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Luke_Wilbur

Walmart Business Practices Bad for America

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I wish our leaders would not candy-coat the truth. Our labor force is 20x more expensive than the Chinese worker class. Removal of taxes, environmental and safety standards will not bring the giant box retailers back.

 

http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/commentary/us-worshipping-at-the-walmart-altar-is-only-a-sound-economic-policy-for-china

 

You can get nearly 20 hours of labor (if not a lot more) out of a Chinese worker for an hour's worth of time for a U.S. worker. One can see the obvious benefit of the Walmart paradigm, one that made Sam Walton's family the richest in the world nearing the combined worth of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet.

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Guest Emily Latilla

All we have in this country is Chinese crap because stupid Americans buy it. When I was a kid you didn't buy anything made in China. When we're all speaking Chinese everybody can scratch their heads and wonder why. Oh and Walmart is so good to their employees. They make them work on holidays and they make a whopping $1 more an hour. Wow - a real bonus for working a holiday a whole extra $8 for the day. Damn! Oh and all my relatives that took jobs there out of desperation quit and said they'd rather work elsewhere, especially when they were made to clock out and then continue to work on their own time. Not an employer I'm looking for. And they give enough hours just so they don't have to pay insurance.

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Guest MadMilker

“It is the aim of good government to stimulate production, of bad government to encourage consumption.” – Jean Baptiste Say

 

If Retail makes NOTHING….and Government makes only MORE DEBT….the only thing that can have a positive effect on communities is Small Business and companies that make stuff.

 

The picture of George Washington can float around a town six to eight times before leaving the community but if that dollar is spent inside of a big box store it will leave the same day that it entered.

 

Big Box stores like Wal*Mart can take in 200,000 George Washington’s a day and that be a lot of “Liberty” “Pride” “Freedom” leaving town each day.

 

And when one figures into the equation America has a six to one trade deficit with China which means five out of every six George Washington’s that go there will never come back unless the US Government sells bonds(debt) this is what those on Jenkins Hill and Wall Street don’t understand when it comes to local banks not having any George Washington’s to loan out in their communities.

 

Why is it that people ain’t writing articles about those fifteen cargo ships that pollute as much as 760 million automobiles, T Boone Pickens owning a Texas Water District, Nestle draining the Great Lakes, the disconnect between Coca-Cola and the people of India, Wal*Mart putting less than 5% foreign in their stores in China and Warren Buffett buying a Choo Choo train a few years after Wal*Mart makes a deal on a port in Mexico.

 

In 1960 U.S. goods manufacturing produced a $5 billion trade surplus – - 2006 merchandise trade had a $836 billion deficit. Today, for some reason, the world thinks the American consumer needs to support what they make….well, it doesn’t work like that even a fifth grader can figure that out.

 

So-call cheaper items only breed cheaper wages and this will go on until the rich of the world carry out the manufacturing of ignorance through out the 182 or so counties that will have a chance to make something.

 

I’m just an O’fart with very little book learning but from what I’ve seen over the past sixty five years in this great union of fifty states has shown me that common sense left in the year 63′ and “my sh!! don’t stink” sense as been here every since.

 

Sad, those few fat farmers with penmanship of poets holding feather quill goose pens and writing the American dream has today become nothing more than a page within a history book that a bunch of asinine dipsticks are to lazy and ignorant to teach.

 

Over the past 100 years the Federal Debt has gone from $2.6 billion in 1910 to over $14 trillion today….In that time there has only been one 10 year period that the debt has gone down 1920-1930.

 

All done by a bunch of elephants and jack@sses acting like turnips. People today still think Clinton balance the budget but anyone knows if they think with an open mind that if the budgets of the Clinton years had been balance the debt would had not gone up.

 

America is over $57 trillion in debt and it didn’t get there by people using common sense. If the American people don’t wake-up to that fact within another twenty years they will witness Lady Liberty kneeling to her knees in the Hudson and someone in Tiananmen Square holding that tablet from under her left arm celebrating what is written upon it.

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Guest Sam Knight

Beyond the ruinous effects of Wal-Mart on a macroeconomic level - the outsourcing, the wage depression, the upstream bullying - study after study has shown that Wal-Marts depress wages and eviscerate jobs in and near communities they latch onto. So, while it helps DC to have the federal government as the region's biggest employer (but only so much as many federal employees retreat to Virginia and Maryland and don't pay income tax in DC), our city, without a doubt, has been blessed by a lack of Wal-Marts. Despite a multitude of failed efforts by the darlings of the Chinese Communist Party to get their filthy meat hooks into DC, only to be repelled by citizens' movements, the only traces of the parasitic retailer in the city proper is its crack team of reptilian lobbyists near its minions on Capitol Hill.

 

But if the world's largest corporation's machinations come to fruition, Wal-Mart may have its long sought stranglehold on DC, after all. Recently, the company announced its plans to open four(!) stores in our nation's capital. If Washingtonians don't come out against this, much of the progress our city has made since the post-Martin Luther King Jr. assassination riots and the days of crack cocaine could be reversed. All it takes is for some unfortunate event to spark a series of missteps and, before you know it, we're back in 1986, when anyone who could afford it ran like hell to the suburbs or anywhere west of Rock Creek Park. And if a certain rapacious retailer has its way, DC might find that event at its doorstep.

 

But considering DC politicians' penchant for scandals, it is unsurprising to find power players within the DC political establishment who think that the city should sell out to Sprawlmart. Having decided that the impending freeze of federal workplace pay won't be sufficiently hard on DCingtons, local politicians, it appears, are willing to lie prone and allow a multinational known for its scorched-earth policies to usher in a new era of institutionalized poverty in Washington. At least the British left after torching DC in 1814; Wal-Mart has every intention of staying as long as there is blood to be squeezed, like any good slash-and-burn rent seeker. How did this happen?

 

"First We Take Chicago ..."

 

The most recent chapter of Wal-Mart's Masada-like siege of DC starts at America's burgeoning inner city waistlines and reads like an addendum to Naomi Klein's "Shock Doctrine" in a scenario that is playing out not just in DC, but in metropolitan centers across the land. As anyone who hates him or herself enough to keep tabs on Sarah Palin's toddleresque babble knows, Michelle Obama is making it her personal mission to tackle childhood obesity in America. And while this is certainly a noble and worthwhile initiative, some greasy profiteers are volunteering to help fight the War on Tubs. One of those is none other than our aforementioned anti-heroes, who have been welcomed by the first lady even though their help smacks of self-serving, counterproductive, opportunistic profiteering. Although Wal-Mart is generally a place that is thought of as a pusher and not a rehabilitator when it comes to America's fried lard addiction, all of a sudden, it is now pretending like it actually wants Americans to be in good shape. Maybe it dawned on them that when Chinese slave laborers eventually realize that they've had it and the American military needs to intervene on behalf of the sweatshop beneficiaries, the majority of Americans drafted to "fight for freedom" will freeze up in cardiac arrest when ordered to do their first pushup. But, more plausibly, the real reason that Gallmart has the impudence to feign interest in the fight against obesity should be obvious to the few in this country whose bullcrap detectors haven't malfunctioned from an overload: the retailer is angling to claw its way into the urban centers that have made it non grata for all the obvious and right reasons. And angling to claw it is: beyond DC, Wal-Mart is trying to make forays into New York City, where it is meeting stiff resistance from the poor that its PR department swears it wants to help.

 

The situation in inner cities, however, is so dire that it would be understood if some rubes actually believed Wal-Mart. What gives the corporation any shred of credibility in this narrative is the indisputable fact that an alarming number of blighted urban neighborhoods in the US have turned into "food deserts," areas entirely devoid of supermarkets. Thus, the urban poor are deprived of fresh produce and are becoming rather portly for it. While supermarkets themselves have their flaws - they waste energy; they're voracious consumers of land; they waste food; they supply mostly unhealthy, preservative and pesticide heavy products flown in from halfway around the world, and are a drain on local economies - in this workaday world, the only thing worse than having a supermarket in one's neighborhood is not having one, to paraphrase Raj Patel. And with its business plan coming straight from the school of geological bloodletting, Wal-Mart claims that its economic model is cutthroat enough to survive in America's unforgiving inner cities.

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Guest Tyler Durden

When a month ago the CEO of Wal Mart Americas told the world to "prepare for serious inflation", the Chairman laughed in his face, saying it was nothing a 15 minutes Treasury Call sell order can't fix (granted net of a few billions in commissions for JPM). 4 weeks later the Chairman is no longer laughing, having been forced to hike up his inflation expectations while trimming (not for the last time) his economic outlook. "U.S. consumers face "serious" inflation in the months ahead for clothing, food and other products, the head of Wal-Mart's U.S. operations warned Wednesday talking to USA Today. And if Wal-Mart which is at the very bottom of commoditized consumer retail, and at the very peak of avoiding reexporting of US inflation by way of China is concerned, it may be time to panic, or at least cancel those plane tickets to Zimbabwe, which is soon coming to us." In light of that perhaps today's words of caution from Wal Mart CEO Mike Duke will be taken a tad more seriously (yes, even with the $50 billion in "squatters rent" that the deadbeats spend on iPads instead of paying their mortgage: that money is rapidly ending). Warning is as follows: "Wal-Mart's core shoppers are running out of money much faster than a year ago due to rising gasoline prices, and the retail giant is worried. "We're seeing core consumers under a lot of pressure," Duke said at an event in New York. "There's no doubt that rising fuel prices are having an impact." Tell that to Printocchio please.

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Guest TheBigPictureRT

 

Josh Eidelson, Labor Journalist / Contributing Writer-Salon & Neal Asbury, Truth for America join Thom Hartmann. In recent weeks we've seen unprecedented labor strikes against the world's largest private retailer - Walmart. It started with a walkout among Walmart supply chain workers - and turned into a strike by Walmart's retail workers in a dozen cities across the nation last week. Workers threatened to hold actions on Black Friday at the end of November if Walmart doesn't agree to stop retaliating against employees who speak out abour poor working conditions. And now we know that this strike has the attention of Walmart executives. According to a leaked corporate memo obtained by the Huffington Post that was sent around to Walmart's salaried employees only - managers are instructed to act with caution when confronting striking workers. For fifty years - Walmart has stifled any sort of union activity - but this latest memo is unusually cautious - telling managers not to violate their workers' right to organize - and not to discipline employees who engage in walk-outs are sit-ins. The memo also cautions managers from threatening, intimidating, or spying on workers who are trying to organize. It does however instruct managers to give workers facts, opinions, and personal experiences with labor organizaing in an effort to discourage union activity. So given the strikes in the recent week - and now this leaked corporate memo - who has the upper-hand in the fledgling labor dispute with Black Friday looming at the end of next month?

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Guest OUR Walmart

Walmart workers decided to strike on Black Friday after they were targeted for retaliation for speaking out about substandard work conditions and treatment last month in the first ever walk out in the history of the company.

 

We ask you to help us feed the workers who will walk out on the company next week on the biggest shopping day of the year.

 

Read what Salon's "Walmart’s Black Friday ultimatum"

 

http://www.salon.com...iday_ultimatum/

 

One day after Walmart employees in twelve states launched a major strike, today workers issued an ultimatum to the retail giant: Stop retaliating against workers trying to organize, or the year’s most important shopping day, the Friday after Thanksgiving, will see the biggest disruptions yet. The announcement comes as 200 workers – some of them currently striking – have converged in the Walmart’s Bentonville, Arkansas hometown outside the company’s annual investors meeting. It offers a new potential challenge to Walmart, and a new test for OUR Walmart, the labor-backed organization that’s pulled off the first two multi-store U.S. strikes in Walmart history.

 

If Walmart doesn’t address OUR Walmart’s demands, said striking worker Colby Harris, from Dallas, “We will make sure that Black Friday is memorable for them.” He said that would includes strikes, leafleting to customers, and “flash mobs.” Harris was joined on a press call announcing the deadline by leaders of the National Consumers League, the National Organization of Women, and the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, three of the national organizations that have pledged support for the workers’ efforts. Absent a resolution, said NOW President Terri O’Neill, NOW members will join Walmart workers outside stores on Black Friday to ask customers “whether they really want to spend their dollars on a company that treats workers this way.”

 

Dan Schlademan, a UFCW official, told Salon that to avert the Black Friday actions, “at a minimum” Walmart would need “to end the retaliation,” including reversing the firings of workers allegedly singled out for their activism.

 

According to OUR Walmart, 88 total workers have been on strike since yesterday at 28 stores in twelve states. The largest group was in Dallas, Texas; others struck stores in Miami, Orlando, Seattle, Chicago, Missouri, Minnesota, Maryland, Kentucky, and California. They followed 70 who struck in southern California last Thursday. And as Salon has reported, this week’s and last week’s store strikes follow two strikes by about 70 Walmart warehouse workers employed by contractors or sub-contractors during the past month.

 

“I don’t think this will be a flash in the pan,” Chris Rhomberg, a strike expert at Fordham University, said last night. “If they’ve been able to achieve this level of coordination, I imagine we’ll see more.”

 

Asked about the ongoing strike, Walmart spokesperson Dan Fogleman told Salon that every one of Walmart’s stores is “open for business” and “fully staffed,” that “Walmart has some of the best jobs in the retail industry,” and that internal surveys show that most employees are satisfied. Regarding the potential Black Friday action, Fogleman said he “couldn’t speculate on what might happen in the future, but what I can tell you is we continue to have dialogue with our associates.” Regarding retaliation, he said, “We have a very strict policy that prohibits retaliation of any sort.” As for whether Walmart could conceivably agree to reverse allegedly retaliatory firings as OUR Walmart demands, Fogleman said, “If there is any retaliation that occurs, that would be something we want to investigate. We have the policies in place to address that.” As before, Fogleman described OUR Walmart as “a union-backed, union-funded organization that is using some of our associates to further the organization’s political and financial objectives.”

 

Asked about a similar statement by Fogleman about OUR Walmart last week, Pico Rivera, CA ,OUR Walmart activist Evelin Cruz said it sounded just like what Walmart management tells workers in on-the-clock meetings she’s been forced to attend where the company discourages workers from joining the organization.

 

Whenever an activist group pulls off a dramatic action, but doesn’t win immediate concessions, the challenge is how to escalate. After last week’s historic strike, OUR Walmart escalated this week by striking in more stores, in more states, for at least one day longer (and counting). The Black Friday deadline represents additional forms of escalation: issuing an ultimatum, targeting the retail giant on the busiest sales day of the year, with pledges of stepped-up involvement both from Walmart workers and from allied national groups. Given the fierce competition and outsized media attention devoted to Black Friday shoppers, the action could have a greater impact on Walmart’s brand and its bottom line. But it carries a risk: while strikes are significant even without shutting down stores, healthy Black Friday revenue for Walmart could be spun as a consumer rebuke to the strikers.

 

Expect other forms of escalation as well: as Salon reported yesterday, the global federation UNI has promised “joint actions” by Walmart workers internationally, and three leaders of a June strike at the Walmart supplier C.J.’s Seafood plan to organize other guest workers in Walmart’s supply chain. Meanwhile, Walmart’s efforts to expand into urban areas have hit another snag, with the company dropping plans for a Denver store weeks after failing to secure a location in East New York. This morning, I was on Democracy Now! (video below) with warehouse worker Mike Compton, who said to expect “a lot of sit-ins and a lot of walk-outs” at stores.

 

Like last month’s strikes by warehouse workers moving goods for Walmart contractors, this month’s strikes at Walmart stores involve non-union workers who say they were retaliated against for pushing for improvements at work. All of them have labor union backing: OUR Walmart, the organization of Walmart store workers, is closely tied to the United Food & Commercial Workers union, which has long tangled with Walmart. The California and Illinois warehouse workers are working with the labor federation Change to Win (which includes UFCW) and the United Electrical workers (UE), respectively.

 

Since its founding last year, OUR Walmart has called for improvements in pay, benefits, and staffing. At an OUR Walmart forum for financial analysts last week, 13-year worker Lori Amos, a former salaried manager and current backroom receiving associate, charged that systemic understaffing is undermining operations at her store in Washington state. Over the summer, said Amos, her store threw out 2,000 pounds of Halloween candy that never made it from the backroom to the shelves for Halloween. “The really sad part?” added Amos. “Management tried to sell the candy first. It was expired…the chocolate had kind of turned to a white sheen.”

 

OUR Walmart isn’t calling for union recognition. But members allege that Walmart has still responded to their organizing with a classic union-busting campaign: Threatening and punishing workers for organizing (this is illegal, and Walmart denies it’s happened) and mandatory meetings bashing OUR Walmart (these are legal, and Walmart doesn’t deny them). OUR Walmart and its members have filed dozens of charges against the company with the National Labor Relations Board.

 

http://forrespect.org/

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