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April 11, 2005

This Could Be Good

Wal-Mart seems to have been caught illegally spying on unions and possibily paying off selective workers with bribes not to unionize. Having designated its former number two executive, Thomas Coughlin, as the fall guy, we will see what comes out of the criminal investigation. Since this will give both the government and civil litigants a solid reason to examine the company's whole anti-union campaign budget, who knows what may be revealed?

Back in the 1930s, some of the most explosive public relations disasters for industry were the revelations of anti-union spying by companies. When the public saw companies turn their workplaces into a fascimile of a totalitarian state -- with spies, informants and punishment for any hint of dissent -- the anti-company backlash was profound. Which is no doubt why Wal-Mart is panicked enough to dump its old number two guy Couglin overboard in a desperate attempt to minimize the public relations meltdown it may be facing.

Posted by Nathan at April 11, 2005 07:00 AM