Unions spending $10 Million to $20 Million to Attack Wal-Mart

The union-backed campaigns aimed at criticizing Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s wages and health benefits are having a "meaningful" impact on the giant retailer's operations, according to a Bank of America Securities analyst.

Wal-Mart on Friday disputed that finding. "Union leaders are wasting millions of their members' hard-earned dollars every year attacking Wal-Mart," spokesman David Tovar said. "Published reports and our own internal tracking consistently show that the critics' efforts are having minimal impact on the company's reputation."

Bank of America analyst David Strasser wrote in a note distributed Thursday to his firm's clients that the union groups have $20 million in financial backing from their national organizations and contributions from their local divisions. He estimates that Wal-Mart, in turn, employs 100 people tasked, at least in part, with countering the union group's criticisms, amounting to a $10 million expense in salary and benefits. A Wal-Mart spokeswoman called that estimate off-base and "simply absurd."

The Wal-Mart workers apparently don't want to be unionized. They won't vote to elect union representation. The union strategy seems to be to force the company into initiating unionization.

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