Hispanic Community Wal-Mart store in Garland, Texas
Hispanic Community Wal-Mart store in Garland, Texas - 
Listen To The Story
Marketplace

TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: One place where prices haven't been rising that much is Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart's been relying on volume, and it seems to be working. The company reported a 17 percent increase in profits this morning.

But Wal-Mart does have problems. There was a Wall Street Journal story a couple weeks ago that said Wal-Mart managers met and talked about the danger of a Democrat in the White House. They said it would lead to more unionization. Now, several labor groups want the government to investigate what Wal-Mart's might be doing about this. Alisa Roth explains.


Alisa Roth: Federal election law says it's illegal for employers to tell hourly workers how to vote. The complaint -- which is being filed with the Federal Election Commission today -- says Wal-Mart violated that rule by holding meetings at which it effectively told workers not to vote for Barack Obama.

The AFL-CIO and the labor-backed WakeUpWalMart.com are among the groups asking for the investigation. Stacy Lock Temple is with Wal-Mart Watch, another advocacy group which wrote a similar letter to the commission last week.

Stacy Lock Temple: The ramifications are far-reaching, because Wal-Mart is the largest employer in the nation with 1.4 million employees. Wal-Mart has a long history of union-busting, and it also has a long history of intimidating its employees.

Wal-Mart didn't return calls before my deadline today. But a spokesman told the Wall Street Journal the company's glad the commission will look into this, "because we're confident they will find that we did nothing wrong."

In New York, I'm Alisa Roth for Marketplace.

“I think the best compliment I can give is not to say how much your programs have taught me (a ton), but how much Marketplace has motivated me to go out and teach myself.” – Michael in Arlington, VA

As a non-profit news organization, what matters to us is the same thing that matters to you: being a source for trustworthy, independent news that makes people smarter about business and the economy. So if Marketplace has helped you understand the economy better, make more informed financial decisions, or just encouraged you to think differently – we’re asking you to give a little something back.

Become a Marketplace Investor today - in whatever amount is right for you - and keep public service journalism strong. We’re grateful for your support.