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Walmart denies that it told employees how to vote

Walmart is denying a report that it pressured employees to vote against Democrats in November because of worries that a bill the party supports would make it easier for workers to unionize.

The measure, called the Employee Free Choice Act, would allow labor organizations to unionize workplaces without secret ballot elections. It was co-sponsored by Barack Obama and opposed by John McCain.

A report in The Wall Street Journal says the Bentonville-based retailer held mandatory meetings with store managers and department supervisors in recent weeks to warn that if Democrats take power in November, they would likely push through the bill.

Walmart spokesman Dave Tovar told The Associated Press that the company did discuss the bill with its employees, including what it sees as the negative impact. He noted that the company's stand on the legislation is no secret.

But he said the company wasn't advocating that its employees vote against backers of the legislation.

The Wall Street Journal cited about a dozen unidentified Walmart employees who had attended such meetings in seven states. The employees said they were told that employees at unionized shops would have to pay big union dues while not receiving any benefits in return.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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