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.
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?
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