Fear is a fantastic motivator.
It has been used by the likes of Ghengis Khan, Vlad the Impaler and Adolf Hitler.
And now, it's being used by Wal-Mart.
In an effort to push their pro-Republican, anti-worker agenda, the corporate behemoth has begun herding their employees into mandatory meetings where the topic is simple and clear: vote Republican, or else.
Wal-Mart claims the meetings are held to simply inform associates on the current political issues at hand -- including the Employee Free Choice Act -- but employees say otherwise.
"I'm not a stupid person. They were telling me how to vote," a Wal-Mart customer service supervisor from Missouri who attended one of the meetings told the Wall Street Journal.
The captive-audience meetings come as a direct result of a promise made by Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama that have left many major corporations shaking in their white-collar, Italian leather boots. If elected president, Obama will support the Employee Free Choice Act.
The legislation aims to make the formations of unions within the workplace easier for workers, thus allowing working families to gain much-deserved benefits including health care, job stability and, perhaps most importantly, peace of mind. In the world of Wal-Mart, that means actually treating employees like human beings and divvying out livable wages, paid overtime and sick leave.
Critics of the legislation -- Wal-Mart is at the top of the list -- like the current system which allows corporations to repeatedly violate labor law with nothing more than a slap on the wrist. It's clear, however, that for America's hard working citizens, the benefits far outweigh the risks -- especially in Wally world.
So anti-union is Wal-Mart that the corporation has its own bunch of union-busting thugs which are called to sites when mere whispers of organizing arise. Far worse, Wal-Mart is notorious for illegally firing employees who attempt to organize fellow workers.
When the United Food and Commercial Workers successfully organized a small group of Wal-Mart butchers in east Texas eight years ago, Wal-Mart shuttered their entire butcher operation nationally and began selling only pre-packaged meat in its stores. The only Wal-Mart store to successfully unionize, located in Ontario, Canada, was promptly closed by the company after the vote.
A company so enthralled with their slogan "live better" certainly doesn't follow its own advice. In fact, it is because of companies like Wal-Mart the Employee Free Choice Act was spawned in the first place.
It's time we hold Wal-Mart accountable for their actions. Last week, the Change to Win federation of unions delivered more than 60,000 petitions to the Federal Election Commission urging them to investigate Wal-Mart's mandatory employee meetings.
By instructing employees on how to vote, Wal-Mart has once again crossed the line and until the Employee Free Choice Act becomes law, the corporate bully can continue its immoral, illegal behavior.
Follow James P. Hoffa on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Teamsters