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Wal-Mart Still Not Union Friendly

June 4, 2009

So many reasons not to shop or work at Wal-Mart.  One has to feel sorry for the workers that are trapped in these jobs while not having union pay, and all the benfits provided that should be a part of working for this huge money-making business.   It is too bad they are not able to work in some other business, and/or capable of expanding beyound the Wal-Mart confines.  To know that Wal-Mart is one of the main reasons that mom-and-pop stores of my my childhood have been closed and shuttered is sad to think about.

The United Food and Commercial Workers union held organizing campaigns at several Wal-Mart stores across the country this week — including one yesterday in Landover Hills — as it renews pressure on the world’s largest retailer to increase pay and improve health benefits.

In the Washington area, union representatives said they have been responding to increased inquiries from workers. UFCW Local 400 spokesman Mark Federici said hundreds of Wal-Mart employees in the area have signed union authorization cards, but he declined to give a specific number.

“They see their company actually being a rare success story in this tight economy, and they rightfully are asking where do they fit in to all that,” he said.

Similar rallies were held at stores in Seattle and Miami this week, a few days before Wal-Mart will hold its annual shareholders meeting Friday at its Bentonville, Ark., headquarters. The UFCW is hoping to build on momentum from a rally it held in April that drew Wal-Mart employees from 17 states to Capitol Hill to meet with lawmakers and lobby for the Employee Free Choice Act, the labor movement’s top legislative priority. The bill would allow unions to organize through signing cards rather than a secret ballot election, as many companies require.

Wal-Mart has long been at loggerheads with the labor movement, particularly over health care. After heavy union criticism, the retailer introduced plans with nominal premiums and decreased the waiting period for part-time employees to qualify for coverage. It also slashed the cost of many generic prescription drugs to $4 at its pharmacies, forcing competitors to follow suit.

7 Comments
  1. jerry permalink
    February 3, 2010 1:44 PM

    why does wal mart have to be union friendly. some of us dont like unions and the way they do things. Stop forcing people to eat union. We disagree. Leave us alone.

  2. Kayla permalink
    January 18, 2010 11:53 PM

    i work for wal-mart and they pay me over 10 dollars an hour. They are a great company to work for and it is especially good when you’re going to school because they work with your schedule. Everyone it seems like is union, yet wal-mart manages to be the number one in the US so I would have to conclude that they are doing something right.

  3. Patrick permalink
    June 5, 2009 11:43 PM

    Maybe I just don’t get it. So Walmart gives people who otherwise might not be employed jobs, but because they don’t provide the health benefits you think they should the state of wisconsin “is left to pick up the pieces?” That’s crazy. If they didn’t have the job at Walmart, the state would be on the look for food, shelter, and fuel too.

    Here’s another think I don’t understand–why is it that because Walmart is profitable and “has a lot of money” that they should provide health benefits and higher wages? Seriously, what logical argument is there to support that position? Walmart’s only responsibility is to its shareholders, the people who risked their own money to get the company started. Sometimes shareholders lose everything, like the invertors in GM. since they take all the risks, they deserve all the rewards.

  4. Conservemus permalink
    June 5, 2009 9:09 PM

    I think it’s hilarious that you’re actually criticizing one of the only companies out there actually adding jobs right now. Wal-Mart is adding 22,000 jobs during a recession. Any surprise that they’re not unionized? Not by me. If the UAW didn’t exist, GM and Chrysler might actually be solvent right now.

    The quickest way to destroy Wal-Mart would be to unionize it.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSTRE5530T620090604

  5. Wayne permalink
    June 5, 2009 5:36 AM

    Obviously, Patrick has some unresolved issues.

  6. June 4, 2009 10:56 PM

    The moms-and pops of my little town supplied real jobs for folks when I was a kid. And real pay. While the pay is higher now for those at Wal-Mart is due to the fact I was a kid 30 years ago. All salaries are higher.

    As to the benefits, lets now forget when Wal-Mart does not provide health care that state programs in Wisconsin often are the ones to pick up pieces and pay the tab.

    Finally, I never said it was Wal-Mart’s fault that less than capable people work there, as it is not the company’s fault. I have long felt that the nation will always need street sweepers, etc. This is not a put down to anyone, just a fact. What I did say/imply was that I think since Wal-Mart makes lots of money they should pay benefits to the workers. be thta wages, health care, etc.

    Ford Motor Company knew how to create a middle class that could buy the cars it created. There is a lesson to that style of running a business.

  7. Patrick permalink
    June 4, 2009 9:51 PM

    It is not too bad that these workers have jobs at walmart if they never acquired the skills to work elsewhere. Would you rather they be on the unemployment line? They were provided a public education and, perhaps, were lectured by their teachers about the need to work hard to obtain valuable skills. Some, I imagine, have greater skills and greater ambition but not the opportunity. While this is sad, it is not Walmart’s problem. Walmart’s only obligation is to provide the minimum wage that will attract the type of workers to their company. This is called capitalism. In return, consumers who are struggling to make ends meet can find the necessities cheap at Walmart.

    I certainly wouldn’t be too proud to work or shop at Walmart. And if I worked there, I wouldn’t expect the company owed me more than exactly what they promised to pay me. I decide where I work, so do those crybabies who expect to do Walmart work, but be paid like young executives. What vanity on their part to think that Walmart had a greater responsibility to solve problems they should solve for themselves–like paying a “living” wage to care for the children they chose to have or the things they think they deserve. What arrogance.

    And the so called “card check” bill is another foolish idea. Of course, I’d support it if you could decertify a union with the same ease, but “fairness” only works in one direction, right. I’m sure the unions could do for Walmart and its workers what the UAW did for the auto companies.

    And as for the mom and pop shops you remember so fondly, this is another myth. The people who work at Walmart get paid much more than the poor fools working for mom and pop. Do you think mom and pop are providing health care or a living wage? Please….

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