spread the message to Wal-Mart workers and potential allies nationwide. Organizers have set up a website where the general public can access a list of picket lines and “sponsor” strikers by making a donation.
"OUR Walmart" stands for "Organization United for Respect at Wal-Mart." And it's a bullshit meme that the groups isn't pushing for collective bargaining. Frankly, if they're using the NLRA to pressure the company, they're already acting as if they have union power. The right to strike is a collective bargaining right protected under the law. They're making distinctions without a difference. This New York Times report confirms it, "Wal-Mart Labor Protests Grow, Organizers Say." And keep in mind who these organizers are. The United Food and Commercial Workers is a self-proclaimed Marxist workers revolutionary organization committed to the overthrow of capital. Heres's this from Labor Union Report, "Marxists Meet, Part I: UFCW Rep. Calls for Seizing Private Property & World Socialism." And the union's website spouts the same bullshit boilerplate from the Occupy Wall Street movement:
Workers have the right to stick together on the job, to go to the boss and negotiate the kind of wages, benefits, and safe working conditions we need to raise our kids, to live a decent life, to put a little something aside for a rainy day, and to retire with dignity.This right to stick together is a basic, fundamental right at the heart of the labor movement, and our union.

We join together in our union because we know the fate of the American worker can’t be left entirely in the hands of the wealthiest one percent. After all, no one knows the issues that impact working America better than the workers themselves.
So that's really what this is all about. Forget this bunk about decent wages and "respect." This is really all about overthrowing private property and establishes a people's dictatorship over the business sector. It's coming to America. The Obama administration is the vanguard fomenting a "fundamental transformation" of America.