A New Low for Labor

By August 30, 2005General

On the eve of Labor Day 2005, organized labor has sunk to a new low. Last week, two workers were shot in a Wal-Mart parking lot in Arizona, a tragedy well chronicled on the national news, a tragedy to which Wal-Mart responded swiftly and compassionately.

The United Food and Commercial Workers union runs a site called “Wake Up Wal-Mart“, one of the many anti-Wal-Mart sites run by unions now both in and outside the AFL-CIO committed to organize Wal-Mart (as you’ll see) at any cost. The day after the shooting, they posted an item on their blog about the shootings entitled, “Tragedy at a Wal-Mart Store” that is as darkly cynical as any we have ever seen. It begins respectfully enough: “Yesterday, two young Wal-Mart workers were tragically shot dead in a Wal-Mart parking lot in Glendale, Arizona”, it says, continuing, ” We would like to express our deepest sympathy to those workers and their families.” So far, so good.

But then there’s this, on the site clearly intent on marshalling all the negative information they can about Wal-Mart, a very grim punch line: “Have any of you experienced any problems in Wal-Mart parking lots?” The AP story appears and is followed by a comment box. In other words, we are very sorry for these people who were shot — but hey, if it helps further our own ends, what the hey?

The UFCW should remove this post and condemn whoever wrote it. Decent union members across the nation should demand that it be removed. It is — even for a group desperate to reverse a decades-old decline — a new low.