Thursday, May 3, 2007

Discounting Rights: Wal-Mart's Violation of US Workers’ Right to Freedom of Association

Via Nag on the Lake.

Read the Human Rights Watch report here.

Wal-Mart’s strategy to prevent union formation is complex and multifaceted. The company does not engage in massive anti-union firings nor announce to workers that their store will close if a union is formed. Instead, the company uses myriad more subtle tactics that, bit by bit, chip away at—and sometimes devastate—workers’ right to organize. Many of these tactics comport with weak US labor law, notwithstanding their practical effect of quashing worker organizing efforts. Wal-Mart’s record before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), charged with enforcing US labor laws, suggests that the company has also employed illegal tactics in addition to its lawful anti-union strategy. Based on our research, we conclude that the cumulative effect of Wal-Mart’s panoply of anti-union tactics is to deprive its workers of their internationally recognized right to organize.

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