Labor News Round-Up: Wal-Mart PR Firm Has Fake Reporter Spy on Workers, and More
This week, Warehouse Workers United discovered that Wal-Mart had sent a fake reporter to spy on workers attempting to organize in Los Angeles. From Republic Report:
Warehouse Workers United (WWU), a new organization for warehouse workers in the area, caught Wal-Mart actually sending a fake “reporter” to spy on a group of workers trying to organize warehouses.
At first, the spy identified herself as “Zoe Mitchell,” a USC student “interested in terrible and illegal conditions inside warehouses that move goods for Walmart.” She told warehouse workers that she was a reporter looking into their plight.
But then WWU discovered her true identity. Zoe is actually Stephanie — Stephanie Harnett of Mercury Public Affairs, a giant public relations and lobbying firm that brags of specializing in “Latino Communications“.
Wal-Mart issued a statement that denounced the action, saying:
“These actions were unacceptable, misleading and wrong. Our culture of integrity is a constant at Walmart and by not properly identifying herself, this individual’s behavior was contrary to our values and the way we do business. We insist that all our vendors conduct themselves in a way that is transparent and honest and we will reinforce that expectation to help ensure this type of activity is not repeated.”
Mercury later announced that it has fired Stephanie Harnett.