Black Friday always brings out the worst: long lines, short tempers and random outbreaks of shoppers’ rage. This year, Big Labor ratcheted up the Strikesgiving tension with professional grievance-mongers and workers picketing at 1,000 Walmart stores nationwide.
Attention, Walmart directors: Mob appeasement never works. They’ve tried repeatedly to stave off union thuggery through political “partnerships” and capitulation. It has failed and failed and failed.
As you may recall, the discount retail giant shocked many observers in 2009 when it announced it was embracing the principles of President Barack Obama’s federal health-care mandate. The nation’s largest private (and nonunion) employer was joined by its perennial arch-enemy, the Service Employees International Union (then-helmed by frequent White House guest and deep-pocketed heavy Andy Stern) and the far-left Center for American Progress (run by Obama confidante John Podesta and funded by billionaire George Soros).
In their joint Obamacare letter, the strange bedfellows declared: “As the nation’s largest private employer, the nation’s largest union of health-care workers with over 1 million members and a think tank that has been a leader on health-care policy, we have worked closely in support of health-care reform since 2006, when we came together to help break the stalemate that had defined the health care debate for too long.”
Walmart, SEIU and CAP together endorsed Obamacare’s employer mandate and “shared responsibility” provisions, which they called “important proposals that should be included in the current efforts to reform our nation’s health-care system.” These unholy alliances were forged out of Walmart’s desperation and political expediency.
Providing cover for the White House on Obamacare bought Walmart one day of goodwill theater. But SEIU and Soros operatives have promoted a no-holds-barred campaign against Walmart for decades. The union funded an incendiary “Walmart Watch” website with at least $1 million in rank-and-file employee dues. Walmart foolishly contributed $500,000 to $999,999 to Podesta and his Soros-backed Center for American Progress. But Soros’ MoveOn hit team then instigated the Black Friday strikes online.
Similar corporate outreach to the Congressional Black Caucus brought rebukes from, you guessed it, SEIU leaders, which blasted Walmart for “undermining standards for all American workers.”
Never mind that Walmart employs 1.3 million people, 250,000 of whom have been there for more than 10 years and 165,000 of whom are hourly associates who were promoted last year.
Nor will the company ever have the sympathies of Obama — despite first lady Michelle Obama’s comfy seat on the corporate board of directors of TreeHouse Foods Inc. Walmart happens to be the conglomerate’s biggest customer.
The TreeHouse Foods position netted Michelle Obama $45,000 in 2005 and $51,200 in 2006 — as well as 7,500 TreeHouse stock options worth more than $72,000 for each year. While she welcomed Walmart’s decision to team up with her on her anti-“food deserts” campaign last year, Obama’s union cronies at the SEIU and AFL-CIO once again excoriated the nation’s largest employer.
“Walmart should not be celebrated for false contributions to our communities and glitzy public relations campaigns that disguise their destructive policies,” the union bosses railed.
Obama said nothing about the strike actions, but he made his allegiances clear in 2007, when he told union activists he “would not shop” at Walmart. Company heir Samuel Walton forked over $300,000 to the Priorities USA super PAC, run by former Obama flack Bill Burton. How’s that working out?
For the sake of its survival, I hope the Black Friday lesson isn’t lost on the rest of Walmart’s management and heirs.
When you lie down with thugs, you get up with ... more black eyes.