Big News at Wal-Mart

I know--politics over at Stephen's place and poetry here, but this is an issue near and dear to my heart, as Amy and I did grad school a stone's throw from Wal-Mart's world headquarters, and this occurred not too far from where we live now.

Now, as Wal-Mart rolls out a new round of workplace restrictions, employees at a Wal-Mart Super Center in Hialeah Gardens, Fla., are taking matters into their own hands. On Oct. 16, workers on the morning shift walked out in protest against the new policies and rallied outside the store, shouting "We want justice" and criticizing the company's recent policies as "inhuman." Workers said the number of participants was about 200, or nearly all of the people on the shift.

It's the first time that Wal-Mart has faced a worker-led revolt of such scale, according to both employees and the company. Just as surprising, the company quickly said it would change at least one of the practices that had sparked the protest. Late in the day on Oct. 16, there was some disagreement over which of the new policies would be put on hold.

And considering the new rules that Wal-Mart is trying to put in place to gut their business of long term, higher wage employees, I think we can expect to see more of this type of thing. Wal-Mart's going to have its hands full if it's going to stay union-free for the long term.

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