Wal-Mart’s a lot like a virus

What do Wal-Mart and a virus have in common? They both spread like wildfire.

Image courtesy of Daniel Ferry & PolicyMic
Image courtesy of Daniel Ferry & PolicyMic

When big box stores (I’ll leave it to you to decide just WHICH big-box stores) come to town, they almost always shut down all the mom-and-pop stores in the area they open in. And it’s a pretty simple formula:

1) Move in.

2) Open doors with lower prices than anyone else.

3) Get employees on welfare and Medicaid because you don’t want to pay well or provide medical insurance.

4) Force smaller shops out of business.

5) Raise prices, because now you’re the only game in town.

6) Rinse, repeat 15 miles down the road.

The NLRB Finally Charges Wal-mart with Labor Violations!

In an investigation and negotiation with Wal-Mart over alleged abusive labor practices that have been ongoing since November of 2013, the NLRB has finally brought charges against the retailer:

The NLRB said the retailer illegally fired, disciplined or threatened more than 60 employees in 14 states for participating in legally protected activities to complain about wages and working conditions.

A complaint issued by the NLRB’s general counsel’s office said Wal-Mart representatives appeared on national news broadcasts and threatened to retaliate against workers if they went on strike. It also alleged they disciplined and fired workers for engaging in legally protected protest activity.

The complaint involves more than 60 employees, 19 of whom were allegedly fire as a result of their participation in the protests. Sixty-three Wal-Mart supervisors and one corporate officer are named in the board’s complaint.

“We believe that our actions were valid. We take our obligations very seriously. We look forward to sharing our side of the facts in these cases with a judge,” said Brooke Buchanan, a spokeswoman for chain in an Associated Press report.

Wal-Mart has until Jan. 28 to respond to the complaint. The case will then go before an administrative law judge. If Wal-Mart is found liable, it could be required to award workers back pay, reinstatement and reverse any disciplinary action. The retailer could also try to work out a settlement as the case goes forward.

Ironically Wal-Mart may actually end up being a catalyst for a new labor movement in the United States.

Wal-Mart takes food donations for its employees

Via the Cleveland Plain Dealer comes this report about a Wal-Mart in Canton, Ohio collecting food for its needy workers.

The storage containers are attractively displayed at the Walmart on Atlantic Boulevard in Canton. The bins are lined up in alternating colors of purple and orange. Some sit on tables covered with golden yellow tablecloths. Others peer out from under the tables.

This isn’t a merchandise display. It’s a food drive – not for the community, but for needy workers.

“Please Donate Food Items Here, so Associates in Need Can Enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner,” read signs affixed to the tablecloths.

The food drive tables are tucked away in an employees-only area. They are another element in the backdrop of the public debate about salaries for cashiers, stock clerks and other low-wage positions at Walmart, as workers in Cincinnati and Dayton are scheduled to go on strike Monday.

This is absolutely shameful, and it shows that above all else, Wal-Mart is concerned about its profits above all else.

Wal-Mart workers in Hialeah Florida walk off the job

More than 80 Wal-Mart workers walked off their jobs on Friday, October 18th, in Hialeah Fla., just outside of Fort Lauderdale. Though it’s not clear that the strike was directly connected to the Our Wal-Mart initiative that organized nationwide Black Friday strikes last year, it seems likely that workers in Hialeah have been emboldened by the increased media attention the Our Wal-Mart campaign has generated. You gotta love the energy and courage displayed by these workers!

Local Wal-Mart workers plan Thanksgiving walkout


Several Milwaukee-area Walmart stores are among those where some employees plan to protest working on Thanksgiving – and other concerns – by walking off the job as the holiday shopping season begins this week, a union spokesman said Tuesday.

Marc Goumbri, an organizer with the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, said he couldn’t disclose the locations of the Walmarts marked for protest because the workers didn’t want to alert management or be subject to intimidation. But he confirmed metro Milwaukee was among big cities targeted for employee strikes on Thanksgiving or Black Friday.

“Several locations,” Goumbri said Tuesday when asked which Milwaukee-area sites would be involved.

Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, kicks off the Black Friday holiday shopping surge by opening at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving, a move the union-back organization OUR Walmart contends shows disregard for employees and their families. OUR Walmart, formed in 2010 to press the company for better working conditions, is made up of current and former Walmart workers.

Congratulations to Wal-Mart

The Corporatist Supreme Court has now given you carte blanche to continue treating women as second class citizens. Despite lower courts ruling that the \"Dukes\" case should proceed as a class action, even Wal-Marts own lawyers urged settling of the case. In the new gilded age those who have the gold make the rules, and few people have more of the gold than the Walton’s. They took it right to Justice Scalia and friends because they knew whose side they were on. Instances like this:

Women who were given such astounding explanations for the inequality right before their eyes: Kathleen Macdonald, a clerk in Aiken, South Carolina, found out that her male co-workers were paid better — it was no secret, she says, “They bragged about it!” — and when she asked why, was told by her supervisor that “God made Adam first.” He did feel that some men take this prerogative to “an extreme — when they beat their women.”

Mean nothing when there is profit to be made. Now it is time for the women to dress sexy, put on more make up and get back to work!

“When I go back to work tomorrow, I’m going to let them know we are still fighting,” said Christine Kwapnoski, an assistant manager at a Sam’s Club in Concord, California. She had accused a male manager of yelling at female employees and telling her to “doll up” by wearing more makeup and dressing better while working on a loading dock.

It should not be surprising since the “tea party” election wave of 2010, there has been a war on women! Whatever it takes to save a buck on a blender!

Follow Walker’s money

If you’ve ever wondered exactly which corporate interests contributed to Gov. Scott Walker’s gubernatorial campaign in 2010, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has a useful database that allows folks to “follow the money” and see exactly which corporate interests donated to Gov. Walker’s campaign.

Here’s just a few highlights:

  • $28,000 from the Koch brothers (I wonder how that no-bid power plant provision in the budget “repair” bill will work out for the Koch brothers)
  • $15,000 from Wal-Mart
  • $14,930 from Journal Broadcast Group (No wonder they’re so in love with Walker)
  • $43,125 from the Concerned Realtors Committee (I’m betting they’re loving the choice of Cathy “developer’s best friend” Stepp as DNR Secretary)
  • Senator Bernie Sanders – Fiscally Responsible!

    While Wisconsin has always been a very political state with some of the most well known(good and bad) political figures on the national scene, a few of our current representatives(Ryan, Sensenbrenner, Kind, etc..) could take lessons from the Honorable Senator Sanders in how to represent their constiuents.

    Here Senator Sanders explains how, while the Republicans are screaming about we need to pay for helping the unemployed(IE middle and lower class), to make it deficit neutral. Then they offer up completely eliminating the estate tax(it is not the death tax, sorry frank luntz). As Senator Sanders points out “This huge tax break for the wealthy, if passed, would increase the national debt by more than $1 trillion over a ten-year period.” Yet there does not seem to be anywhere they have offered to offset the deficit with this. Curiouser and curiouser….

    This estate tax(which the founders would of loved by the way), affects only 3/1oths of 1 percent of families in the country. It only kicks in on estates that total MORE than $3.5 million dollars.

    Lets let Senator Sanders again talk about this tax in real terms:

    “Well, if we completely repealed the estate tax, it would provide an estimated $32 billion tax break for the Walton family — the founders of Wal-Mart. ”

    So just to be clear, Paul ryan, Sensenbrenner, et all… think ist unacceptable to give your unemployed neighbor $200 a week to survive on and that it is also unacceptable to not give the Walton family $32 Billion dollars worth of welfare…..

    And they think they they are in position to win both houses???