Undercover at Walmart for three months: The stories that “Walmart: Diary of an Associate” tell!

Walmart. You either love the mega-chain. Or hate it.

In 2012, journalist Hugo Meunier spent three months undercover as a Walmart employee in St. Leonard, Quebec, just north of Montreal. And he survived to write about it.

In Walmart: Diary of an Associate (Fernwood Publishing , $22, March 1), Meunier charts the daily life of an impoverished Walmart worker, referring to his shifts at the box store giant as “somewhere between the army and Walt Disney.” Each shift began with a daily chant before bowing to customer demands and the constant pressure to sell.  And since Meunier and his fellow workers could not afford to shop anywhere else, they became further indentured to the multi-billion-dollar corporation.

Beyond his time on the shop floor, Meunier documents (in great detail) the extraordinary efforts that Walmart exerts to block unionization campaigns, including their 2005 decision to close their outlet in the city of Jonquiere, where the United Food and Commercial Workers union had successfully gained certification rights. A decade later he charts the Supreme Court of Canada ruling that exposed the dubious legal ground on which Walmart stood in invoking closure and throwing workers out on the street.

Walmart: Diary of an Associate will make you think twice before shopping there.

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