business news in context, analysis with attitude reports that while Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton worked on the premise that happy employees make for happy customers, there is considerable evidence that there is a fair degree of discontent among the company's labor base.

The magazine writes, "These days, blue-vested Wal-Mart greeters are far from cheerful. They have filed more than three dozen separate lawsuits in 30 states accusing Wal-Mart of violating federal wage-and-hour rules, sex discrimination and threatening workers involved in union activities."

The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union seems to be confident that as Wal-Mart expands its presence in the highly unionized northeast US, the time may be coming when unionization of Wal-Mart stores may happen.

"The retailer says it pays its 1.1 million U.S. workers competitively, treats them fairly and allegations in lawsuits are aberrations," Forbes reports. "Maybe so, but if recent developments are an indication, Wal-Mart could have some problems dispelling negative public relations".

Forbes reports that Wal-Mart employees "currently earn an average of $7.50 per hour, which is $2 to $3 less--a whopping 20% to 30%--than unionized counterparts at Target and Kmart. A typical Wal-Mart employee earns $18,000 annually and either isn't eligible for or cannot afford premiums on health or pension benefits."
KC's View:
We are a little less confident than the UFCW that Wal-Mart unionization is going to happen anytime soon. We just think that the Bentonville Behemoth has so many resources that it will delay unionization as long as possible.