Wednesday, January 25, 2006

AFL-CIO targets Wal-Mart

The AFL-CIO is sponsoring a ballot initiative aimed at Wal-Mart. You've probably read about it - it requires any company of more than 10,000 employees to spend at least 8% of its payroll on health care for employees.

Guess how many companies in Oregon employ that many people and don't already spend 8% on health care? Yep, one: Wal-Mart.

This is not just an Oregon thing. It is part of a coordinated nationwide AFL-CIO led effort to make Wal-Mart buckle under. The unions know they can't successfully unionize Wal-Marts, but they might be able to take away their competitive advantage through ballot measures and state legislatures.

Maryland just passed the same law that Oregon's AFL-CIO is trying to get on the ballot here. Actually, the state legislature overrode the governor's veto to get the law passed. Wal-Mart's next move? They cancelled plans to build a distribution center in Maryland, which would have created 800 jobs. As reported in, the Wal-Mart spokesman said about the decision to cancel the distribution center:

"You have to take a step back and call into question how business-friendly is a state like Maryland when they pass a bill that . . . takes a swipe at one company that provides 15,000 jobs."

EXACTLY. The same goes for Oregon. What does it tell a prospective large employer considering a move to Oregon (or a small company already here that hopes to be a large employer) when the state swerves off the road to punish Wal-Mart because it doesn't provide the benefits the union wants it to?

You think they might have seconds thoughts about Oregon as a place to grow?

You think the AFL-CIO cares?

It will be very interesting to see how Oregon votes on this one. Call it the canary in the mine. If people here are serious about being competitive again, they will reject it. If not, well, good for Clark County.


Chris McMullen said...

Rob, what's it going to take to keep unions from ruining this country? I'm getting to the point of thinking that the unions have completely brainwashed most of the public into following their agenda.

Is it even worth fighting them?

MMW said...


It's just socialism, plain and simple. We've been fighting it for 100 years in this country.

And yes, it is worth fighting them because our basic freedoms are at stake.

The whole world economy (including Europe) depends on our system remaining relatively free and not socialized. When that goes, the Second Dark Ages decends.

Anonymous said...

OK. Every once in a while I read a great article in Oregon Mag and wonder who are the ones publishing it. So I look on the web site and find no "about" nor a place to order it delivered. So it must be some kind of web-zine or early kind of blog site. or something. I find a link at the bottomn of the page to visit this blog and click profile and find....nothing. Are you the writer of Oregon Mag? and Is it a political digest? A real Magazine I can pick up on the corner rack or an internet thing?

Just wondering. Nice writing.

CV up north.