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Leaked Walmart training video warns new employees about joining unions

If you’ve done any reading on Walmart, you’d probably know that they’re famous for their anti-union antics. But in a leaked training video that hit the Internet, the company actually admits their anti-union stance in a curious way

If you think Walmart simultaneously shutting down 5 stores across the country to fix “plumbing problems” sounds a bit suspicious, it’ll make more sense once you realize that “plumbing problems” is actually code for “unions.”

Walmart is famous for their anti-union antics. But in a leaked training video that hit the Internet, the company actually admits their anti-union stance in a curious way.

At about 2:30 into the video:

Our company prefers to have open and direct communication with our associates—we don’t think a labor union is necessary here. And because our associates have said time after time that they don’t want a union, we usually don’t spend a lot of time talking about them.

“…usually don’t spend a lot of time talking about them.”

Makes sense. If you shut your stores down when employees start organizing, you won’t have to talk about them at all.

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 9.42.32 PM

From Gawker:

But what’s Walmart’s official policy? According to the video, the company is “pro-associate,” citing the open door policy as its way to ensure that workers are able to speak on their own behalf. Says one actor in front of a Walmart green screen, “Frankly, I don’t think Walmart associates should have to have someone to speak for them. It’s just not that kind of place.”

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 9.47.41 PM

The video reminds its viewers that, “signing a union card isn’t just about you. You could also be affecting the people who have been trying to work here for years.”

Yeah, the ones who need unions the most.

Watch:

[This post has been updated]

60 Comments

60 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Tony

    May 19, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    Unionize all Wal-Mart stores let’s see how they deal with that ! The upper management that are doing this are in fact breaking Federal law . A felonious act which they should be arrested and jailed!

  2. Avatar

    Doug Geib

    May 19, 2015 at 11:52 pm

    walmart is such a great employer! They pay so little they put out a charity fundraiser at thanksgiving for their employees! Walmart is anything but employee friendly!!

  3. Avatar

    Joseph Guiffre

    May 20, 2015 at 1:03 am

    I worked for 39yrs. Paid 1 percent of base pay. Maid $33 and change an hour. Seems like an investment not a rip off. 1 1/2 pay, after 9 hours double pay, double pay on Sunday. How does that compare to Walmarts Union busting tactics.

  4. Avatar

    Alex

    May 20, 2015 at 9:15 am

    These people are ignorant to what a union can do for them

  5. Avatar

    liamyesko

    May 20, 2015 at 11:59 am

    Video has been removed…

  6. Avatar

    LeRoy

    May 20, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    Those policies are no longer in place. Time and a half on Sundays has been gone for over a decade, replaced with an extra dollar per hour, a policy which has also been discarded. Overtime is almost never approved, and associates found working over 40 (if they’re even scheduled beyond 20 or 24 (yes, for full time)) can get in some serious trouble, up to and including termination if they do it too often or go over too far. Double pay? In 12 years, I’ve never seen that. Also, lifetime pay caps are in place and limit to 24/hr. After which you no longer receive yearly raises. Your Walmart experience, Mr Guiffre, is outdated and far different than the current experience.

  7. Avatar

    Dean

    May 20, 2015 at 10:52 pm

    O my God wal Mart is that big–got this video off of facebook– If they gave everyone $15 an hour or more they still would make 10 billion this year???

  8. Avatar

    rosie Bloomfield

    May 21, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    I saw this video during training in 2014. I thought it was an odd video for an employer to use during indoctrination. Little did I know how bad HellMart really is!! I have a new respect and pity for those who depend on them for their livelihood.

  9. Avatar

    Tarsa Dennis

    May 21, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    The woman in the beginning of the video also does videos for Petco . Love the crappy acting !

  10. Avatar

    Jeffrey Jones

    May 22, 2015 at 12:38 am

    I worked in non-union business in upper management. It was often said that corporate would spend any amount of money to stop unions. They flew in attorneys from NYC billed at thousands of dollars per hour to “spin” the evils of unions. They kept a close eye on employees, even when meeting off site. I was pretty disgusted by it all.

  11. Avatar

    Smarty

    May 22, 2015 at 2:48 am

    Unions are complete bull and half the reason why companies leave the place. By the time all the money is paid to employees it’s soaked up by more executives in the union and the company leaves, economy in the city collapses and yet blame it on the store. It’s about making money and can’t make it if employees cost more than the products. Let somebody who really wants to work instead of sitting around for pay.

  12. Avatar

    Meghan

    May 22, 2015 at 5:31 am

    I just quit Walmart after 15 year and I think there should b a union I quit for the reason of being mistreated and belittled by our store manager

  13. Avatar

    americansdu

    May 22, 2015 at 7:04 am

    That’s the biggest heap of garbage I’ve heard all day. Having been married to a former Wal-Mart employee, I know all about all the bullshit tactics they pull, low wages, insane working hours, crappy benefits, etc… ya… this company just needs to go away entirely!

  14. Avatar

    Steve Mushynsky

    May 22, 2015 at 7:33 am

    Before Home Depot became publicly owned, the owners would occasionally mandate that all employees watch videos that at times included tirades from the owners that they would close any store that attempted to unionize and a video that was simply a tirade against female employees who had sued regarding discrimination in wages and promotions.
    Years later, HD closed its recently new Rome, NY store over unionization efforts there.
    Those same ex HD owners are now major GOP supporters. Go figure.

  15. Avatar

    Naoise Farrell

    May 22, 2015 at 8:09 am

    They mention all the benefits whilst completely ignoring the fact that if it wasn’t for the Unions there would be little or no benefits to speak of

  16. Avatar

    Motherearth

    May 22, 2015 at 10:51 am

    WOW! What corporate BS. Want to get rid of Wallymarts in your town? Get a “job” there and start unionizing…they will shut down faster than you can say “minimum wage”! Then, perhaps the Mom and Pop stores will return to your hometown. They would rather close stores and loose money than pay a decent wage…how Un-American can you get! …unless, of course, they declare them as for even more tax “breaks”. You couldn’t pay me to shop in one.

  17. Avatar

    Cris Littrell

    May 22, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    ignorant propaganda, these folks have no clue how much unions have done for work place safety, labor laws, overtime, child labor restrictions, 40 hour work weeks, holidays, etc….UNIONS NOW!!!!…..These Walmart lies is why i BOYCOTT WALMART, THEY ARE PURE EVIL.

  18. Avatar

    Eva Jones

    May 22, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    I worked at Walmart back in 1987 and made only $6.50 an hour working in middle management…..I was sent home regardless at 39 hrs so I couldn’t get benefits according to one manager. .Don’t know which store you worked Mr Guiffre. Couldn’t have been Walmart.

  19. Avatar

    Sherry Richmond

    May 22, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    Gee, why can’t PBS do a show about labor rights in the US, the history of & pros & cons of unions presented in a fair & open-minded way for all Americans to see?

  20. Avatar

    scott

    May 22, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    I’d say let them close all the stores they want, see where that gets them. Employees are ignorant to the power they actually possess and the money they are being cheated out of.

  21. Avatar

    Squeak

    May 22, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    I worked for Walmart for six years, and anytime an Associate mentioned the word “Union” around a manager, the manager would then take them into the back to have a Discussion about why Unions are bad for the individual. All very creepy, if you ask me.

  22. Avatar

    Joe DiLalla

    May 22, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    Leroy, you are wrong. Many Union represented employees get the benefits mentioned and more. Check Verizon for example.

  23. Avatar

    Warren Wilson

    May 22, 2015 at 6:40 pm

    I believe Mr. Guthrie was referring to what his union job paid, not writing at Wal-Mart. I doubt Wal-Mart ever paid $33 per hour, let alone time and one half or double time.

  24. Avatar

    Warren Wilson

    May 22, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    America keeps shopping at Wal-Mart because of their low prices, and because unions have been diminished, and people don’t make wages that allow them to shop at better stores. It’s a vicious cycle.

  25. Avatar

    Beth Nytes

    May 22, 2015 at 7:42 pm

    Shop at Costco they’re union!

  26. Avatar

    David Storment

    May 22, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    I worked for a Wal Mart distribution center for 5 years. I lost my job due to length of time I was out, due to an on the job injury. I am now working at a union shop. Hourly pay at union shop is a little less than Wal Mart, but the insurance at union shop is far better and premiums are 1/2 of what I paid at Wal Mart years ago.. Wal Marts open door policy allows you to voice concerns, but a decision is made by a member of management with no appeal process. If and issue comes up at a union shop ,there is a grievance process and you are represented 100% of the way.My union dues of $42 per month allow me to vote on any contract that is offered. The union doesn’t make the decision, I do. I don’t always agree with the union ( I am a Republican) , but the union does protect jobs.

  27. Avatar

    tradesmanatasu

    May 22, 2015 at 9:15 pm

    I’ve worked both sides of the Union controversy Personally, I believe that unions are born of necessity, and were largely responsible for the “middle class” of my upbringing. Places like walmart denigrate unions out of fear. If you contribute 1% of your earnings to a union to negotiate a 15% raise to a living wage, what’s the problem? Also, the only good thing about a “right to work (starve) state, is that you can’t be FORCED to join the union, but you will still reap the benefits. Walmart employees: Start your OWN union if you distrust the existing ones. Unions were created precisely for people like you. You can go talk to your managers with their open door policies, but 10,000 voices speak louder.

  28. Avatar

    catk51

    May 22, 2015 at 9:25 pm

    A lot of time is focused on being anti Union in the video. Walmart must have something to hide or fear, I was under the impression this was a new hire intro/basic training type video.

  29. Avatar

    Chris Young

    May 22, 2015 at 10:16 pm

    “Those policies are no longer in place.”

    Why do think that is?

    The percentage of workers belonging to a union (or “density”) in the United States peaked in 1954 at almost 35%. In 2013 there were 14.5 million members in the U.S., compared with 17.7 million in 1983. In 2013, the percentage of workers belonging to a union in the United States (or total labor union “density”) was 11.3%, compared to 20.1% in 1983.

  30. Avatar

    len charette

    May 22, 2015 at 10:23 pm

    Some big box stores are unionized but in some states they have ” right to work ” which means you don’t have to join. The union they do have is pretty weak and has not been able to do much for employees. It’s not like the Teamsters or the UAW.

  31. Avatar

    David

    May 23, 2015 at 2:18 am

    What a great video. This should be aired in every school, and television station as a public service announcement.

  32. Avatar

    lou klugh

    May 23, 2015 at 4:02 am

    They’ll treat you like a family member because at WalMart pay scale, it isn’t easy to get good help. If the workers are organized people clamor to join for that union scale pay. Is it really necessary to state what is obvious?

  33. Avatar

    Toby Gamble

    May 23, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    All Walmarts need to be Union so they can’t pull the bull they have been doing for many years and yes I have worked for them for 6 years and I have seen so much inhuman treatment toward employee’s that walmart needs to be put in its place.If Walmart closed all their stores then good get the hell out of our country we don’t need you.

  34. Avatar

    Toby Gamble

    May 23, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    I agree.

  35. Avatar

    Mike Honcho

    May 29, 2015 at 1:02 am

    Thanks for chiming in on this “smarty” it’s obvious to me your name has nothing to do with your actual mental capacity, maybe you should get back to putting that square peg in the round hole, don’t get frustrated, you’ll get it in there eventually.

  36. Avatar

    C Brown

    May 31, 2015 at 5:55 am

    I was brought up to not cross union picket lines, even if the place you are going to does not have workers with signs saying what they are fighting for. Like GM a few years back went on strike here in De and who does fight for the workers union reps, they have great medical,over time,family events, stock offers too, bonus checks a long list. It’s just as when I was younger, I was taught to turn around, do not cross. I have not shopped in walmart nearing 3 years after finding out what was going on, this commerical is filled with many lies. My children do not shop there anymore, also due to no unions and respect of workers, they still have not gone back in. Many didn’t even no they were on strike, last time I went in shopping and I never went back but if walmart is as friendly as this ad trys to say and is concerned, then workers would no they have a choice and not be fired, in this day and age for joining a union. ……..Then to meet others having no clue walmart workers were on strike, in walgreens does not seem to be as this ad is leading you to think. less than 2 yrs back. ………Closing down stores for plumbing, the only ones who went union and having people lose jobs, again is not respecting or caring for workers of the so called walton family. …….My father was in the postal union ,nbc and his last job for 20 yrs had no pension, he was in the hospital for 3 wks, he went back to work, he never was told he was let go and within 3 yrs we had to file for bankrupcty, with that I never would have any family work with no union, ever……….Unions are what America is, fighting for rights,of workers, the walmart family is over a trillion in wealth by being slave drivers of today’s workers.Don’t fall for these lies, stop shopping they also rig prices too, I am in De I brought a comp chair here yrs ago and had to go to Md to get another, as I needed two that day, De no tax state, Md tax state, price was lower in tax state then here in De, I was livid and was told that, all walmarts, don’t have all the same prices and being in a tax free state it will cost more, to me that is a form of fraud and tax envasion.

  37. Avatar

    Andrew Carr

    August 19, 2015 at 4:57 am

    If the heirs/owners, who have a philosophy contrary to the founder’s, could make more $ by selling, I’m sure they’d do so. But they can squeeze the small guy in order to maximize their net worth.

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