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I am a high school English teacher in an urban high school in Oklahoma City. I am a member of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 2309. I am a Democrat, a union activist and a worker for social justice. I also am a Christian (Congregationalist). I play chess and coach our school chess team.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Are Wal-Mart Employees Citizens or Subjects?

According to The Wall Street Journal, Wal-Mart is is so intimidated by the very possibility of a unionized workforce that its supervisors have been holding mandatory meetings essentially telling employees to vote against Democrats and Sen. Barack Obama this November.

Wal-Mart is taking this outrageous step because the Democrats and Barack Obama have committed to pass the Employee Free Choice Act to restore workers’ freedom to form unions and bargain for fair wages, health care, decent working conditions and a real voice on the job. All of America’s workers have the right to freely decide whom to vote for independent of employer pressure and intimidation.

We are seeing a return of old-fashioned employer intimidation tactics that harken back to the 19th and early 20th century.

The Greek philosopher Aristotle in his book Politics claimed that the difference between a citizen and a subject is that a citizen is able to participate in his countries political decision making.

When an corporation uses the threat of intimidation against their employees to force them to vote a certain way, then those employees become subjects of the corporation rather than free citizens able to fully participate in their government.

To get more information on this, check out the AFL-CIO Now Blog:
AFL-CIO Now Blog

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