Wal-Mart Breaks Law…

From the WSJ:

On June 30 the National Labor Relations Board ruled that Wal-Mart illegally fired an employee in Kingman, Ariz., who supported the UFCW and illegally threatened to freeze merit-pay increases if employees voted for union representation. The decision came eight years after the organizing campaign failed, and four years after the case was originally heard.

This is buried in a larger article about Wal-Mart potentially threatening employees to vote for John McCain, which would obviously be illegal but is probably close to impossible to prove. The telling fact is that even when the NLRB finds you, or at least Wal-Mart, to have acted illegaly…nothing happens. There’s a very minimal fine 8 years after the fact, and no legal redress for the aggrieved. Or, in other words, there’s absolutely no incentive for Wal-Mart not to engage in completely illegal behavior to break union drives, as even if they get caught the “punishment” is so light as to be more cost effective than following the law. Obviously that’s a problem if we care about the rule of law, and it’s by far not the most egregious example of Wal-Mart’s illegal union busting. That honor probably goes to closing an entire store in Canada after workers voted to unionize.

You could literally write an encyclopedia on the ways Wal-Mart is bad for the economy as a whole, but it’s rather telling the lengths they’ll go to avoid any sort of union activity.