"Now, to put it in basic terms: Lowe's strongly opposes unions in our company." This is true!

Like most major retail chains, $71 billion home improvement monster Lowe's is firmly committed to doing whatever it takes to prevent its employees from organizing in order to seek better wages and working conditions. Like most major retail chains, unions have long been interested in organizing Lowe's employees, but have never found a very welcoming atmosphere. Government investigators have found evidence of Lowe's managers intimidating employees who tried to unionize in the past.

At the top of this post you will find an in-house Lowe's video, nearly an hour and a half long, which is used to train managers how to deal with unions and their attempts to unionize employees (or employees' attempts to join unions). Managers are instructed to immediately contact the company's "labor hotline" at the merest hint of union activity.

The video displays the sort of incongruous schizophrenia about unions that is the hallmark of many such corporate videos. First, they denigrate unions as useless and unwanted, as evidenced by declining membership; immediately after that, they portray unions as fearsome and sophisticated machines for brainwashing the average workers. "They have huge staffs of paid professional organizers and business agents whose only task in life is to get your employees to sign up with them," the video warns. "Unions today even offer summer internships to college students to teach them the inside aspects of labor in the workplace."


Around the 15:00 mark, the narrator says that unions may try to send organizers to get hired at Lowe's stores in order to aid union drives from the inside, and follows with this: "The courts have ruled that it is illegal for an employer to discriminate in hiring based on an applicant's union status or history. This means that it's very important to use proper techniques when interviewing and make sure you hire the right people, to avoid giving a union easy access." These proper techniques surely do not involve discriminating against union members. We presume?

This video has been circulating on the internet for at least a couple of years now, but Lowe's has had it pulled down from Youtube before with a copyright claim. When it popped up again this week, we decided to post it as well. Just like Target's similar anti-union propaganda videos, this deserves to be seen. Not just so that you can see what workers are up against, but for some very entertaining conspiratorial play-acting.

[If you would like to share your employer's anti-union training materials, email me.]

Contact the author at Hamilton@Gawker.com.