Unions Out of Step with Members on Wal-Mart

By December 14, 2006Labor Unions

Over the past several years, unions have poured tens of millions of dollars into various efforts to attack Wal-Mart, a convenient and necessary Satan for them. In some communities, Wal-Mart threatens some fat deals that labor has negotiated over the years, deals that in the bright economic glare of Wal-Mart turn out to be more than the market will bear. Never mind that folks (especially lower-income people) can afford more stuff at Wal-Mart prices. Labor has teamed with any lefty group it can find — including class-action lawyers — to generally harass Wal-Mart at every turn and make their lives miserable. Only one problem: Union members shop there.

It’s well-known that teachers hit Wal-Mart in droves to buy supplies — yes, even union teachers. But now comes more empirical data in the form of a Quinnipiac College poll from Ohio. According to the poll, 83 percent of Ohio voters in union households shop at Wal-Mart. By a margin of 53 – 28 percent, voters in union households say that Wal-Mart has a positive effect on their area. And, in a huge display of voter wisdom, by a 48 – 30 percent margin, voters think elected officials who criticize Wal-Mart are motivated by money and votes from labor unions rather than by concerns about low wages and benefits.

Ya think….?

These finding track a similar Quinnipiac poll in union-rich New York from earlier this year. By a 47 – 37 percent margin, New York City voters in union households support Wal-Mart opening stores in New York City. Among voters from union households, by 63 – 31 percent they said they would shop at Wal-Mart if one opened near them. Well, of course they would. They want lower prices just like everyone else.

But the point here is that no matter how you feel about Wal-Mart, the fact is that unions once again are spending untold millions of their members’ money to fight a company that their members patronize. Makes you wonder if maybe the unions and their members really don’t have the same goals, doesn’t it?

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • I once had someone tell me that, as he was about to go shopping at a Wal-Mart, his brother-in-law (a union carpenter) asked him to pick up several items. When the man asked his brother-in-law if he wanted to go with him, the union carpenter declined stating that his union wouldn’t allow him to shop there!

    Go figure indeed!

  • Roger Hummel says:

    Pat Cleary wrote the truth about Wal-Mart and the unions.

    We had a gocery strike here in So. Calif. and the poor union members had a very bad Christmas a few years ago. Some had to move in with friends and relatives because they could not afford to pay rent and some had to refinance, get loans or sell their homes because they couldn’t pay the monthly payments. To make things worse, the union ended up with less benifits than before the strike. The supermarkets wouldn’t even let striking workers go into the store to use the rest rooms so local businesses let them use theirs. Yes, many of the union members do shop at Wal-Mart and always have.