Houston Wal-Mart took a shot at the Supreme Court on a last ditch appeal not on whether or not they discriminated against more than a million women, since everyone knew that was the case, but whether or not the class was too big. Now we are obviously caught between “too big to fail” and “too big to win!” Given the way of the world in Washington, women and the rest of us lost.
Now more than a million women have to figure out how to individually collect on the sexual discrimination they have experienced at Wal-Mart. The lawyers who have been handling this case for years (here’s to you, Joe Sellers!) stepped right up and said they would figure out a way, but there’s another dog in this hunt now that could bring this bear down: the new Wal-Mart workers association, change at Wal-Mart or whatever we call the union!
This is the clarion call for a workers’ organization. The chance to bring together women working at Wal-Mart now, along with women who have been there in the past, to move collectively through the myriad hoops standing between them and their money is the perfect scope for a union. No one else has the nationwide network of people that could mobilize the lawyers and others necessary to represent all of these women.
One thing could easily lead to another.
In the end it such a campaign would cost Wal-Mart more both in penalties and lawyer fees. What’s more it could finally be the bridge between all of these workers and their understanding of what a union does and why it is essential.
Time to make lemonade out of this lemon!