May 1, 2007

Discounting Rights

Wal-Mart's Violation of US Workers' Right to Freedom of Association

Acknowledgments
I. Summary
How Wal-Mart Wards Off and Derails Union Organizing..
Tactics Comporting with US Law..
Tactics Running Afoul of US Law..
II. Methodology
III. Findings and Recommendations
Weak US Labor Laws and Wal-Mart's Strategy to Defeat Union Organizing..
Imbalanced Communication and Information
Limited Worker Access to Union Information and Representatives
Aggressive Anti-Union Election Campaigns
Permanent Strike Replacements
Inadequate Penalties for US Labor Law Violations
Inadequate US Labor Law Enforcement
Lack of Transparency on Wages and Benefits
No Uniform Public Data on Wages
No Uniform Public Data on Employer Benefits Spending..
IV. Background
Wal-Mart: The Company
The History of Wal-Mart
Wal-Mart's Retail Division

International Operations

Workers' Concerns about Labor Conditions at Wal-Mart
Wage and Hour Violations: Class Action Lawsuits

Findings and Rulings

Wal-Mart's Response

Changes at Wal-Mart in the Wake of the Lawsuits

Sex Discrimination: Title VII Class Action Lawsuit

Wal-Mart's Response

Changes at Wal-Mart in the Wake of the Lawsuit

Disability Discrimination: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Cases
Healthcare..

Employer Contribution Comparisons

Waiting Periods

Catastrophic Coverage

Costs of Coverage

"Pay or Play" Bills

Wages
Eliminating Long-Term Workers
Conclusion
V. Freedom of Association Under International and US Law
Freedom of Association Under International Law..
Corporate Responsibility
Freedom of Association Under US Labor Law: An Overview..
Employer Anti-Union Campaigns
Delays in US Labor Law Enforcement
US Law and International Standards
VI. Freedom of Association at Wal-Mart: Anti-Union Tactics Comporting with US Law
The Manager's Toolbox
The "Grass Roots" Process
The Open Door Policy
Highlighting Possible Permanent Replacement
Worker Training..
A Training Video: "You've Picked a Great Place to Work!"
Management Training..
Computer-Based Learning Modules
The Union Hotline..
The "Remedy System"
The Labor Relations Team...
Dividing the Store..
VII. Case Study I: Defeating Union Organizing Through Tactics Comporting with US Law
Greeley, Colorado, Store Number 5051100
The Anti-Union Campaign and Store Management100

Dividing the Store

The Anti-Union Campaign and the Labor Relations Team... 105

First Meeting: The Video

Subsequent Meetings: PowerPoint and Management Presentations

Conclusion111
VIII. Freedom of Association at Wal-Mart: Anti-Union Tactics Running Afoul of US Law112
Discriminatory Hiring, Firing, Disciplining, and Policy Application115
Union Activity Surveillance.. 118
"Unit Packing" and Worker Transfers to Dilute Union Support121
Addressing Worker Concerns to Undermine Union Activity123
Workplace Changes Motivated by Anti-Union Animus124
Soliciting and Remedying Grievances125
Threatening Benefit Loss if Workers Organize.. 125
Interrogating Workers about Union Activity126
Illegal No-Talking Rules129
Discriminatory Application of Solicitation Rules130
Discrimination Against Union Handbillers132
Discrimination Against Pro-Union Workers132
Illegal No-Solicitation Rules135
Ban on Discussing the Union135
Ban on Union Insignia.. 135
Confiscating Union Literature.. 136
Conclusion138
IX. When Wal-Mart's Strategy to Defeat Union Organizing Fails139
Illegal Refusal to Bargain: Jacksonville, Texas139
Illegal Store Closure: Jonquiere, Quebec, Canada.. 140
Impact on US Workers143
X. Case Studies II: Defeating Union Organizing Through Tactics Comporting with and Running Afoul of US Law145
Kingman, Arizona, Store Number 2051146
Group Meetings with Workers146

Open Door Policy

Videos Highlighting Negative Consequences of Union Formation

Highlighting Negative Consequences of Union Formation: Warnings about Collective Bargaining

High-Level Management Tactics150
Management Training.. 151
Union Activity Surveillance.. 152

Tracking System

Management Working Alongside Workers

Cameras

Addressing Worker Concerns to Undermine Union Activity158

Broken Oil Grates and Cooling System Fixed

More Benefits and Bonuses

Benefit Loss160
Discriminatory Application of Non-Harassment Policies163
Discriminatory Firing.. 164

Discriminatorily Denying Brad Jones COBRA Benefits

Post-script167
Addendum: Addressing Worker Concerns to Undermine Union Activity, 2005168
New Castle, Pennsylvania, Store Number 2287170
Group Meetings with Workers171

Open Door Policy

Highlighting Negative Consequences of Union Formation: Warnings about Collective Bargaining

Management Training.. 172
Addressing Worker Concerns to Undermine Union Activity172
Unit Packing.. 174
Worker Transfer to Dilute Union Support and Interrogating a Worker About Union Activity175
Union Activity Surveillance.. 176
Post-script177
Aiken, South Carolina, Store Number 514179
Group Meetings with Workers182

Videos Highlighting Negative Consequences of Union Formation

Discriminatory Application of Solicitation Rules185
Addressing Worker Concerns to Undermine Union Activity188
Post-script191
Loveland, Colorado, Store Number 953191
Group Meetings with Workers Storewide.. 193

Dividing the Store

Videos and PowerPoint Presentations Highlighting Negative Consequences of Union Formation

Group Meetings with TLE Workers196
Discriminatory Application of Solicitation Rules197
Surveillance of Union Activity and Discriminatory Policy Application198
Addressing Worker Concerns to Undermine Union Activity200
Post-script202
XI. Conclusion203
Appendix I: Costs of Wal-Mart's Healthcare Plans206
Appendix II: Definitions and Illustrations of Key Health Insurance Terms207
Appendix III: Letter from Wal-Mart to Human Rights Watch208