FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Formal Complaint for FEC Investigation of Wal-Mart's Unlawful Federal Election Activity
WASHINGTON - August 14 - Today American Rights at Work, the AFL-CIO, Change to Win, and
WakeUpWalmart.com will hand deliver a formal complaint to the Federal Election
Commission (FEC) calling for investigations into Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.'s
unlawful corporate expenditures on electioneering and unionbusting in the
workplace. A recent Wall Street Journal article (8/1/08) charges that "in recent weeks
thousands of Wal-Mart's store managers and department supervisors have been
summoned to mandatory meetings" where the company told workers that "voting for
Senator Obama and other Democrats would lead to [the Employee Free Choice
The complaint contends that Wal-Mart made "prohibited corporate expenditures by expressly advocating against Senator Obama's election to employees who were not in its restricted class." Further, the complainants request that "the Commission immediately open an investigation to determine whether a violation occurred and, if so, to take all appropriate steps to remedy that violation of federal election law."
Employers are forbidden from telling employees how to vote under federal election law.
But the current, broken labor law system allows workers to be subjected to explicit ant-union campaigning by employers. The Employee Free Choice Act would help address this unfair influence on workers' rights to chose unions to bargain for fair treatment at work.
"For years, Wal-Mart has been intimidating and harassing its workers who want to form unions. Now they've adapted their unionbusting tactics to influence our federal election system," says Mary Beth Maxwell, Executive Director of American Rights at Work. "Wal-Mart seems to be willing to break federal election law in order to stop their employees and all of America's workers from having a fair shot at the American Dream.
Supporting in these efforts, watchdog group Wal-Mart Watch has also filed a separate complaint to the FEC on these merits. Along with the formal complaint, American Rights at Work will deliver over 60,000 signatures of citizens outraged by Wal-Mart's blatant partisan and illegal behavior.
American Rights at Work is a leading labor policy and advocacy organization dedicated to educating the American public about the barriers that workers face when they attempt to exercise their rights to freely and fairly form unions and engage in collective bargaining.