Are analysts utilizing fearmongering to demonize a Walmart unionization?
On Tuesday, Citigroup analyst Deborah Weinswig downgraded Walmart stock from a buy to a hold, reportedly because of fears that the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) would "make it easier for employees to unionize [and] would raise the retail giant's labor costs and hurt its competitiveness."
It was hard to view this as anything but an overt political act intended to set off panic in a fragile economic climate (and an an attempt to bulldoze Blanche Lincoln), since the bill hadn't even been introduced yet and its passage is far from assured. In fact, not much has changed since February 19th when Weinswig gave Walmart a "9.5 out of 10" rating.
They analyst cited "concern that legislation intended to make it easier for employees to unionize would raise the retail giant's labor costs and hurt its competitiveness." As Firedoglake noted, "they're downgrading the stock based on an assumption that a piece of legislation will pass that hasn't even been introduced yet."