Labor groups are requesting an investigation
into whether Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) violated federal
election laws by telling employees that electing Democrats
would lead to passage of legislation making it easier to
unionize companies, The Wall Street Journal said citing a
The groups are asking the Federal Election Commission to
determine whether the company “made prohibited corporate
expenditures” by organizing meetings across the country to warn
employees that a Democratic president would back legislation
known as the Employee Free Choice Act, which the company
opposes, the paper said.
American Rights at Work, a worker advocacy group, the
AFL-CIO and Change to Win labor federations and
WakeUpWalMart.com, a labor-backed group, are filing the
complaint and are likely to deliver the letter as early as
Thursday, the paper said.
The complaint cites as its source an Aug 1. article in the
Journal that reported the company held meetings with thousands
of store managers and department supervisors across the country
to discuss the legislation.
The groups believe the retail giant’s statements amount to
advocating the defeat of Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive
Democratic nominee, in the November election, the paper said.
Wal-Mart “adapted their unionbusting tactics to influence
our federal election system,” Mary Beth Maxwell, executive
director of American Rights at Work, was quoted as saying by
Wal-Mart spokesman David Tovar told the paper that the
company’s policies are clear and that anyone representing the
company and telling associates how to vote were “wrong and
acting without approval.”
“We welcome the FEC looking into this, because we are
confident they will find what we have known all along, that we
did nothing wrong,” Tovar was quoted by the paper as saying.
A Wal-Mart spokesman told Reuters that Tovar’s comments
were accurate but did not comment further.
(Reporting by Ajay Kamalakaran in Bangalore; Editing by Ben
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