Nine arrests in Walmart protest, business still brisk

Comments (17)
klompendanser wrote:

I find it ironic that probably more than 50% of those “hundreds and hundreds” of protesters shop at Walmart.

Nov 23, 2012 5:14pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Dave1968 wrote:

It’s so sad walmart workers just don’t get it, they must have no sense of self worth. wal-mart’s not going anywhere make those suckers pay!

Nov 23, 2012 5:16pm EST  --  Report as abuse
UnPartisan wrote:

@Dave1968

Walmart doesn’t have to do a thing. Unemployment is still over 7%. People need work, and the Walmart workers are replacable. Wait till Obama grants amnesty to 11 million illegals. Walmart can cut it to minimum wage and all of the new legal workers will just eat it up. If Walmart workers don’t like working for Walmart, they can go elsewhere.

Nov 23, 2012 6:59pm EST  --  Report as abuse
victor672 wrote:

Filthy union thugs and leeches.

Nov 23, 2012 7:23pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Wastrel wrote:

Thanks, UnPartisan. You seem to understand how our capitalist system with opportunity for everyone is turning into a kind of feudalism where those who have the money control the lives of those who don’t from birth till death. We need to find a way to return to American values.

Nov 23, 2012 11:35pm EST  --  Report as abuse
GeorgeBrown wrote:

In the 1950s one third of the American work force was unionized. Since the 1980s, when that senile has-been actor Ronald Reagan was elected President, unions have been under attack. Unions built the middle class in the United States and the fact that that the American middle class is disappearing as unions disappear is no coincidence. But don’t worry, I’m sure the American worker can survive on $2/hr just like they do in other Third World countries.

Nov 24, 2012 1:11am EST  --  Report as abuse
mlwatso wrote:

I don’t know anyone who earns $2/hour but to the other extreame GeorgeBrown why should a company pay someone $25 an hour to screw a nut on a bolt 1000 times a day or in this case to ring up a customer. It doesn’t take a lot of skill to do either. Walmart wages are comparable and in many cases above other retailers. Associates are paid a fair wage for the skill they provide and Walmart provides opportunity to advance and earn more if a person wants to use greater skills that they posses or work to obtain. Unions had their purpose in the beginning but have become more corrupt than any corporation.

Nov 24, 2012 1:19pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Robert76 wrote:

victor672 made the statement “Filty union thugs and leeches.” I recently retired and over my lifetime I have met and worked many union and non-union workers, both as a worker and as management. I must say I have never met a “thug” or a “leach” among those union workers. And all the Union workers I met bathed regularly, so they certainly were not “filthy.”

What I have seen in union workers is that they were more likely not to miss work due to their better pay. Union workers in general give very generously to charities, and are far more likely to do volunteer work in their communities. So, Victor, what exactly is your problem with union workers?

Nov 24, 2012 2:05pm EST  --  Report as abuse
LloydBonafide wrote:

The biggest challenge it seems is that Internet Economy has created new SERVICES. However, it seems that WalMart doesn’t yet know how to negotiate services, in bulk, for its employees.

WalMart manages physical products very well, and even tried to start an Industrial Bank in the past, likely because of their prime locations. Plus, people in the WalMart customer demographic are often taken advantage of, and mass-market appeal could provide financial services to the mass-market.

However, the ability to provide basic services to their employees- in the way of healthcare, reasonable wages, and perhaps even educational reimbursement would likely go far for the company as a whole.

The other side of the equation is that of a Consumer. Consumers Love WalMart because they manage costs and expenses better. One way to do this is to manage overhead costs, wages, and likely deny services except to tenured employees. I was talking to a WalMart Employee in the past, and they apparently didn’t get holiday pay for working on Thanksgiving.

So WalMart like the mass-market and the people with issue are those hard workers that place the products on the shelves, so you can find them, and use the self-checkout and leave. Managing this cost, (labor) is WalMart’s Forte.

Don’t get me wrong, They created a complete system, mostly automated, with the idea of keeping costs lower than any of its competitors that actually provide services (healthcare, medical, dental or similar).

This cost containment, places a higher value on outsourced resources such as Public Services like Medicaid and Medicare) is a 180 from the time when Sam Walton ran the company, and employees recieved a say, in the form of stock options. Today, the stock is owned via Wallstreet investors, primarily, whose goal in Finance is to lower expense. So prioritization of health and safety of their own employees is lower than that of the requirements by current shareholders and wallstreet analysts who often create quarterly valuations, develop reports and analysis pertaining to WalMart’s Stock so the stock goes up in value.

It’s the American Way– Hell, I remember when Sam Walton, the founder, asked American Companies to proudly place a “Made With Pride In The USA” logo on items made specifically for them. These days, WalMart asks its suppliers to manufacture in China to lower prices. But that 98c widget made in china will only last 1/3 as long as the same widget made in the US. But it makes the Wallstreet Analysts Happy.

I read somewhere that roughly 1/3 of all trade with China now occurs at a WalMart store. I can’t find the source, but it certainly made me think before stepping foot in a WalMart. They’ve drastically changed since the days its employees were given stock options for being an employee.

Nov 24, 2012 5:19pm EST  --  Report as abuse
mlwatso wrote:

Lloydbonefide- You have been miss informed by the media or someone about what Walmart provides it’s associates. They provide healthcare/health insurance and it is affordable for anyone. from around $17 for a single non tobacco user to $68/pay period for a family with no tobacco users. They provide a competative wage for the industry they are in. They provide education reimbursment for those getting their GED. They have negotiated discounted college education for associates through American Public University and Associates are able to get some college credit through APU for on the job learning. Walmart did replace it’s Profit Sharing program with a 6% match of associate contributions to a 401K plan. If an associate takes advantage of that they would be getting more money from Walmart then they got each year through the profit sharing program. It also encourages associates to take some ownership in their retirement. We all know that SS won’t be there when we retire.

Nov 24, 2012 6:14pm EST  --  Report as abuse
GeorgeBrown wrote:

mlwatso,

My $2/hour comment was just an extrapolation from current trends. Hopefully it won’t go below the grand sum of $5/hour.

You say that unions had their purpose and you’re correct and they still have their purpose. But the idea that unions are more corrupt than any corporation is the sort of nonsense that neo-conservatives have been pushing on the public for over thirty years. There are corrupt unions and there are corrupt corporations, neither more so than the other.

The North American middle class was built on the gains made by unions (higher wages, five day work week, benefits) and unions are needed to protect those gains. Since unions have been in decline the middle class has been in decline. If you destroy the middle class of any industrialized nation, you destroy the foundation of prosperity that that nation enjoys. If a worker is unionized, makes a good wage and has job security he will spend more on consumer goods and invest more in his children’s future, the whole economy benefits. A labour force that is not unionized is open to exploitation by employers: workers are underpaid and lack job security and hence do not spend as much and can’t afford to send their kids to university – they’re stuck in a dead end and so are their kids. The whole society pays the penalty.

Unions are more necessary now than ever before and blaming them for jobs lost to countries like China and India where people work for next to nothing is disingenuous. “Free” trade has destroyed the middle class in North America by gutting manufacturing and then the companies and politicians blame the unions. Unions are not the problem, globalization and the ridiculous idea that American and Canadian workers can compete with workers in Third World countries is the problem. Unions mean a strong middle class and that is the basis of a prosperous nation.

Nov 24, 2012 7:14pm EST  --  Report as abuse
mlwatso wrote:

GeorgeBrown,
I work in the Logistics division of Walmart. I am not a union member. My wife works and is not a union member. We have 4 children. I have health insurance I can afford and that has paid over $200,000 this year for cancer treatment for me. I am paid a good wage for what I do. I work a 4 day work week. I am treated very good by Walmart. I am middle class. I don’t need to pay a union to do anything for me. The unions need to spend all the money they collect on their union members instead of spending it trying to get me to pay them to speak for me. I can speak for myself.

Nov 24, 2012 7:40pm EST  --  Report as abuse
GeorgeBrown wrote:

mlwatso,

And since you have no union management can take all of that away from you in a heartbeat. I’m glad that you’ve gotten a good deal from Walmart, just remember that with no union you’re at the mercy of management; one man cannot fight a corporation. Yes, you can speak for yourself, but without a union your employer won’t listen. Maybe Walmart will decide that it’s cheaper to manage their logistics from China, how will you fight that without a union? One man is nothing against big business.

Nov 24, 2012 8:23pm EST  --  Report as abuse
mlwatso wrote:

GeorgeBrown, A union can make all the promises in the world but they can’t guarantee me anything. Look at the union members that worked for Hostess. What good did the union do for them? I have a job they don’t. If any unionized company decided to move it’s entire logistics operation to China the union couldn’t stop it. So what is your point there? I should pay part of my hard earned money to an organization that can’t guarantee me anything except that they will spend it to attack the next un-unionized company and try to fill it’s coffers even more? Over and over again the majority of Walmart associates have told the unions that we don’t want them but they keep bothering us (the associates).Look at the numbers…1.4 million associates in the US and at best maybe 100 have participated in all of this malarky. You could probably find a bigger number somewhere but nowhere near a majority and I am sure I could find a smaller number. George, I have enjoyed our exchange and I am sure neither of us will change our minds.

Nov 24, 2012 9:19pm EST  --  Report as abuse
OneOfTheSheep wrote:

Yeah, let union management do for Walmart what they did for Hostess? Good pay and a healthy economy spring from operational efficiency. I’d much rather have Walmart management take over American health care than a federal government that has given us the successes of FEMA following Katrina and a Medicare payment system that can’t tell fraud from Shinola, to name but a few examples.

If it had been up to unions, there would still be government-subsidized buggy-whip workers a hundred years after the automobile relegated the volume need for their product to the dust of history. Unions made American steel uncompetitive in a world market, and so those jobs simply went away. Look at their rousing success with the Post Office!

When a fisherman has “fished out” a spot, he does something else. Either he moves to another spot, or fishes for something else, or if food is the motivation maybe goes hunting. The union wants a “right” to do the same forever for more and more pay and retire early and more lavishly than other workers. The average American worker wants no part of unions, either over them or “serving” them.

The mess in Greece, like much of Europe, springs from inefficiencies such as milk pasteurized for only a five-day shelf life when the “continent standard” is ten days. Why? They don’t want “foreign competition”. Also their farms are too small to grow the forage their animals required, so they have it shipped in from the U.S.

Give me a country where ability and working harder and longer give one an edge over those who get their union card and job reference priorities through family connections with a union steward. Those union bumper stickers, under “truth in packaging” would read: Live Better overcharging non-union Americans”.

A union’s worst nightmare is a right-to-work state in which the price of labor is what others will pay in an open and free marketplace.

Nov 24, 2012 10:25pm EST  --  Report as abuse
GeorgeBrown wrote:

How open and free is the labour market when corporations larger than nations can move halfway across the world to turnkey operations run in dictatorial countries? There’s a reason the Chinese government doesn’t allow independent unions.

Nepotism? That’s alive and well in any corporation. I’ve seen people move up in management based solely on who they knew or how loud they could laugh at the boss’s insipid jokes – suck up and you’ll move up.

How about a new bumper sticker: “Live better buying cheap foreign junk instead of supporting your fellow Americans!”

Nov 25, 2012 12:07am EST  --  Report as abuse
mlwatso wrote:

George, I know plenty of union members including my son who works in a labor union and I’ve seen union members move up in the union based solely on who they knew and how loud they could laugh at the union boss’s jokes. The unions are a business trying to make money just like any other business except they have nothing to sell except promises. I make as much at the Walmart distribution center as the guy that works at the UPS distribution center up the road but he gives part of his money to the union. Seems like free market labor is working just fine here.

Nov 25, 2012 8:38am EST  --  Report as abuse
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