New Orleans Walmart has learned so little from the pathetic dissembling they have mastered in trying to push off any responsibility for the hundreds of fiery deaths in their subcontracted sweatshops in Bangladesh and elsewhere that they are now going to use the same tactics to respond to complaints in the United States. Their strategy is to blame it on the subcontractors and the outside monitors, no matter how much evidence was turned up to the contrary.
Their time of troubles in the fall started in their huge distribution center warehouses in Illinois and elsewhere. In Elgin, they pushed their subcontract warehouse operator to reinstate workers who had clearly been illegally fired for concerted activity. As other warehouse workers complained, particularly in California, where they first have to breakdown so much of what they are sourcing from China, one subcontractor after another is now handling millions of square feet of warehouse space for Walmart and to add more mess to their mayhem, many of the workers at these subcontracted warehouses come from temporary staffing agencies. Several years ago while we were organizing Walmart workers in Florida, we spent the better part of a day in productive and fascinating meetings with organizing staff for Warehouse Workers United in its office perched in the middle of the miles of warehouses in Riverside and other outside-Los Angeles counties.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Walmart has now announced that it has the perfect solution for its USA warehouse worker problem. By god they are going to do unannounced monitoring and inspections to check on the conditions at their subcontracted facilities. Wow, just like they do in Asia!
What a model: blame the subcontractor and fire them at will along with the temporary staffing agency that is putting the bodies in the space as pickers and lift truck drivers!
Sure, you can unionize temporary workers under the NLRA, but as surely, they can be replaced more quickly than machine parts. If you ever need to wonder what is wrong with labor law and the sorry organizing hand that union organizers are now dealt, everything Walmart does and says is a case study.