Saying Wal-Mart is antiunion is slightly less shocking than calling Tom DeLay unethical, or noting that I have an elbow*. Nothing could be better known. But I think most are confused, like I was for a long time, over how Wal-Mart can actually stop the unions. So one day, I called up an organizer buddy of mine and asked. The answer was so simple that it barely qualified as an answer at all. If workers unionize, or threaten to unionize, or feint at unionizing, or think about unionizing, or see a union hall on their way to work one day, Wal-Mart shuts down the store.
Nevertheless. it seemed a bit odd to me. Pretty drastic measure, knocking down a whole store because they formed a union, can they really do that? Indeedy-do, they can and they have. In fact, they just did it in Canada. The workers in Jonquiere, Quebec, signed the cards creating a union and, immediately thereafter, everyone lost their jobs and the town lost its Wal-Mart. Now the city's got deep divisions between those who wanted the union and those who blame the union-wanters for destroying their jobs, Quebec's other Wal-Marts -- which are a focal point for the union movement there -- are rejecting the organizers because some job is better than no job, and every Wal-Mart manager can, if their employees try to organize, sit them down in a coercive meeting and go through the sad case of Jonquiere, Quebec, where the union would have just been too expensive and Wal-Mart simply had to close the store.
And they don't want that, do they?