The retail giant has lots of ferocious enemies, but economics prof Steve Horwitz defends it here.
The issue I find most interesting is unionization. Horwitz writes that this issue raises some questions for libertarians because it implicates right to work laws. I don’t agree. The issue has nothing to do with state laws against compulsory unionism. The issue is whether a company should be free to decline to negotiate with a third party over its labor contracts.
Suppose for the sake of argument that Small-mart’s management decided that it would only negotiate with a particular union over labor relations. Therefore, all the workers were presented with this choice: if you want to work here, you join the ABC Union and pay its dues; if you won’t do that, look for work elsewhere. Would that violate anyone’s rights? Certainly not. If that is how Small-mart wants to operate, fine. Prospective employees who don’t want to join the union can look for other employment. Government coercion against the company because of its desire to operate this way would be inappropriate.
Now turn it around. Small-mart’s management is opposed to negotiating with any third party, and tells prospective employees that the company will not negotiate with any union, even if they should all say they want such representation. Workers who want union representation and won’t agree not to seek unionization are free to look elsewhere for a job. Again, no government coercion is appropriate owing to the company’s choice to handle labor relations without any third party.