Many of these tactics comport with weak US labor law, notwithstanding their practical effect of quashing worker organizing efforts.
Wal-Mart's record before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), charged with enforcing US labor laws, suggests that the company has also employed illegal tactics in addition to its lawful anti-union strategy.
Additional research assistance was provided by interns Adnan Ahmad, Ann Allegra, Christina Filipovic, Karen Leve, Matthew Perault, and Bettina Warburg-Johnson.
Tubbs also provided staff support throughout the project and prepared the report for publication.
Finally, Human Rights Watch thanks the current and former Wal-Mart workers and managers, whether union supporters or opponents, who agreed to meet with us and share their experiences, particularly those in Kingman, Arizona; Las Vegas, Nevada; Aiken, South Carolina; Loveland, Colorado; Greeley, Colorado; and New Castle, Pennsylvania. To the extent we have been able to demonstrate the significant human impact of violations of workers' right to freedom of association, it is thanks to their insights and, often, courage.
The right of workers to organize is well established under international human rights law.
, senior labor rights and trade researcher for the Business and Human Rights Program of Human Rights Watch, researched and wrote this report.
The report was edited by Arvind Ganesan, director of the Business and Human Right Program; Jamie Fellner, director of the US Program; Aisling Reidy, senior legal advisor; Joseph Saunders, deputy program director; and Elizabeth Wang, outside counsel.
They provide penalties too weak to adequately deter employers from breaking the laws, only requiring offenders to restore the status quo ante and imposing few, if any, economic consequences. None of those 1.3 million workers is represented by a union. Wal-Mart is a case study in what is wrong with US labor laws.
But Wal-Mart stands out for the sheer magnitude and aggressiveness of its anti-union apparatus and actions.