Thursday, 22 June 2006

Wal-Mart and unions

You may already know that I am anti-Wal-Mart. My brother Micah worked there for a while and I got an insider's view into the way they treat their staff. My boycott of Wal-Mart has extended to the budget supermarket Asda since I moved here. They proudly display that they are part of the Wal-Mart family on their signs. (Why would you advertise such a thing? Surely it does not bring in business.)

I was reading today in the Guardian that Asda employees are going on strike soon for five days. They are protesting about wages and the right to a union. They plan to strike over the American holiday as well--because employees "want independence from the anti-trade union tactics of Wal-Mart worldwide."

I have recently become a union member; it's required in my job. My mother has always spoken out about unions. They are essential in some ways. But she complains that although the goal of the union is to take power from bosses and give it to the employees, the union favours those with seniority to the detriment of employees with less experience. A power differential is still there.

Well, there is a power differential between Wal-Mart employees and their company. Wal-Mart is the twentieth largest economy in the world (the first nineteen are large countries). They get what they want with their strong arm tactics. What effect will the Asda strike have?

1 comment:

Kevin & Sonya said...

Hi Sare! thanks for posting this. I do not know a thing about unions... other than that there is a nurses union... but I think we like being a part of it - I am not yet as I am not working...

Kevin is changing his flight to come on Friday instead of Wed. I will send you the new flight path then.