Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Everyday Low Prices - Sen Blanche Lincoln

So who is Blanche Lincoln? Well she is a Senator from Arkansas and she has a (D) after her name so she makes some claim to being a Democrat. Arkansas is home to somebody else, a true friend to working Americans, Walmart - as long as you aren't one working for them.

Walmart is one of those places that is so friendly to unions that Think Progress has taken notice.
Today, the Wall Street Journal reported that Wal-Mart has been warning its managers that a Democratic victory in the fall would lead to unionization at Wal-Mart stores. “In recent weeks, thousands of Wal-Mart store managers and department heads have been summoned to mandatory meetings” discussing the downsides of unionization and not-so-subtly telling employees not to vote for a Democrat.

Center for Media and Democracy takes note of Walmart's love for unions.
"Back when I was in a union, I was just a number," laughs a man in a Wal-Mart Stores training video. "If a union got in here," he adds, "every benefit we got could go on the negotiating table. ... And with all our benefits, we'd risk losing a lot."

There certainly is no reason to think unions have problems with employers.
From 2000 to 2005, the National Labor Relations Board found Wal-Mart guilty of 15 cases of illegal conduct; seven of the giant retailer's competitors collectively had four rulings against them over the same period. Yet, HRW warns, "penalties under US labor law are so minimal that they have little deterrent effect."

Google displays 3,120,000 results for Walmart unions 2008, now granted some of these have nothing whatever to do with union busting, but there sure are a lot.

Funny things happen if you peruse places like Open Secrets where they will give you things like the top 5 contributors for Lincoln.
Stephens Group $34,200
DaVita Inc $32,000
Wal-Mart Stores $25,800
Tyson Foods $24,750
Goldman Sachs $24,000

Now I can't think of a reason why a Democratic US Senator from the state with the 47th lowest median income in the nation would oppose the Employee Free Choice Act. $37,500 is what they've got versus the national average of $50,000 something. You could buy a couple six packs with $13,000 a year doncha think? A visit to her website will leave you dry if you try to find a mention of unions. I'm kind of curious if there's much of anything there that makes her a real appealing version of a Democrat. That really gives pause.

1 comment:

t.a. said...

this is part of the reason the Dems are the true "big tent" party. we really do cover a huge range of views. of course, having a D from Arkansas is much better than an R, but given that her first allegiance is to WalMart, and not the workers or their more reliable advocates & representatives (aka unions), how big that advantage is, is debatable. that's one of the challenges to the Democratic Party: how do we remain an inclusive party and yet represent Democratic Party ideals, principles and goals? too many Dems in office are either cowards, centrists (aka cowards) or beholden to special interests. what Dean began in 2006 is going to take a long time to come to full fruition, but we have made a good start. still, Senators like this... ugh.