Walmart spies on workforce to oppose union organising


Documents submitted as part of a 2015 US National Labor Relations Board investigation show that Walmart, long known to be hostile to unions, spied on and retaliated against a group of employees who sought higher wages, more full-time jobs, and predictable schedules. In combating the group, who called themselves the Organization United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart), Walmart hired an intelligence-gathering service from Lockheed Martin, contacted the FBI, and set up an internal Delta team to respond. US law bars companies from putting in place rules or surveillance that applies only to labour activists, but they are allowed to restrict solicitation, install security cameras, and set up systems for managers to report concerns. However, there's little law in place yet regarding monitoring employees' social media accounts.

Writer: Susan Berfield

Publication: Bloomberg Businessweek