For several years, Walmart’s annual shareholders meeting has been the staging ground for high-profile protests against the retail giant’s treatment of its employees. As Walmart workers from across the country — many of whom are on strike — once again converge this week on the corporation’s headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas, one startling fact stands out: none of them, or any of the retail giant’s 1.4 million workers, are represented by a union.
Walmart’s success in keeping its American workforce entirely nonunion is, of course, well documented — so much so that observers of the company’s chronic labor strife almost take it for granted. But even in the context of a long national decline in union membership among American workers, it is staggering that the country’s largest employer, and one of its stingiest, has remained union free.
While Walmart contends that its employees have no use for union representation,