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Author Topic: wal-mart and unions  (Read 9222 times)

EarlCat

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Re: wal-mart and unions
« Reply #30 on: August 04, 2008, 02:30:51 PM »
oil speculators are driving oil prices into the stratosphere.

el oh el


EarlCat

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Re: wal-mart and unions
« Reply #31 on: August 04, 2008, 02:48:03 PM »
First of all, walmart is the largest single employer in the US. That means that there are more walmart jobs than jobs of any other kind, that is why we pick on walmart. That means that without unions the employees have absolutely no power to negotiate wages. Just as all the conservatives have said, if you work for walmart and tell your boss you want $0.50 extra per hour, they'll laugh at you or fire you.

If your labor is worth at least another $.50, someone will pay it. 
 
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Second of all, labor is not a resource like other things. If you have an ounce of gold and someone offers you a price you don't like, you can hold on it it and wait for a better price. If someone offers you a bad job with no health care, eventually you are FORCED to accept it--you have to pay for all those bigmacs somehow.

How is it you're "forced" to sell your skills at a price you don't like, but not your gold.  Both would be sufficient for purchasing all those big macs. 

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But the truth of the situation is that walmart is already running with as few employees as they believe they can and still make money.  Increasing labor costs (or making them reflect the real cost on society) is not going to cause massive layoffs at walmart.

Walmart is running with as few employees as they believe they can AT CURRENT WAGES and still MAXIMIZE THEIR RETURN.  Many jobs at Wal-Mart could be automated, but it's likely cheaper to hire a human being at current wages.  If a WalMart associate costs $10/hr to employ, and a machine that can do the same task costs $11/hr to operate, the machine will take the associate's place if the associate starts to cost $12/hr.

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And neither will it hurt the company, which does not operate at slim margins, it is wildly profitable.

WalMart's profits come from big volume, not big margins.  Their entire business plan is based on razor thin margins.

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As for the taxes issue, MY taxes aren't going up, and, likely, neither are yours, Earlcat.

You think Obama's lying when he promises to raise taxes?

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And yes, I do have a problem with walmart's not paying its fair share of the tax burdon.

What, exactly, is their "fair share" and who was anointed to determine it?

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Rather than trying to close the tax loopholes that they are sooo good at creating, I'm asking my congress person to ask them to shoulder it in a different way, by making it easier to unionize and force them to pay the REAL costs of labor.

What makes union wages "real"??  If I can buy your service elsewhere for cheaper than you want to sell it, am I not paying the real cost?

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If you have a problem with your taxes going up, I suggest you take that up with your congress person, you might mention corporate loop holes.

I wrote one for 8th grade civics class, and an intern sent me back a nice form-letter.  Good plan.

Maddie

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Re: wal-mart and unions
« Reply #32 on: August 04, 2008, 03:18:05 PM »
Are you saying that Walmart's practice of locking in employees and threatening them if they attempt to leave (even when in need of medical attention) is not exploitative?

This is already illegal, but nice job moving the goal-posts.

It is illegal, but it still happens, and the fact that it still happens at one of our nation's largest employers when some of the biggest tragedies in labor history happened as a result of lock-ins is horrifying to say the least.  My home town is basically dominated by a Walmart.  It is definitely the largest employer in my town.  Several high school classmates of mine work there and had to take an anti-union indoctrination course, in addition to taking various forms of abuse including being forced to work off the clock.  And as someone else mentioned, quitting and getting another job is just not always an option.  Small businesses close up in towns dominated by Walmarts, and in this economy quitting a job that sucks is no guarantee you will be able to find another one.  I am usually opposed to anecdotal evidence, but based on the plethora of lawsuits surrounding Walmart for these and other tactics, I do not believe it is entirely anecdotal.

Jamie Stringer

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Re: wal-mart and unions
« Reply #33 on: August 04, 2008, 03:18:59 PM »
Are you saying that Walmart's practice of locking in employees and threatening them if they attempt to leave (even when in need of medical attention) is not exploitative?

This is already illegal, but nice job moving the goal-posts.


How is that "moving the goalposts?"  My original post said that I believe Walmart's practices are exploitative.  Another poster said they weren't and I linked to an article.  The above point wasn't directed to you, but way to personalize the argument.

In any event, has this practice been deemed illegal in all states?  Last I read, it was legal in some states, provided there is a fire exit.  Of course, the problem came from the fact that these people were told that if they used that exit and there was no fire, they'd be fired (even if it was an emergency).

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EarlCat

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Re: wal-mart and unions
« Reply #34 on: August 04, 2008, 06:54:42 PM »
How is that "moving the goalposts?"  My original post said that I believe Walmart's practices are exploitative.  Another poster said they weren't and I linked to an article.  The above point wasn't directed to you, but way to personalize the argument.

The discussion so far had been about unionizing Wal-Mart and the effect of increasing their employees' wages.  One might argue that WalMart's wages are exploitative (and thus require union intervention), but union negotiations are irrelevant when talking about activity that is already illegal.  And how was I personalizing the argument?  I didn't call you names or talk about your mother.

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In any event, has this practice been deemed illegal in all states?  Last I read, it was legal in some states, provided there is a fire exit.  Of course, the problem came from the fact that these people were told that if they used that exit and there was no fire, they'd be fired (even if it was an emergency).

This is silly.  Why not simply fire anyone who walks out the unlocked front door?

Jamie Stringer

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Re: wal-mart and unions
« Reply #35 on: August 04, 2008, 07:02:21 PM »

I don't care about Walmart's profits, I care about my own taxes going up because of the cost of benefits for their underpaid employees. That, and the exploited workers themselves.  I have nothing good to say about Walmart.

1.  Define underpaid. 

2.  Define exploited.

Seems to me the workers at WalMart get a fair wage for what they do.  If you don't want to pay higher taxes for someone's benefits, there's other ways to stop that.

http://www.mindfully.org/Industry/2004/Wal-Mart-Workers-Lock-Ins18jan04.htm

I know, you'll probably say that these employees have choices and could work elsewhere.  However, as has already been mentioned, when you don't have much education and you're living in a town where many other smaller businesses have likely gone under due to Walmart's presence, that tends to reduce your options quite substantially.

Within the scope of the conversation, the point was perfectly relevant.


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In any event, has this practice been deemed illegal in all states?  Last I read, it was legal in some states, provided there is a fire exit.  Of course, the problem came from the fact that these people were told that if they used that exit and there was no fire, they'd be fired (even if it was an emergency).

This is silly.  Why not simply fire anyone who walks out the unlocked front door?

Ummm...because it hasn't been unlocked, which has been the whole point????  Because threatening to fire people when they need to leave due to medical emergency (including emergencies that happen from workplace injury) is the mark of a shittastic employer?  If it were that simple and they could just fire anyone who left out of an unlocked front door, why didn't they keep them unlocked in the first place?

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EarlCat

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Re: wal-mart and unions
« Reply #36 on: August 04, 2008, 08:02:09 PM »
Ummm...because it hasn't been unlocked, which has been the whole point????  Because threatening to fire people when they need to leave due to medical emergency (including emergencies that happen from workplace injury) is the mark of a shittastic employer?  If it were that simple and they could just fire anyone who left out of an unlocked front door, why didn't they keep them unlocked in the first place?

That was my question.  Why would they lock any doors if there was an unlocked fire exit, and if they could just fire anyone who left through the fire exit, why not just leave all the doors unlocked and fire anyone who left at all.  Something doesn't add up.

And I'm not condoning locking people in, nor am I saying WalMart isn't shittastic to work for (most employers of unskilled labor are), but what does this have to do with unions?

jeffislouie

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Re: wal-mart and unions
« Reply #37 on: August 04, 2008, 08:21:07 PM »
"Just as all the conservatives have said, if you work for walmart and tell your boss you want $0.50 extra per hour, they'll laugh at you or fire you. "

And you know this because it's true or because you think it's true?

"Second of all, labor is not a resource like other things. If you have an ounce of gold and someone offers you a price you don't like, you can hold on it it and wait for a better price. If someone offers you a bad job with no health care, eventually you are FORCED to accept it--you have to pay for all those bigmacs somehow."

What?  So I am sure to understand you, in this country you HAVE to take jobs that pay less than you want without health insurance?  That sucks.  Because I went to high school every day expecting to go to college.  Then I went to college, dropped out, entered the work force, busted my rear end, made more money than some of my college buddies, returned to college, got my degree, got a job at a fortune 500, made loads of money, then quit to go to law school.  Somehow I managed to avoid bad jobs with no health care along the way.  Maybe I'm special.

"But the truth of the situation is that walmart is already running with as few employees as they believe they can and still make money. Increasing labor costs (or making them reflect the real cost on society) is not going to cause massive layoffs at walmart. And neither will it hurt the company, which does not operate at slim margins, it is wildly profitable."

You mean walmart is doing what every other business and government agency (supposedly) does?  They run efficiently and profitably?  CRIMINALS!  Find me a business that runs with more employees that they need and I'll show you a business that is on the way out.  Unionizing will result in increased labor costs, which will cause walmart to do what a lot of companies will have to do - lay people off, keep the best they can, and ask those that stay to do more.  Just ask your grandfather.  He'll set you straight.

"The problem is that as the law stands now, walmart can very easily quash any unions by threatening all their employees with firings."

And your problem with this is........ what?
In this country, private companies owe no duty to employees to continue their employment beyond the employment contract.  If they have a reason to fire employees that is legitimate, I fail to see an issue here.

"As for the taxes issue, MY taxes aren't going up, and, likely, neither are yours, Earlcat. And yes, I do have a problem with walmart's not paying its fair share of the tax burdon."

How much did Walmart pay in taxes last year?  How much should they have paid?
I'm curious, because people like to talk about loopholes yet rarely, if ever, know what the heck they are talking about.
For example - oil companies.  They pay more in taxes to the government than they clear in profits.  Alot more.
"Take Exxon Mobil, which on Thursday reported the highest quarterly profit ever and is the main target of any "windfall" tax surcharge. Yet if its profits are at record highs, its tax bills are already at record highs too. Between 2003 and 2007, Exxon paid $64.7 billion in U.S. taxes, exceeding its after-tax U.S. earnings by more than $19 billion."
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121780636275808495.html?mod=opinion_main_review_and_outlooks

"If you have a problem with your taxes going up, I suggest you take that up with your congress person, you might mention corporate loop holes. "
[/quote]

And I suggest you vote for McCain so you don't have to worry about bleeding heart libs bilking you. 
Here's a fun fact:
McCain and Obama are virtually tied as of today (a deat heat).  And this is with the MSM treating Obama like a rock star, refusing to ask difficult questions, fawning over him, and covering his campaign with glitz (Obama coverage far exceeds McCain coverage).  If he couldn't seal the deal with "The Obama world tour - 2008" rock show, what is he going to do to win (you know, besides change all of his position after feeding the democrats with his liberalism to beat out the more moderate, but far crazier, Hillary in the primaries)?
Closing 'loopholes' isn't going to help anyone but the government prosper.  Closing these 'loopholes' isn't going to mean more jobs, better jobs, or health care.  It's going to mean that the government takes more money from the very industries and people that pay the overwhelming bulk of the taxes collected.  Check your facts - you are being led astray by illogical, completely innaccurate political double speak, written and performed by clowns trying to win elections so they can attain power and wealth.
Admittedly, I pay more attention to the clowns that lean right.  Clearly you listen to the clowns on the left.  Try not to forget that they are still clowns!
Indulge your lawerly mind and let the emotional and illogical melt away.  Focus on the analytical.
Good luck with your civic action.  Even though we disagree, I hope your efforts pay off.
Justice is tangy....

Saxby Clemens II

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Re: wal-mart and unions
« Reply #38 on: August 05, 2008, 09:26:36 PM »
The worst thing about this entire debate is people who chastise Wal-Mart, but somehow Target is ignored or exempt from the critical eye of the consumers concerned for the well-being of the little, unskilled worker.  It isn't like Target is any better. Their workers are paid just as little, if not less, and receive as little health care as Wal-Mart's.  Yet, where are the rallies preventing Target from building in a new area? Or the websites setup for propaganda against Target? Or the documentaries? Or the political condemnations?

I'd rather WalMart pay higher labor costs than have higher taxes because I am paying for welfare for Walmart's employees who are below the poverty line.

Wal-Mart is paying for them too - it isn't like Wal-Mart is exempt from taxes.

I'm sorry, but the walton family stealing a billion dollars less profit next year just is not going to hurt them or me. And if they take home less money, they also pay fewer taxes. Oh wait, they already don't pay taxes. Huh, why are they worried about unions?

While Wal-Mart is clever in their methods of avoiding taxes, they still pay taxes.  If you have issue with the fact that Wal-Mart pays less taxes then you think they deserve, you should take that up with a congressman. 

Wal-Mart is worried about unions because unions have been historically bad for big business in the United States.  There is a reason the big three automakers are brought up whenever the word "union" is mentioned - their failures to compete in the auto industry can be linked to unions. 

 ::)

That has to be the most simplistic statement on this entire thread, and that's saying something. 
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Saxby Clemens II

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Re: wal-mart and unions
« Reply #39 on: August 06, 2008, 11:04:40 AM »
Why do you think it is that people who can "barely make ends meet" shop at Wal Mart?  Maybe because they work there?  Perhaps because in parts of the country where there is little alternative to Wal Mart, in towns where most people work there or at other lower paying jobs, there is no choice but to pump wages earned right back into Wal Mart? 

Wal Mart is not some benevolent force bringing products to the poor masses who didn't get any book learnin'.  They know exactly what they're doing, and what they're doing is taking advantage of people with limited options, because they can.  WHEN THEY DON'T NEED TO in order to stay ridiculously profitable, as has already been pointed out.  It's disgusting when people say that it's fine for 14-year-olds in the third world to work for 10 cents an hour, because what would they do otherwise?  It's even more obnoxious when people try to justify pretty much the same thing in America.

Also, Wal Mart doesn't make all of it's money off the poor who would have to, apparently, live on the streets were it not for the kind hand of the Walton family.  There is one Wal Mart where I live, in RichWhiteVille, USA.  I can assure you that none of the Cadillacs or Lincolns or BMWs in the parking lot are driven by people who can't afford to pay five cents more down the road at KMart.  Or ten cents more at Target.  They're driven by people who so selfishly want to save five and ten cents on toilet paper they don't care what their patronage means for people in America and around the world who are abused by the Wal Mart system.  That's not affluence, it's not class, it's not sophistication.  It's straight up nouveau riche trash, and it's f-ing pathetic. 

Further, unions haven't destroyed the auto industry.  That's absolute crap spouted by people with little understanding beyond what they learned in freshman economics.  The American auto industry is in a pickle right now because they gave away the keys to the future while they were making bank in the 90s and early 00s with minivans, trucks and SUVs.  Their moronic WHITE COLLAR leadership pumped endless resources into areas that don't help a company survive an abysmal economy and $5 a gallon gas.  They didn't listen to anyone or anything not concerned with the immediate bottom line, they didn't really concern themselves with what consumers actually wanted, and they let foreign companies lure people away with cheap *&^% that'll run for 140,000 miles and get 30 miles to the gallon in the process. 

Has anyone bashing unions ever actually worked in an auto plant?  Clearly not, or you'd have a much better understanding and respect for the role unions have played in American industry.  I'm so tired of hearing a bunch of pansy-ass, paper-pushing, future dime-a-dozen lawyers, who would crap their pants if they had to actually WORK for a living, female dog about organizations that have given protection and security to the people who've kept America running for 200 years.  People who, for generations, have busted their asses, literally, keeping this country running.  In return, they got a living wage and $5 prescription drugs.  Oh, the horrors!  Especially since they clearly volunteered to be factory workers and shunned the readily available opportunities for higher education available to all Americans for free!  Riiight. 

Hrmm.  This post was a little harsh.  Oh well.  Last day of work and I'm bored.  And I wouldn't mind a donut, so, a little cranky?
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