Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The War Between Wal-Mart and Big Labor Unions Rages On.

The left and labor unions in this country have been engaged in a war against Wal-Mart for quite a while now. Why do they hate Wal-Mart? Well, because Wal-Mart employees have resisted efforts at unionization. Labor unions don't like this. Labor union leaders feel that it is entirely fair for employees of a company to vote to unionize, but there is no fairness at all in rejecting unionization. You see the labor unions believe that if they are rejected at a place like Wal-Mart it is because the workers there were threatened or worried about loosing there jobs for being pro union. Workers would never turn down the almighty power to unionize and, of course, workers should never be allowed to eliminate their union.

You see, when Wal-Mart workers reject unionization that is something that just can't be ignored by the labor unions. Think of all the dollars labor unions are missing out on by not being able to unionize Wal-Mart. After all, Wal-Mart is America's largest employer with over 1.1 million workers. That is a whole lot of money something just had to be done. So when the workers won't take voluntary action to unionize the labor unions take another plan of action. They call for the help of their friends on the left and start a smear campaign against Wal-Mart.

First they get a national campaign against Wal-Mart going, focusing on how bad the work conditions are, how low the wages are, how bad the benefits are and so on. Then the media jumps on board with the left and the labor unions reporting how bad it is. Since it is a large corporation all the bad news must be true, we all know Wal-Mart doesn’t care about anything other than making a dollar. Then the labor unions send their lobbyist to state legislators to make laws that would hurt Wal-Mart the most.

Last week this tactic succeeded in Maryland. The Maryland legislature, controlled by Democrats, has passed a law over the Governor's veto which requires any business in Maryland that employees more than 10,000 people must spend at least 8% of its payroll on medical benefits. The best part about this is Wal-Mart is the only employer in Maryland with more than 10,000 employees. Of course the Democrats claim that they were not singling out any one company…Riiight… The Unions were mad at Wal-Mart, so they successfully used their lobbying power with the Maryland legislators to punish the object of their anger.

How did we ever get to the point in this country that an individual's health care is the responsibility of everyone but the individual? If the employer is going to be forced into paying for the employee's health insurance, what will come next? Life insurance and home insurance? What about auto insurance? We all need cars to get to work. We can't drive cars without insurance, so we can't get to our jobs without auto insurance. So why shouldn't the employer have to pay for that bill as well?

The only legal obligation that an employer operating in a free market should have toward its employee is to provide a safe working place and to live up to the terms of its employment contract with that employee. Whether or not health insurance is provided should be between the employer and the employee.

Oh and buy the way, do you think Wal-Mart is going to take the 8% loss on this? Of course not, there going to either cut back on future pay raises for their employees, or raise prices to cover the cost.

Another thing, the insurance that Wal-Mart employees will probably receive now will probably not be as good as the insurance that their employees previously had the opportunity of having. Before this Wal-Mart employees had to pay for their health insurance but there was no cap to what the insurance would pay. So if you ended up with a serious medical insurance and you were paying for your health insurance through Wal-Mart you didn’t have to worry about paying the doctor bill. I know this because I use to work at Wal-Mart from 1999-2000.

I'd like to see Wal-Mart do one of two things: (1) Close a few stores in Maryland to bring the total number of Maryland employees to under 10,000. Let the unions explain to the people why they lost their jobs. (2) Announce that the required 8% spending for health care will come out of future pay increases for Wal-Mart employees.

This Maryland law, by the way, is further support for my arguement that socialized medicine is inevitable in the United States, and trust me, that is not a good thing.

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