Wal-Mart Manager, 17 years
“For 17 years, I was a good Wal-Mart soldier,” says Weldon Nicholson. “I did everything the company told me to – until my conscience got the best of me, and I couldn’t stomach it anymore.”
Weldon Nicholson was a member of a unique group within the Wal-Mart management’s inner circle. He was a store manager throughout the 1980s and 1990s, traveling from store to store across the country, but he was much more valuable to the company because of his unique ability to profile and systematically force out workers suspected of pro-union activity.
Taking his orders directly from the Wal-Mart Home Office and his bosses in regional management, Weldon was forced to comply with many years of unscrupulous company policies that came straight from the top. These policies included “ignoring” the existence of undocumented cleaning crews, paying off members of town councils who planned to stand in the way of new Wal-Mart projects, shaving hours off employees’ time cards, and making sure workers knew about government assistance for health care.
“You won’t ever find these policies in a Wal-Mart handbook, but every single manager in this country is taught how to do these things,” says Weldon. “If you learn to do them well, you are promoted. If not, then they find a way to force you out. There’s no question this comes from the top. There’s so much wrong with this company, I wouldn’t even know how to begin.” After years of work that finally “got to my soul,” Weldon quit.
See Also: Christopher Hayes on Wal-Mart's union-busting.