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View Diary: Walmart warehouse workers strike in response to retaliation. And Black Friday is coming. (92 comments)

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  •  In many cases, (14+ / 0-)

    the warehouses we're talking about handle only Walmart goods.

    •  It does not matter, Laura (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CuriousBoston

      Again, while I sympathize with the workers, Walmart has no legal responsibility for their pay, benefits, working conditions, or working environment.  Could Walmart lean on the warehouse operator and improve these worker issues?  

      Probably, but they won't.  They're just interested in keeping their logistics costs as low as they can contractually negotiate.  This is no different than Home Depot, Trader Joe's, Target, Sears, Whole Foods, etc.  In the logistics world, none of the "brand" companies move or store their own goods anymore.

      "Mitt who? That's an odd name. Like an oven mitt, you mean? Oh, yeah, I've got one of those. Used it at the Atlas Society BBQ last summer when I was flipping ribs."

      by Richard Cranium on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 08:33:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh bullshit, Richard. They might not have the (7+ / 0-)

        "legal" right to do anything, but they sure as hell do have the actual right - because they have the ability.  If Walmart says - we'll only contract with you if you provide your workers with a safe place to work and a living wage - guess what?  They'd be provided a safe place to work and a living wage.

        Instead, Walmart says - give it to us cheaper - no, cheaper - no, cheaper.  Don't care how you do it, but we want it cheaper.

        Walmart has virtually no defense in this.

        "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

        by gustynpip on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 09:33:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I acknowledged Walmart could lean on the operator (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          superscalar, CuriousBoston

          No question about it.  They could, but they won't.  Here's why:

          You say:

          Instead, Walmart says - give it to us cheaper - no, cheaper - no, cheaper.  Don't care how you do it, but we want it cheaper.
          I disagree - it's the consumer - the consumer - who says, and accepts, "give it to us cheaper - no cheaper - no, cheaper.  I don't care how you do it, but we want it cheaper."  

          Walmart responds to the market.  

          I'm not defending Walmart, their corporate employment practices, their contracting practices, their disdain for organized labor, or their marketing practices.  All I'm trying to get across in this entire thread of comments is that ultimately, Walmart can be painted as the bad guy I suppose (and it's not like they're not an easy target), but the issue posed by this diary is NOT Walmart's legal responsibility to resolve.  We could argue all day about whether it's their moral and ethical responsibility to intervene, but the workers who are the topic of this diary are not Walmart employees.

          "Mitt who? That's an odd name. Like an oven mitt, you mean? Oh, yeah, I've got one of those. Used it at the Atlas Society BBQ last summer when I was flipping ribs."

          by Richard Cranium on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 11:07:17 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Bingo, The American 'Consumer' (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Richard Cranium

            Walmart responds to the market

            Has wanted it 'cheap' for a long time, it's only been recently that they've been interested in how it came to be so 'cheap' to begin with.

            I won't be coming home tonight, my generation will put it right - Genesis 9:3

            by superscalar on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 11:08:57 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  And that's exactly what we're doing. Arguing (0+ / 0-)

            about whether it's their moral and ethical obligation.  We all know they don't have a legal obligation.  So what?

            Yes, consumers want things cheap.  Always have, always will.  And businesses will always  want to maximize their profit.

            The question is, who has the POWER to end some of the egregious violations of workers' rights?  It's not the consumers.  If I'm willing to pay higher prices, I don't get that option.  Even if I voluntary money to Walmart in the hope they'll give it to the workers, it's not going to happen.

            Walmart, however, does have the power.  They can say - okay, we'll accept that we might not make quite as much in profit  in order to make sure the workers are treated well. ' Or we might lose a little business if our products are a few cents more than K-marts.

            But They've been the ones that have pushed and pushed for cheaper and cheaper and cheaper.  They've driven companies out of business, they've driven down wages and benefits.  Other companies have been forced to join in, just to stay viable.  The responsibility for much of the current situation belongs squarely on their shoulders.

            I quit shopping at Walmart long ago.  But that doesn't, in reality, do anything.  If Walmart, however, threatened to quit using their contractors, it would make an immediate, huge difference.

            "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

            by gustynpip on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 01:03:54 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  The freaking consumers (0+ / 0-)

            Are also making Walmart wages. Of course they demand cheaper.  It is the vicious cycle writ large.

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