Last week Jonathan linked to part 2 of the Chicagoist’s three-part Working For Walmart series. This morning, the third, and final, part was posted. The final installment begins with a bit of pure Walmart culture of fear.
I asked Rosetta Brown, Roslyn Landfair and Linda Haluska why Wal-Mart workers hadn’t started a union at work, given how hard it seems to be to work there. “95 percent of them are scared,” Roslyn says. “They scared that they don’t want to lose their jobs. Believe me, I’ve never seen so many scared people. A lot of them been there since the store was open, some that’s been there 10 years, and they’re just so scared. It’s not like they have, you know, college educations, it’s been their first job and they making quality money, so why go?” Linda nods in agreement. “So they stay there, there’s no place else to go. If they go, they gonna make $7.50, $8 an hour.”
“A lot of them are afraid that they’re going to close the store,” Linda says. “Because they did close a store.” Wal-Mart closed its store in Jonquière, Quebec Canada in 2005 after workers there joined the United Food and Commercial Workers union. That Wal-Mart employees in suburban Chicago know this five years later is a testament to the company’s efforts to ensure that its employees don’t sign union cards.
Remember, these people are working for a retailer in 2010, not a mining company in 1914.