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Workers unite against Walmart

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Re: Workers unite against Walmart

Postby grammafreddy » Nov 19th, 2012, 9:00 pm

jennylives wrote:
Their achievement is helping turn North America into a service culture while gutting wages and sending jobs overseas. They are the largest recipient of food stamps in the US which many of the employees have to collect to live, not to mention the lack of access to health care. They are the poster child for paying near slave wages while siphoning the profits to a top few. We don't have enough resources for us all to aspire to that, even if we wanted to. A WalMart culture is nothing to be proud of.


Y'know ........................

WalMart didn't do it to us - we did it to us. We shopped there. If we hadn't done that, the WalMart concept woulda died before it grew the way it did.

Can't blame Walmart.
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Re: Workers unite against Walmart

Postby jennylives » Nov 19th, 2012, 9:16 pm

I am not a part of that we, I don't shop there. Shoppers are just participating in Capitalism though, profit before all. There is no room for morals. This is the result of putting money ahead of people and the taxpayers pick up the slack for what the company isn't willing to cover. Should the company even have the right to put the burden on taxpayers to make up the slack of low wages when it comes to health care and food stamps? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/1 ... &ir=Canada
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Re: Workers unite against Walmart

Postby jennylives » Nov 19th, 2012, 9:19 pm

Artofthedeal wrote:
jennylives wrote:
Their achievement is helping turn North America into a service culture while gutting wages and sending jobs overseas. They are the largest recipient of food stamps in the US which many of the employees have to collect to live, not to mention the lack of access to health care. They are the poster child for paying near slave wages while siphoning the profits to a top few. We don't have enough resources for us all to aspire to that, even if we wanted to. A WalMart culture is nothing to be proud of.


well you have some points, it also should be noted that my point that denigrating rich people, mostly out of jealousy and hatred, serves no purpose, and only serves to glorify the slovenly and the lazy.


There is nothing wrong with having more. The issues come when smaller groups of people have a large concentration of resources. That is a plutocracy and does not make for a healthy society. The size of the gap is the problem, not that a gap exists.
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Re: Workers unite against Walmart

Postby grammafreddy » Nov 19th, 2012, 10:22 pm

jennylives wrote:I am not a part of that we, I don't shop there. Shoppers are just participating in Capitalism though, profit before all. There is no room for morals. This is the result of putting money ahead of people and the taxpayers pick up the slack for what the company isn't willing to cover. Should the company even have the right to put the burden on taxpayers to make up the slack of low wages when it comes to health care and food stamps? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/1 ... &ir=Canada


Again, Jenny - if people shop there, they are part of the problem because shopping there constitutes support for what the company does and for how it treats its employees.

Do you shop at SuperStore or Extra Foods?

Same thing applies there as at WalMart - same company mindset, same low pay, same cap on hours, etc. There is one small difference, though. SS is union - so those employees have to pay union dues so their minimum wage paycheque gets an additional chunk removed. I don't know if Extra Foods is union or not but SS certainly was when I worked there and I was part time on call and I paid union dues. I was one of the lucky ones, though - I got a decent wage and almost full time hours because I had additional skills. I also got paid more than most when I worked at WalMart and no union dues to take my take-home pay lower so I made more at WalMart than at SS.
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Re: Workers unite against Walmart

Postby jennylives » Nov 19th, 2012, 10:39 pm

I used to but phased them out a few years ago. I shop between Costco, Quality Greens, Safeway (for the in-between bits) and a few neighbourhood places and the farmers markets. I'm still not where I want to be but am making progress (I'm looking at you Safeway).

We were also hoping to take in some game meat this year but the deer are spiting us. They are ghosts in the bush and poop in my backyard. Jerks.
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Re: Workers unite against Walmart

Postby grammafreddy » Nov 21st, 2012, 12:53 am

Here's something interesting and a bit of a twist ...

This "strike" is NOT Walmart employees who are picketing WalMart. WalMart does not have unionized workers. These picketers are from a union which has no connection to WalMart other than it may have some members who are former WalMart employees.

Walmart’s charge alleges that the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) union is responsible for illegal “representational” picketing – that is, strikes designed to win union recognition from Walmart.


WalMart has asked the National Labor Relations Board to intervene to get this union to stop harassing the company and their customers and their employees.

Reached over e-mail, Walmart Director of National Media Relations Kory Lundberg said that the company filed the charge in part because “many of our associates have urged us to do something about the UFCW’s latest round of publicity stunts…”


There's more here: http://www.thenation.com/blog/171348/wa ... c-strikes#
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Re: Workers unite against Walmart

Postby GrooveTunes » Nov 21st, 2012, 10:06 am

The fact that non union employees of Walmart have been walking out and picketing (and winning) is what's great. Having union members walking the line with them is nothing new. That happens with all strikes.

Walmart stores and critical parts of its distribution chain have been hit by a series of strikes in recent weeks. These strikes are remarkable for three reasons. First, the workers involved have no union protection. While their strikes are technically legal, they are taking huge risks by walking out. Second, many are not technically employed by Walmart. Rather, they work for a variety of sub-contractors that Walmart can replace at will. Third, despite items one and two, these workers are winning, and the strikes seem to be spreading
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Re: Workers unite against Walmart

Postby grammafreddy » Nov 21st, 2012, 11:50 am

Is WalMart "too big to fail"?

Suppose the employees at WalMart managed to unionize. And suppose those workers did like Hostess union workers just did. And suppose WalMart then decided to do what Hostess did and made the decision to shut down and close their doors worldwide. After all, they made billions and have no need to keep fighting all this union stuff. There could come a day when they just decide enough is enough and pack it in.

http://www.statisticbrain.com/wal-mart- ... tatistics/

How would that decision affect the economy?

It is a privately held company and is not traded on the exchanges and has no obligations to masses of shareholders. A small handful of people could make this decision to close, as far as I understand it, and those people have more wealth than they will ever come close to spending. Closing all their WalMart stores would mean nothing to them and could be as simple as a vote at an AGM.

- 2,000,000 employees out of work and that doesn't include any of the suppliers or contractors and their employees.

- $405 Billion in sales annually and the loss of the tax revenue from that to countries all over the world plus the loss of the tax on income from the 2M employees and from the suppliers' and contractors' employees.

And that's just for starters. It doesn't even begin to cover the global economic devastation this would cause.
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Re: Workers unite against Walmart

Postby grammafreddy » Nov 21st, 2012, 12:02 pm

Some more interesting data and thinking about raising wages at WalMart ...

http://www.businessinsider.com/walmart-employees-pay
Walmart Employs 1% Of America. Should It Be Forced To Pay Its Employees More?
Henry Blodget | Sep. 20, 2010, 8:53 AM | 56,311 | 150

Yesterday, the Census Bureau revealed that an astounding 44 million Americans live in poverty, This is the highest number ever and a jump of 4 million from the prior year.

Inequality in the country is getting ever more extreme: The richest 1% of the country owns a third of the country's assets and the poorer 50% owns less than 2.5%.

Well-paid manufacturing jobs are getting shipped overseas. Unemployment is 10%. Real wages are stagnant. Job security is a relic of the past. The "middle class" is disappearing. Americans who want to work are often forced to take poorly paid "McJobs" in the service industry that no one aspires to, that don't produce anything, and that won't lead anywhere.

Meanwhile, one of the world's largest corporations is still on a roll.

Walmart's global sales crossed $400 billion last year. Its profits exceeded $15 billion. Its market value--$200 billion--has weathered the Great Recession and market crash and remains near all-time highs.

Walmart StockWalmart employs an astounding 2.1 million people. In the United States alone, the company employs 1.4 million people. This is a staggering 1% of the U.S.'s 140 million working population.

Walmart, in other words, matters. Its payrolls, and its pay, move the needle.

And right now, many people argue, Walmart is very much part of the problem.

The average Walmart "associate," Wake Up Walmart reports, makes $11.75 an hour. That's $20,744 per year. Those wages are slightly below the national average for retail employees, which is $12.04 an hour. They also produce annual earnings that, in a one-earner household, are below the $22,000 poverty line.

On the other hand, these wages are far above minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. They also aren't THAT FAR below the national retail average (only 2.5% below). In a two-earner household, moreover, these wages would produce a household income of $40,000+, which, in some areas of the country, is comfortably middle-class. Walmart offers benefits to some of its employees, as well as store discounts and profit-sharing plans.

Most importantly, in an economy that is desperate to find some way to employ the ~25 million Americans who are either unemployed or under-employed, Walmart provides 1.4 million jobs.

But Walmart is constantly under attack for reaming its associates, for paying them too little, for putting higher-paid workers at other companies out of work, for making a major contribution to the national problems described above.

And with $15 billion of annual profits, Walmart could certainly afford to pay its employees more.

So should Walmart pay its employees more? Should Congress pass a law FORCING Walmart to pay its employees more? If so, how much more? If Walmart did pay its employees more, what would happen? Would this begin to address some of the country's problems above?

The point of this essay is not to provide definitive answers to these questions. It is to put the questions up for debate.

Given the depressing wealth, employment, and income trends facing our country, questions like these are critical for our nation's future. So they are worth thinking through carefully.

Please weigh in below. But before you do, here are some more things to think about.

First, how much more could Walmart AFFORD to pay its employees, given its current financials?

Here's one way of looking at it.

If Walmart took its entire $22 billion of annual pre-tax income and used all of it to give each one of its 2.1 million employees a raise, this would amount to about $10,000 a year apiece.

In other words, if Walmart decided to use 100% of its operating profit to pay all of its employees more, the average store associate's salary would go from $20,000 to $30,000. If Walmart paid bosses like CEO Mike Duke less (Duke made $6 million last year) that would create some more operating profit. So reducing inequality at the company would also certainly help.

A raise from $20,000 to $30,000 would be a nice bump, certainly. But it would not be earth-shattering. Walmart associate jobs still wouldn't be the $45,000+ a year unionized manufacturing jobs that the country has lost so many millions of in recent decades. The salary increase wouldn't radically change associates' lives, especially after taxes.

Now, Walmart is a private corporation, run for the benefit of not only employees but customers and owners, and Walmart's owners might justifiably squawk if the company suddenly decided to run at break-even (or were forced to). So Walmart might be able to channel, say, half of its pre-tax profit back into compensation, which would give the average associate a raise from $20,000 to $25,000. That's still better, but it's even less to write home about.

And then there would be other consequences.

For one thing, Walmart would almost certainly raise prices to offset some of the increased costs. This would make Walmart's products more expensive--not just for other Americans but for Walmart employees. So some of the increased wages would quickly be repatriated back to the mother-ship through increased prices.

Secondly, if Walmart's employment costs went up, Walmart would almost certainly find ways to make do with fewer employees. There are now apparently store check-out systems that are largely automated, for example, and if Walmart were to invest in some of these systems, it would radically reduce its need for cashiers. So the remaining Walmart employees might make a bit more money, but several hundred thousand of those 2.1 million employees would be on the unemployment line.

Thirdly, by making so much profit each year, Walmart currently pays a lot of taxes. Last year, for example, the company paid $7 billion of taxes--a bill that reduced its income before taxes from $22 billion to $15 billion. If Walmart were to eliminate its $22 billion of income before taxes by giving every employee a raise, it would then pay no taxes. Which wouldn't help our national budget deficit.

Lastly, forcing Walmart to pay its employees more wouldn't address our long-term economic problems. It would lift some people out of poverty, certainly, and make others lives a bit more comfortable. But it would also increase costs for everyone else. More importantly, it wouldn't address our loss of manufacturing jobs, income and wealth inequality, or our horrific unemployment problem. In fact, it might make the latter worse.

So, should Walmart be forced to pay its employees more?
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Re: Workers unite against Walmart

Postby Veovis » Nov 22nd, 2012, 10:28 am

If congress passes a law forcing one company to pay it's employees more, you no longer live in a free country.

This would also open the door (I feel) for every employee in the country to then sue their employers for higher wages as "I want more" would have been shown by congress to be a valid reason for new law and a pay raise.

When it boils down to it, Wal-Mart is simply unskilled labor and easy to train replacements. You don't make big money standing at a door saying "Welcome to ________" for 8 hours because anyone can do it. If you want better, be better.

See even old Cheney could do it....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojf3BMLbcss
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Re: Workers unite against Walmart

Postby Poindexter » Nov 23rd, 2012, 11:30 am

For those who feel the middle class and the poor shouldn't receive support, or as some call them gifts. Take a moment to read about the gifts Walmart receives:

http://money.cnn.com/2004/05/24/news/fo ... subsidies/
http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Corpo ... lfare.html
http://www.heraldsun.com/view/full_stor ... ff-welfare
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Re: Workers unite against Walmart

Postby grammafreddy » Nov 23rd, 2012, 12:26 pm

Poindexter wrote:For those who feel the middle class and the poor shouldn't receive support, or as some call them gifts. Take a moment to read about the gifts Walmart receives:

http://money.cnn.com/2004/05/24/news/fo ... subsidies/
http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Corpo ... lfare.html
http://www.heraldsun.com/view/full_stor ... ff-welfare


Well, WalMart could always just close their stores and distribution centres and end everyone's misery who works for them.

Hahahahaa ... wouldn't that be a huge mess having all those people clamouring for welfare?
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Re: Workers unite against Walmart

Postby Artofthedeal » Nov 23rd, 2012, 12:30 pm

grammafreddy wrote:
Well, WalMart could always just close their stores and distribution centres and end everyone's misery who works for them.

Hahahahaa ... wouldn't that be a huge mess having all those people clamouring for welfare?


I still remember when the Daily Show did a story on a guy who tried to get a Walmart in Quebec unionized, and Walmart closed down instead. The guy, surprise surprise, was now on welfare. The Daily Show interviewer, Samantha Bee, who is actually a Canadian, said "it sure would be nice if Walmart would open a store in your town so you could get off of welfare". After the translator translated the sentence the guy just went completely red in the face. Hilarious!!
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Re: Workers unite against Walmart

Postby Artofthedeal » Nov 23rd, 2012, 12:32 pm

Poindexter wrote:For those who feel the middle class and the poor shouldn't receive support, or as some call them gifts. Take a moment to read about the gifts Walmart receives:

http://money.cnn.com/2004/05/24/news/fo ... subsidies/
http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Corpo ... lfare.html
http://www.heraldsun.com/view/full_stor ... ff-welfare


this is just plain silly. These groups are typical in that they have no clue how the real world works. They are counting as subsidies money spent on road improvements? What, is Walmart supposed to build their own roads now? Who would fall for this nonsense? Pure drivel!
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Re: Workers unite against Walmart

Postby grammafreddy » Nov 23rd, 2012, 12:57 pm

It amazes me that people think being on welfare is preferable to working at Walmart or any business. Walmart is not the enemy - they provide jobs to people who are otherwise unskilled and unable to find work. People who have skills go elsewhere to work or use WalMart as a stepping stone to other jobs, gaining experience for their resumes.

People on welfare cost us all money - huge amounts of it. WalMart (and any other business providing private enterprise jobs) actually saves us from having to pay out all that money from the public coffers PLUS - the government gets to collect taxes from working people instead of paying out for non-working people.

Think, folks, think.
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