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Trib editorial: Big labor's Wal-Mart 'tradition' fizzles

| Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017, 9:00 p.m.
AP Photo
AP Photo

A holiday tradition missing this year — in fact, for the past three years — focused attention on those Black Friday protests organized by groups affiliated with the United Food and Commercial Workers union at nonunion Wal-Mart stores across the nation.

Oh, Big Labor's opposition to pay and personnel policies at the nation's largest employer hasn't changed, according to union backers. But forcing the hand of the giant retailer, with 1.3 million employees at more than 4,000 stores, has effectively fizzled.

Just three years ago, the UFCW announced demonstrations at 1,600 Wal-Mart stores on Black Friday. No similar effort has been mounted since then, according to the Washington Examiner.

“We feel that Black Friday is changing with the adoption of online commerce,” said Amy Ritter, a spokeswoman for Making Change at Walmart, a nonprofit funded by the UFCW. “We are still intent on getting the message out.”

The more apparent public message, however, is that Wal-Mart has outlasted the union, which over the years reportedly launched several nonprofits to force the Arkansas-based retail chain to unionize.

Despite Wal-Mart's personnel policies and alleged “coercion,” which routinely are blasted by Big Labor and its acolytes, people freely choose to work at the retailer.

“The Wal-Mart employees were not buying what the UFCW was selling,” said F. Vincent Vernuccio, a senior fellow with the libertarian Mackinac Center.

What's clear is that Big Labor's “old ways” aren't making any inroads with today's Wal-Mart employees. Unions ignore that message at their own peril.

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