As union activist prepared to take part in a National Day of Action at Wal-Mart stores, Wal-Mart management also was preparing for everything up to and including war.
In advance of Nov. 21, when a coalition of unions and community groups gathered at Wal-Mart stores and call on the company to respect workers and consumers, Wal-Mart issued managers a confidential “Day of Action Checklist” memo.
Reviewing bomb threat procedures was among the three-page, densely worded checklist, which also mandated that a “sweep for outdated product is conducted for all Fresh Areas by 10 a.m. local time on November 21st”-raising questions about such Wal-Mart products the other 364 days of the year. Managers were instructed to “obtain a copy of any literature being distributed” and fax a copy to the company’s Labor Relations Department.
The checklist’s “Responding to the Media” section basically told managers to keep their mouths shut-lest they let it slip that Wal-Mart employees don’t make a living wage, are often required to work off the clock, are charged so much for health insurance they can’t afford it and have been denied their freedom to choose a union.
In the words of one Wal-Mart manager quoted in the media, “We’re not anti-union. We just don’t believe that unions have a place in our business.