Time has not tempered Wal-Mart”s hatred of organised labour. On February 9th, the firm said that it would close the first of its stores anywhere in North America to unionise. Officially, the store, at Jonquiere, a town some 400km (250 miles) north-east of Montreal, is shutting for economic reasons. It was “struggling” and had never turned a profit, the company said.
But few Canadians believe this. Wal-Mart refused to release any financial numbers for the store; in its decade in Canada, it has never previously shut down an outlet. The popular interpretation is that Wal-Mart was sending a message – especially to heavily-unionised Quebec – that it will not allow unions across its threshold.