From today’s WSJ:

“The tale involves another mystery: the “union project.” Mr. Coughlin told several Wal-Mart employees that the money was actually being used for antiunion activities, including paying union staffers to tell him of pro-union workers in stores, according to people familiar with the matter. The fake invoices, Mr. Coughlin told these people, were simply a roundabout way of compensating him for out-of-pocket expenses in his antiunion campaign.”

“If Mr. Coughlin did pay union staffers for information, it would represent a criminal offense under the federal Taft-Hartley Act and ratchet up debate over the retail giant’s labor policies. Wal-Mart has vigorously opposed unions since the time of Mr. Walton, who founded the company in 1962. That stance has roiled the retail industry as competing companies with unionized workers have tried to slash wages and benefits in an attempt to keep up with Wal-Mart’s rock-bottom prices.”

Now this is some hard-hitting shit.  Someone over there is going to have to answer some really tough questions, and eventually possibly face a RICO case.  Hopefully this story gets traction coming out of Wal-Mart’s feel-good media fest (which oddly enough didn’t seem to feel good for most reporters down there).

[UPDATE 2:18 PM EST 4/8/05]
The UFCW has responded, in a statement titled “Food and Commercial Workers Calls on Wal-Mart to Publicly Release Documents on Alleged Illegal Slush Fund Dedicated to Denying Workers Union Representation”

link here

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