Transcribed: Walmart’s Anti-union Employee Orientation Video
In my November 11, 2015, post about former US senator Mary Landrieu’s becoming a “strategic advisor” for the very-anti-union Walton Foundation, I included the following nine-minute Walmart employee training video, which came to public attention in May 2015:
The video was made public, then disappeared, then returned.
Lest the video permanently disappear, I decided to transcribe the entire video so that the content is preserved. Plus it makes for some eyebrow-raising reading.
The video is a very telling account of the Waltons’ efforts to influence new employees to avoid signing an agreement to allow a union to represent them in labor negotiations. The video is entitled, “Protect Your Signature– New Associate Orientation.”
The primary message is that unions are out to make a buck, and that working at Walmart is ideal because all one must do to resolve any issue is speak to a leader. End of story.
But those unions just won’t go away. And even though signing that union card is each individual employee’s right, you might ruin Walmart Utopia for other employees if you do. So, you could sign– but don’t.
The entire propagandistic transcript is worth reading. Here I post the 90 seconds or so:
50ish Black Male Associate: …Your signature on an authorization card or petition is actually a legal document that can be used to bring in a union. If a union gets enough signatures, you may never even have a chance to vote. What your signature really means is that you give the union the right to act for you and make decisions for you on workplace issues whether you agree with them or not. And once you give them your signature, you may never be able to get it back if you change your mind.
Walmart can’t tell you what to do. Whether you give someone your signature is always your decision to make. But you need to know how serious it is. …
20ish White Female Associate: It’s hard to think that one little signature can be so important, but in today’s world, your signature means a lot. To be honest, I don’t like handing my signature over to anyone, much less to unions who seem to be spending so much time trying to hurt my company. My signature is too valuable for that, and so is yours. [The three other “associates” who spoke join in full screen, smiling as 20ish white female associate continues to speak] We’ve got a good thing going here: Great benefits, job security, career opportunities. It’s important to remember: Signing a union card isn’t just about you. You could also be affecting people who have worked here for years and enjoy Walmart for the same reasons we do.
20ish White Male: People like me.
20ish Black Female: And me.
50ish Black Male: And me.
20ish White Female: We’ve all found a home with Walmart, and we’re glad that you’ve joined the team. Good luck with your new career, and we hope that you never have to deal with a union organizing drive in your facility. But if you do, we hope that this video has given you the information you needed to stay in control of your valuable signature and your career.
Welcome to Walmart.
[Full screen of Walmart logo.]
Yep. Life at Walmart is Perfect As Is.
I included some Trouble in Walmart Paradise content in this December 03, 2014, post about Carrie Walton Penner’s charter school push:
Several months prior, in April 2012, I began investigating the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) right around the time that watchdog group Common Cause filed its original whistle blower complaint against “nonprofit” ALEC for its lobbying of legislatures nationwide to promote its corporate-interest-serving “model legislation.” Walmart was very involved in helping promote corporate-feeding ALEC legislation, including anti-union legislation, and education and prison privatization legislation.
I began to learn what Walmart owners, the Walton family, really value– and it isn’t their workers, or the workers of vendors with which Walmart conducted business.
I learned that Walmart did business with Arizona-owned and prison-labor-run Martori Farms– a company with a reputation for abusing its female prison workers. (Walmart was active in ALEC when ALEC promoted its Prison Industries Act in statehouses across the nation, a piece of model legislation that enables corporations like Walmart to exploit prison labor to serve their bottom lines.)
Walmart also has an established history of financially supporting ALEC legislators— who promote ALEC’s corporate-serving “model” legislation in their states.
I also read in December 2012 of Walmart’s bribing a Mexican official in order to alter a zoning map and allow a new Walmart to be built in an area where it had been previously prohibited.
Anything to garner profits.
Then I learned of the 2005 settlement of $11 million that Walmart had to pay as a result of a federal investigation into its employing illegal immigrants as overnight workers.
All to make the world’s wealthiest even wealthier.
One week after I wrote the above post, on December 10, 2014, a National Labor Relations Board judge ruled that Walmart threatened employees for trying to unionize.
(Reuters) – An administrative law judge found Walmart threatened employees trying to organize workers at two stores in California, in a victory for workers’ rights groups challenging labor practices at the retail giant.
The ruling issued on Tuesday stems from complaints raised by workers at Walmart stores in Placerville and Richmond, California, arguing they were unfairly disciplined for trying to organize employees.
Geoffrey Carter, National Labor Relations Board Administrative law judge in Washington, D.C., told the company to stop applying pressure on employees to discourage work stoppages, adding the Richmond, California, Walmart managers told workers they would”shoot the union” and said that employees returning from a strike “would be looking for new jobs.” …
Complaints about labor practices at stores around the country have been consolidated into a nationwide complaint that is ongoing.
According to Forbes, the Waltons are the richest family in America, worth $149 billion in 2015. The source of their wealth is Walmart.
Here is how Forbes describes the six-member Walton family:
The Walton family has ironclad control over the world’s largest retailer: Together, six of the Waltons own nearly 54% of the shares. Rob Walton stepped down in June as chairman of the company, a position he held for 23 years. His son-in-law Greg Penner succeeded him. Though often embroiled in controversy — Mexican bribery scandals and criticisms over employee pay have grabbed headlines over the past year — Walmart’s sales haven’t suffered: it generated $486 billion in revenue in fiscal year 2015 .
Thus, the Walmart logo applies first and foremost to the Waltons themselves:
Squelching union activity serves the billionaire Walton family.
As a result, the Waltons save money, and the Waltons live better.