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Leaked documents show how Walmart combats labor protests

In a leaked training document for Walmart managers, the company explains how to stop low-wage strikes before they happen.
A cashier waits for customers at a Walmart Supercenter in Rogers, Arkansas June 6, 2013.
A cashier waits for customers at a Walmart Supercenter in Rogers, Arkansas June 6, 2013.

"If you see something, say something" is no longer just a motto for the Department of Homeland Security. It's also how Walmart plans to snuff out labor organizing drives before they happen, according to internal company documents leaked on Tuesday.

In a module developed for training purposes [PDF], Walmart urges salaried managers to "[r]eport union activity to the Labor Relations Hotline immediately" and "[s]upport Walmart's position on how we treat people." The document also provides talking points that managers can use to diffuse potential labor actions, including: "In my opinion, unions just want to hurt Walmart and make it harder to run our business."

In a section dedicationg to "Early Warning Signs," managers are advised to watch out for employees who are "[s]peaking negatively about wages and benefits" or "ceasing conversations when leadership approaches."

Occupy Wall Street posted the document online on Tuesday, and a Walmart spokesperson confirmed their authenticity to msnbc.

"We think communications like these that we're talking about are important to make sure that our associates are receiving accurate and timely information," said Walmart spokesperson Kory Lundberg.

Occupy Wall Street did not reveal the source of the leak, but noted that last week the group of hackers known as Anonymous had promised they would soon target Walmart. Whoever leaked the training module also provided Occupy with another Walmart document [PDF] warning employees that the labor group OUR Walmart is not "really here to help you."

OUR Walmart is the organization behind the Walmart Black Friday strikes, as well as various other actions targeting the company. The group, which is being supported by theUnited Food and Commercial Workers, is demanding that Walmart pay all employees a base salary of at least $25,000 per year.