Dear Dirty America


Walmart Executive Instructional Manual Calls Workers ‘Speaking Tools’

February 24
16:00 2012

BENTONVILLE, AR — Walmart executives have been thrust into the glaring limelight as one of their standard instruction manuals on how to handle store employees leaked online. The pamphlet breaks down Walmart workers into three categories: speaking tools, mute tools, and lifeless tools.

The manual was written for Walmart’s executives in order that they understand the “complex dynamics and fluctuations of a diverse, teeming worldwide workforce.”

Speaking tools were listed in the pamphlet as the “obviously vocal ones who are good at dealing with the customers, and won’t, usually, be afraid to speak their mind to management. It is the speaking tools who often ask for, and then demand, higher wages. They are often the culprits behind spreading the idea of how much better everybody would be if only they’d be able to start a workers’ union.”

The pamphlet later mentions how to sufficiently squash talk of starting unions in Walmart stores. It also mentions a controversial video shown to new workers describing the horrors of labor unions. “Pure propaganda,” the manual says, “but soaked up as fact by 90 percent of incoming employees.”

Mute tools were described as “the workers who stock the stores’ freezers, coolers, and shelves. They are less vocal, happier when working with their hands, and need a constant supply of menial labor to keep them feeling important and satisfied. They will not usually open their mouths, but a few will be harboring thoughts detracting from Walmart’s values and ideals. It is key to pick out those few before they become vocal, and a liability to the store.”

Lifeless tools are listed as the “truly sad, happy-faced Walmart greeters, early morning janitors, and the extra special needs help the store hires to get bigger tax write-offs.” Lifeless tools are dispensable employees, the handbook notes, “as they will never complain about their level of payment, will never demand more suitable working conditions, nor argue or challenge established store policy.”

Walmart has been under fire many times for paying their 1.5 million US workers, on average, less than $12 per hour, which falls well below the poverty line. Walmart has not issued a statement on the matter, but it is expected they will release a statement boasting how cheap they sell their goods.


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