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Walmart sign on store.
Walmart has been on something of a charm offensive where the public is concerned (and an intimidation offensive where its workers are concerned), hoping to blunt the impact of the Black Friday rebellion. Walmart's big claim is that its wages are really quite good, if you happen to be a full-time worker there, anyway. The reality?
A 2005 study from New York University found that Walmart employees earn 28 percent less, on average, than workers employed by other large retailers. At the same time, Walmart’s sheer size and competitive influence exert a downward pressure on wages at other retailers. A study from the University of California Berkeley finds that Walmart store openings in communities lead to the replacement of better paying jobs with jobs that pay less. As a result of this dynamic, average wages for retail workers were 10 percent lower, and their job-based health coverage rate was 5 percentage points less in an area than it would be if Walmart did not exist. The study concludes that in 2000, retail employees nationwide would have taken home $4.5 billion more in their total paycheck if Walmart had not been around.
So Walmart isn't just lousy for its own workers, it makes it worse for all retail workers. That's one reason it's significant that when Walmart is trying to brag about its wages, the claim is that the average pay for a full-time worker is $12.40 an hour. That's just under $26,000 for a year of full-time work, which is below the median wage for an individual. And Walmart is trying to define that in the popular imagination as a good wage.

Part of the way Walmart makes less than $26,000 for a year of full-time work look good, of course, is to deny many of its workers full-time work. Oh, and it pays those workers who'd like to work full-time but don't have that option even less per hour than the lucky, lucky full-time workers. And since they're expected to be available whenever they're called in to work, good luck managing to hold a second crappy part-time job.

Everything Walmart does around wages—from its low starting wages to its huge part-time workforce to its tightly restricted system of raises and promotions to its very claims to being a good employer—is about taking the next step in the race to the bottom, breaking down its workers and making them desperate, driving down the public's understanding of what exactly a good job is. It's time to fight back. Find a Black Friday event near you in the widget at the right.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 09:15 AM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (126+ / 0-)
  •  Yup. They phrase that most carefully: (51+ / 0-)

    "the average wage of full-time workers".

    Tell us, oh Walmart, what is the average wage of ALL of your "associates"?

    Ultimately, the only thing that matters with respect to preserving choice is who will be nominating the next Supreme Court Justices.

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 09:17:53 AM PST

    •  that's why they deliberately hire part time (13+ / 0-)

      "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
      Four More Years! How sweet it is!!!

      by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 10:40:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Laura, where do you get the statistics (4+ / 0-)

      to determine the full time vs. part time numbers of employees in the US?  Then, how do you get the stats regarding state and city/county SUPPORT of TAN, Food Stamps etc., to determine how much states, local communities and the Federal gov pay in to help Wal Mart workers receive TAN, Food Stamps and Medicaid? If Wal Mart paid all workers a living wage/fair salary and benefit package, would that aid state budget woes, and could it be called a revenue increasing action for this fiscal cliff mess?

      I called Congresswoman DeGette's office and spoke to her Labor person. She told me to get the information that I need from the local unions; "The unions have all of the data. We don't."

      I called the union that she told me to call. He's too busy working on Black Friday.  He told me, "That would take a XXX study (can't remember the word) and right now everything is moving so fast that we don't have time to even consider that."

      I want to put the facts in CO newspapers, blogs and get some TV coverage.  We know that voters, in general, are not informed, so it seems logical for us to just deliver the data! No?

      Who actually has the data?

      Thanks.

      •  victoria: several places but start at CENSUS (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        i love san fran, lady blair

        data -- US Dept of Commerce -- should be available via usa.gov.

        LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

        by BlackSheep1 on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 12:24:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  And don't forget all the tax abatements (6+ / 0-)

        And credits that localities offered for the 'privilege' of 'hosting' them.

        "Let's see what fresh fuckwittery these dolts can contrive to torment themselves with this time." -- Iain Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata

        by Rikon Snow on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 12:55:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Labor rep at my Congresswoman's (0+ / 0-)

          office told me that WM just pulled out of negotiations for a new store on Colorado Boulevard, which she said was caused by people in the neighborhood pushing against them!

          She called it a win for people.  While I agree, there are still millions of workers who are not being paid, and whose families are being supported by Federal, state and city/county funds.  I wish all of that was easily available. American people need to know what is really going on.  Do you think this would go over well with the Tea Party?

          Another question: do they always ask for the same thing when they negotiate with local communities about new stores?  Where do you find that info?

          There is so much to say no to, but getting out the facts seems to be quite a task.

          Any help is appreciated!

      •  Also: What else does "ft workers" exclude? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        i love san fran

        e.g., does the category of worker include upper management?  Methinks not, but if it did, then the real average would be considerably lower.  

  •  BTW, why has nobody (29+ / 0-)

    started a "Stop the Walmart War on Thanksgiving" campaign.

    Ultimately, the only thing that matters with respect to preserving choice is who will be nominating the next Supreme Court Justices.

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 09:19:47 AM PST

  •  Wages (30+ / 0-)

    Henry Ford grew the middle class by paying workers twice the average wage

    Wallmart shrink the middle class by poverty wages.

    If Wallmart paid its workers half-way decent wages, it will add to consumer spending and it would grow the economy faster than any spending cuts or tax increases...

    https://www.facebook.com/...

  •  asdf (8+ / 0-)

    An employee who works Wallmart's definition of "full time" makes just $15,000 a year1

    https://www.facebook.com/...

  •  i worked at walmart YEARS ago (22+ / 0-)

    it was terrible. it was slightly over minimum wage pay, but i did get a raise after a year......a whopping ten cents an hour. seriously. plus, there was the mandatory overtime that would somehow not get counted as overtime pay, if you got paid for it at all. i was about 40 pounds lighter then too....because i couldn't really afford food.

    Whose interest does ignorance serve? - Carl Sagan

    by spgilbert on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 09:53:49 AM PST

  •  The sad part about this is the exerting downward (21+ / 0-)

    market Walmart has on other retailers in creating a wage ceiling.  For many employees of smaller retailers, Walmart is a step up in wages but with such more onerous employment practices many end up stuck under the rock AND the hard place.    

    I know someone who left a small minimum wage mom & pop employer for higher wages at an area Walmart, but ended up stuck in a job that didn't allow her to work a second job to make ends meet because of the availability requirement.  Either way, she just ends up being poor and exploited, but one employer - Walmart - is enormously profitable can afford to pay more and offer better working conditions.  

    We also need to fix the unlivable minimum wage rates.

    "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of the United States of America -9.75 -6.87

    by Uncle Moji on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 09:59:59 AM PST

    •  That should be illegal (5+ / 0-)

      It’s a total abuse of hourly employees to make them be available full-time but then never give them full-time hours. It’s equally abusive to make them be basically on call  all the time, especially when there is no extra compensation for being ‘available’. Even in professions where being on call is common, e.g.: doctors and nurses, call shifts are scheduled. There is a fixed time when you know you don’t have to work or be ready to go to work. When you’re off work, you’re off.

      Scheduling call in a manner that is respectful of your employees’ time obviously can be done, but Wal-Mart chooses not to do that. Why? It’s cheaper because it reduces store-level administrative overhead. If you can schedule workers just by telling them, “Show up whenever I say so for as long as I say so.” it takes a lot less time to figure out a real schedule where employees have set days and hours of work.

      Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

      by Joe Bob on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 02:49:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's more insidious than just being 'on call' (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Uncle Moji

        It's having your schedule 3 weeks in advance, and never knowing until you see it what your scheduled for.  So technically you could have another job if you were able to convince them to schedule you at their business around the hours wallyworld scheduled you for with that 3-week notice, (subject to change.)  Yeah, good luck with finding that perfect part-time job.  It's that practice that allows the PR at wallyworld to crow about all employees have a 'set' schedule without having to explain it's really next to useless anyway. It's especially hard to schedule babysitting on this basis too.

  •  Steve Earle (9+ / 0-)

    sings about what Wal Mart does to communities.

    I stand with the striking Wal Mart workers.

  •  Too lazy to look up the statistics (4+ / 0-)

    Aren't there fewer Walmarts in New England where there are fewer high school dropouts to staff them?

    Aren't there more Walmarts in the old Confederacy where there are more high school dropouts?

    Be smart, stay in school; kids.

  •  Could be wrong but (0+ / 0-)

    I'm not sure you meant to say that the "truth" rages. The truth is the truth. It has no emotion (although yes it has a liberal bias). Others may rage about the truth though.

  •  walmart would love to get rid of minimum wage (8+ / 0-)

    There will always be people anxious to get a job at walmart. Also they tend to be located in rural areas where job opportunities are few and they can get away with paying low wages.
    They should realize if they paid more it would increase their business because  most of the workers would have more money to spend and most likely would spend it at Walmart.
    Corporation just want to pay crap wages even if it makes no sense.

    •  D'oh! I plagiarized your post (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      qofdisks

      When I lived in southern California, the closest Walmart was in Bullhead  City, AZ?  Maybe the San Joaquin Valley?

      Now that southern California has more workers with just a high school diploma or less; there are probably more there than in Arkansas.

      Race to the bottom and all that.

  •  all the events near me are TBD --- (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, TheDuckManCometh

    and need a leader. (I'm in the chicago burbs). what can we do to support workers if we very rarely shop at walmart (for myriad reasons)...?

    Change is inevitable. Change for the better is a full-time job. -- Adlai E. Stevenson (GOTV)

    by marzook on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 10:49:41 AM PST

  •  don't shop there (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TheDuckManCometh


    I stopped shopping at WalMart in 2008 after hearing bad things about the way they treat their workers, and I've never been back.

    "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

    by louisev on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 11:47:08 AM PST

  •  Costco (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Utahrd

    This should be compared with Costco--decent wages, benefits, and advancement opportunities.

    Apres Bush, le deluge.

    by melvynny on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 12:50:22 PM PST

  •  Anyone remember when WalMart had (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trueblueliberal, qofdisks, NBBooks

    these ads running: American Families Now Save $2,500 a Year, Thanks to Wal-Mart  

    Well, isn't that freakin' great . . ..

    until you consider that that $2,500 a year essentially suck $250 billion (i.e., 2,500 x 100 million US households) out of the US economy.  Or, to put in another way, at $150K a job,  at least 1.6 million jobs - that alone would lower the unemployment rate by 1% or more.

    Yeah, big thanks Walmart!!

  •  What disturbs me most about this issue... (10+ / 0-)

    is that the four Walton heirs have combined net worth [according to the Forbes 400] of $107.1 billion.  That's more than 1/10 of a TRILLION dollars.  The money is there to pay good middle-class wages to their personnel, but they've chosen to line their own pockets instead.  How much is enough?

    I can only conclude that Christy, Jim, Alice and Rob Walton are unmitigated scumbags.

    Dogs are people, but corporations aren't.

    by Greasy Grant on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 01:02:44 PM PST

    •  I suppose they expect gratitude (0+ / 0-)

      for their support of the Walton Family Foundation, which according to their website spent $251.9 million in 2011, in support of expanding "public charter schools," freshwater and marine conservation, and "home region" activities, which are primarily focused on funding more "independent and open-enrollment public charter schools".

      If Greasy Grant's numbers are accurate, then $251.9 million out of a net worth of $107.1 billion amounts to a whopping 0.235% of their net worth. And they're hauling in millions upon millions in dividends every year.

      By contrast, consider the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In 2011, they had a net worth of only $34.65 billion, yet they managed to distribute grants of $3.2 billion, or 9.2% of its net worth. If the Walton Family Foundation were as generous, they would have distributed $9.89 billion that year. But they didn't. Their generosity was 2.5% of the Gates Foundation, or perhaps 39.265 times more self-centered.

      Somebody correct me if I miscalculated.

  •  It s part of the race to the bottom, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    qofdisks

    and Walmart has a starring role in it.

    Back in the 70s, as a young man,  I got a job with AT&T. At the time, the Telephone company was the biggest company on earth. My job was paying a living wage and I got benefits for my family and I, as well as a pension.Oh yes, we all belonged to a union also.   Our motto was "an honest day's work for an honest day's pay".

    Fast forward to the present. The biggest company in America is, horror of horrors, Walmart. A company established by some rednecks in Arkansas, whose whole purpose is to sell junk, paying coolie wages and displacing small and viable buseness all over the land.

    We call this: "American exceptionalism". It is a culture based in greed that is debasinjg the lives of millions for the benefit of the very few.

    What a shame!!!

  •  walmart and its blasted image among rightwingers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TheDuckManCometh

    Haven't read all the comments, so please forgive if this duplicates anything.
    My in-laws, who reside in the hometown of Walmart, are walmart fanatics.  They are also right wing nuts (sorry, just calling it like it is).  My FIL I am sure gets heart palpitations when my dear 5 yr old daughter tells him all about President Obama and how great he is.  (Of note...I do love them, but we simply do not see eye to eye.)  Consequently, the husband has some of this Walmart worship in him as well.  After 7 years, I'm making some headway in letting him know that Walmart just isn't all its cracked up to be...I will gratefully add this piece to my repertoire!!  Thank you for the new ammunition!

  •  And of course Fox/WSJ has to chime in: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    qofdisks

    Fox News: Stupidity's Force Multiplier!

    by here4tehbeer on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 01:19:00 PM PST

  •  I'm blessed to live in a small town in (3+ / 0-)

    Central Texas that has 0 big box stores.  My landlords make a decent living from one Market Day a month plus a spring and fall market week.  Our downtown is a delightful Square with 50-60 small businesses (depends on where you end the Square).  Prices are competitive, clothing and accessories lean toward unique, my favorite shoe brand is fully represented.  We have a locally owned Ace hdwe, a regional full size grocer, 2 indie pharmacies, a health food store.  

    Small Business Saturday is a better bet than Black Friday unless you love cheap stuff a whole lot.  Our family quit cheap last Christmas, everyone got one great gift and various handmade items.  Best Christmas Ever.  All from local stores, too!

    We can run WalMart out of business if we focus hard.  I sell CostCo to my big box friends and it works.  All retail is local, too, and we're the people who can get this moving.

    I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

    by I love OCD on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 01:19:01 PM PST

  •  How to spend a walmart gift card? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rowanleigh

    So I won a reusable walmart prepaid card at a school competition, but have no urge to help Walmart.  My question is how do I spend that money in an acceptable way?  I feel I have to use the card because otherwise they would just keep the money my school spent on it.  Personally I think using the card on black friday on a discounted item to limit their profit is the best I can do but I'd still rather not support Walmart.  Is there a way I can get cash for a reloadable card and cancel it after or something similar?

    "If our ancestors could see us today, surely they would think us gods"

    by moony on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 01:19:56 PM PST

    •  donate it to the food shelf (3+ / 0-)

      or find a Wal-mart worker to donate it too. They get 10% off at the store, if they have been there 90 days.  I just wrote a diary, in my store, I have one associate who needed a tub of food donated, one with holes in his shoes, and one who can't even with her full time status and health insurance afford medicine for her husband.

      It requires an act of charity on your part, so you would have to think about what you can afford to give up.

      As for the reloadable gift cards, if it is a Wal-mart gift card, no, you can't get cash off of it, you must spend it in a wal-mart store.  It's a way to "Lock in" your cash to Wal-mart for later profit.

      If it is one of the Green Dot reloadable checking alternative cards, which I highly doubt since your school donated it, and it probably got it as a donation from the local Wal-mart, then you may get the cash off of it once your permanent card arrives in the mail. You will be able to tell the difference because somewhere on the card it will say Visa or Mastercard.

      The one exception is the Vanilla nonreloadable Visa/Mastercard gift cards. They say Visa/MC but you can't reload them at all.

  •  Welfare and Walmart (7+ / 0-)

    I wish more americans, the kind of americans who put bumper stickers on their cars saying stuff like "I worked for that hand out" realized that Walmart, because it pays such shitty wages and because its benefits are so indecent, that many of the workers at Walmart are forced to also claim food stamps. So, not only is Walmart one of, if not the biggest employer of the working poor in the country, but that its policies, which have made the Walton family richer than, what, 1/4 or 1/3 of all americans, have also required, by the economics they impose on their workers to cause the number of people who receive food stamps to be that much higher. Maybe, instead of demonizing people who resort to getting food stamps because they are the working poor and because Walmart simply doesn't give them an adequate living wage for the work they do, maybe these americans who hate welfare should direct some of their anger at the Walton family and the Walmart corporation for having economic policies that enrich them further and increase the burden on american taxpayers who pay for the food stamp program. The people americans should be mad at are the Waltons and their Walmart for creating more poor people who then need help just to be able to feed themselves.

    •  It's not just food stamps. (6+ / 0-)

      Their employees's children often qualify for the free lunch program at school and state supported Medicaid-type programs. All of these programs are tax subsidies for the poor, and Walmart does not need such subsidies.  This is a corporate mindset that takes advantage of it's workers at the expense of taxpayers. I really don't know how you fix it, except to shine a lot of light on the issue. But there is somethng intrinsically wrong when a company's bottom line is as huge as Walmart's, its owners are as wealthy as they are, but their employees still have to turn to the Federal and State governments for subsistence, and there doesn't seem to be anything in place to make the company repay the taxpayers.

  •  A serious question, not to start a flame war! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rowanleigh

    I've re-posted below a comment I made in a diary in October of this year.  I did not get any replies; maybe the question is too stupid?  Some of my comment is not relevant now, because the workers ARE asking for a boycott and solidarity actions.  But the underlying question remains.  What about their jobs, however bad they may be?  This is what I think about when I do go into a Walmart, Target, etc.  I'd really appreciate your thoughts.

     What about thieir jobs, however bad they may be?(1+ / 0-)

    Where I live there are many chain restaurants and the usual Walmart, Target, etc. type big-box stores.  Few, if any, independents, at least on the retail side.  When a huge new Walmart 24-hour superstore recently opened, they hired hundreds of people, and did not close any of the other four walmarts in our county of about 400,000 people.  

    So, this is my question: would it be better that none of the employees at those chain restaurants and big box stores have jobs? Home Depot and CostCo can't employ everyone!

    It was easy to boycott Walmart, etc. when I lived in San Francisco.  Many other choices, and few chains in the city anyway.

    This is a serious question.  I'm not a libertarian or a Randian or a troll.

    Of course their labor practices are horrible.  Of course I support unions, living wage laws, single payer, and higher taxes on the wealthy, including myself, a well paid government attorney.

    But, do you think the employees themselves would even want a boycott? Have they asked for one from the public in solidarity with them?  Or do we just know from afar that boycotting low wage employees' greedy bosses is good for them? I would never cross a picket line, but the tip I don't give if I never patronize is less $$ in the workers' pockets, isn't it?

    The lower volume of customers may result in fewer retail jobs for people who don't have that many employment options anyway, what with manufacturing belly-up in many areas, construction fairly flat, and even low-level government jobs decreasing in numbers steadily.  

    I just don't recall this concern discussed around here.  Where's dkos diarist Lightbulb when you need her/him?

    by i love san fran o
    •  it's complicated (7+ / 0-)

      It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”
      Upton Sinclair

      We will sit in the break room and bitch about Wal-mart. The crappy hours, (I am working from 5 pm to 2:30 am tomorrow and then back to work at 12:00 pm Friday) We will talk about how our store manager can buy two flat screen TVs and one computer, and go to Mexico for three weeks in January and we can't afford crappy six dollar a pack underwear. We will talk about the managers who are incompetent and jsut plain mean. We will bitch about the low pay and how at Wal-mart there are rules, until there aren't rules. We will talk about customers who spit in our faces, call and get us fired, and t, make our co-workers cry-No seriously, one of cashiers with an overbite told a customer to stop swearing at her and said, "sir, I don't appreciate you swearing like that, and He said, I don't appreciate being waited on by an ugly bugs bunny. " and how the managers will then turn around and give that same customer a $25 dollar gift card because he is all butthurt that a cashier asked him to stop swearing.

      Yes, we are good at griping.  At the same time, with no jobs in the area, this is really difficult for a lot of people who has crappy as the jobs, the customer and pay are, realize that at least the $460 every two weeks for full time puts some food on the table. Plus the brainwashing that goes on, the Spark Meetings where the manager likes to blow smoke up our butts about how much we donate to the community, and how opportunities abound at this company and how we don't need a union. We have people who really buy that unions make things worse not better, and that every manager really cares about their workers best interest.

      And, we have watched friends and colleagues, good, really good colleagues who were vocal, who stood up for their and their colleagues rights, get fired, or "made to quit" by shifting hours or cutting hours. And, we need these crappy jobs in this area. No one is hiring and if they are, it's another $8.80 per hour crap job.

      As James McMurtry says, "We can't make it here anymore"

      •  sorry (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        i love san fran

        just rambling here,  and didn't proof read. I am not the strongest proofreader

      •  Thank you again. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rowanleigh

        I'm truly curious.  I live in the same type of town.  Almost no jobs and very few good jobs unless one is a doctor or a lawyer or ... I don't even know what else.  One of the highest poverty rates in California or the nation, the highest teen pregnancy rate, high incarceration rate,  17% unemployment, and four Walmarts, one a 24-hour store.

        Those Walmart stores employ hundreds of people.  Should I never go to Walmart?  If I go to Walmart and I am unflaggingly polite, respectful, and friendly to every worker I encounter...is that harmful to the workers?

        If everyone here boycotted Walmart, would those workers be better off?  Would they get better jobs?  Are there better jobs to be had?  (We have one Costco, four Walmarts, five or six Targets, three K-marts...)

        Inquiring minds want to know....thanks.

        •  On one hand (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mgoodm, tardis10

          and this is why when a few people came to me and asked me what I thought about these protests, and asked me if I would ever think about starting one, (I don't know if they were plants from management or serious) I just said, "I am too old, too tired and too cynical to fight this battle in this same war I have been fighting forever.(I helped form a union for EMTS a long time ago)

          And, it has to start somewhere. I will tell you Wal-mart is scared, they are scared about Amazon's retail model, they are scared about the serfs rising up, they are really afraid that the people who shop there will wake up and stop shopping.  

          If they have to close down one store for having a union, as they did in Canada, or shut down an entire division, (No butchers in wal-mart, due to a successful union campaign in TX) that's one thing. If they have to shut down a bunch?
          I don't know. How long can overseas growth(Biggest growth for Wal-mart is internationally).  In Europe all the Wal-marts are unionized. That's what it is going to take, every store having a huge chunk of workers organizing and protesting and consumers standing up for the workers at the same time by staying away and letting Wal-mart know why they are staying away. I am going to tell you in my area, the customers don't care. They think we are losers who are unhirable. The  only people lower than us is the kids working at the McDonalds.

          I for one, shop at Wal-mart more than I would like because I am there all ready and it's easier after a long shift to buy stuff there.  I make an effort on my off days to go to my locally owned grocery store, and thrift stores and order stuff from Etsy. I am in school at the moment doing a training program and hope to be out of Wal-mart by the end of January. I won't ever shop a big box retail again.

          I can't tell you what to do here.  I can tell you nice customers are few and far between. I find that the American Psyche is like two year olds, fine until everything goes their way  and then "spit in your face" when they don't get to return the copyright protected DVD they opened and watched and tried to bring back 1 day before the 3 month period expires.

  •  Does anybody else find interesting (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rowanleigh, tardis10

    that there is a lack of current employees of Walmart commenting in any of these labor diaries?  Even on the anonymous internet the employees are cowed.  Surely there are current employees here at Daily Kos, reading and rec'cing, just not commenting.

    •  Yes, it is interesting and I (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      trueblueliberal

      would really like to hear from them.  

      I would like feedback on my question above from some of the employees.

      I'm very excited that Walmart employees are finally standing up.  I hope the nation finally understands that Walmart's greed wastes huge amounts of public resources just so the rich can get richer.

      The current action may also put a face to the people who receive public assistance, so that those who don't can stop demonizing poverty!

      Maybe this is the beginning of something big.  I sure hope so!

    •  I comment (6+ / 0-)

      write diaries even. I work as a Cashier/Customer Service associate.

      Full-time at 33 hours for $8.90 per hour

      •  Congrats at full time, they won't let me work a (4+ / 0-)

        minute past 32 hrs, part time you know.  Knowing at least one is here beside me could help me comment more about what I have observed.  

        •  hey True (4+ / 0-)

          We just had a forced retirement by one of the best cashiers ever.

          He was punching in five minutes early-a frequent tactic to bump up hours just a little bit-because he was told he could punch in 10 minutes early and out 10 minutes late and have it not count against him.

          Well, that used to be the policy. He got called back to the office, and received a coaching-(reprimand) and he said,  "I will just punch in five minutes late, because five minutes early is not considered on time, but 10 minutes late is? "

          He just decided that it was time to retire instead.

          And yeah, I think the workers are running scared. I am scared that I will get fired for organizing people for a donation drive for one our workers.

          •  Geez, management will kick the workers around (0+ / 0-)

            with that damn policy every time it can.
            While my heart is with the strikers in the coming days, my ass is going to be at work tomorrow thru Monday, my regular shift.  At least in my position I don't have to screw around with any of the blitz crap, just come in and do my usual thing.  I'm not anticipating any strikes at my wallyworld, as it's a right-to-work for less state I'm in.

      •  Thank you for your diaries. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        trueblueliberal, rowanleigh, mgoodm

        Somehow I missed them.  Really appreciate the great storytelling.  Your words paint a thousand pictures.  Well done, and keep it up!!

  •  Interesting analysis. I went back to my (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rowanleigh, davelf2

    old hometown in upstate NY which is one of the few towns that has 2 walmarts within a few miles of each other (this is a rarity).  The main commercial/retail road that ran through my old town had a lot more stores, hotels etc. than when I lived there, but the region itself was far less prosperous than when I left it 20 years earlier. Imagine that.  We had less commercial activity but more prosperity and the population was slightly bigger then than it is now.  

    Alternative rock with something to say: http://www.myspace.com/globalshakedown

    by khyber900 on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 01:30:13 PM PST

  •  Walmart tangentially pops up in this story as well (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rowanleigh, davelf2, tardis10

    Charles Pierce brings us the bad news:

    Grand Isle Shipyard Lawsuit - The Sociopathic Way We Do Business

    I guarantee you that, somewhere in a boardroom, people are slapping themselves high-fives for how profitable this inhumanity was. Somewhere, business consultants are congratulating themselves for devising such a clever strategy, and they are giving seminars on how to apply these principles to other businesses. Some day soon, it will be taught in our finest business schools to the sleek children of people who never will know the people on whom it is practiced. We are inculcating in our lives an acceptance of serfdom. We are investing in our economy a foundation of outright sociopathy. This seems like it should be a matter of some concern.
    [ ]
    The employees were kept from leaving the crew quarters during their off hours through use of curfews, gates and security cameras, according to the memorandum. Other than for work, Mince said the workers were allowed to leave the crew area for only one hour on one day a week, to travel to a local Walmart. They were accompanied to and from the store by company employees, she said.
    I keep warning people that that Robespierre fella had followers for a reason.
  •  The study says that Wal-Mart was about on par (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rowanleigh

    with the other similar retailers -- Target and K-Mart -- that it studied.

    I use the past tense because the study was based on 2004 data.

    The question I always have about a place like Wal-Mart (or others) is why they assume that people are interchangeable, and forget all about "you get what you pay for" when it comes to hiring?

    I think about places like Trader Joe's, Aldi, and Costco, all of which are low cost retailers and all of which pay their people very well by retail standards.

    If you pay crap, you aren't going to get the best and most motivated workers.  After all, why invest much of yourself in a job when it's no better than anything else you can get?

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 01:31:15 PM PST

  •  Living Wages and Decent Benefits (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rowanleigh, MaikeH, lady blair, tardis10

    If Walmart allowed its employees to work full time and paid them a competitive, living wage and gave them decent benefits they would no longer need to have food stamps and thus would no longer be among those needing public assistance. The Walton family is financially set for a gazillion generations. They could easily help out all of the workers who help them make their money and probably never even know the difference. Shame on them for not doing so.

  •  This may be too easy (0+ / 0-)

    But if other retailers pay 28% more, why not just go work for them?  Wal-Mart's not the only employer in town.

    •  but in a lot of places (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BitterEnvy, schnecke21

      it is indeed the only place in town to work.

      In my town, it surely is. The one factory people get on there and stay forever, the wages are that good.

      Also, this bothers me as it has a whiff of libertarian garbage.  This is about treating people decently and fairly not about "love it or leave it mentality". Walmart is an evil entity, and treats it workers as their own personal serfs.

      •  Can't be (0+ / 0-)

        It can't be the only place to work, otherwise everyone would just be selling to themselves.

        I'm all in favor of Wal-Mart unionizing if they want to do that, but voting with your feet is another means of getting change.  If people refuse to work at a place with low wages and bad working conditions, either the company will change or it will go out of business.  Call that libertarian if you want, but it does work.

  •  Right on Wal Mart workers.. (0+ / 0-)

    even though I NEVER shop at WalMart, you have my suuport. I buy/support local business first...

  •  Walmart 2011 net income was $15.766 billion (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, SpawnOfJerry

    Latest Wal-mart annual report's fine year financial summary is here (pdf).

    This September 2010 article in BusinessInsider reprots WalMart had 1.4 million U.S. employees in 2009 - which means Walmart Employs 1% Of America.

    Assume Wal-Mart now has 1.5 million U.S. employees. Take half of Wal-Mart's 2011 net income, and you could give each U.S. employee EACH an extra $5,255 a year. Not a bad raise for someone making $18,000 to $25,000 a year.

    Wouldn't it be something if the top one percent were forced to work at Wal-mart pay levels for a few years?

    A conservative is a scab for the oligarchy.

    by NBBooks on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 02:49:42 PM PST

  •  This (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10
    And since they're expected to be available whenever they're called in to work, good luck managing to hold a second crappy part-time job.
    ..is completely unconscionable.

    And more and more common when it comes to having, or getting, "a job."

    Screw a second crappy job - what about getting an education, or even being able to plan your day to day life.

    Maybe one day the Fourth Estate will take their jobs seriously. Or not..

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 03:18:04 PM PST

  •  Walmart is like a pox on our country. It (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, SpawnOfJerry

    makes me sick to think how the Walton family lives. One Walmart worker on the news said the low prices take the wages out of our pockets. I feel sorry for all Americans that do not have a choice...no other place where they live to buy groceries or prescriptions or they are too poor themselves to afford alternatives. This corporation is one of many that is destroying our nation. I'm so in awe of the bravery of the protesting Walmart workers, I hope they make a difference.

    Change is not an event, it is a process.....

    by lady blair on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 04:27:53 PM PST

    •  Remember though that every American that... (0+ / 0-)

      ...doesn't have a another place to buy groceries or prescriptions live in a community where the vast majority of the people obviously were attracted to the lure of large selection and fairly low prices that Walmart offers.

      Otherwise, alternatives would exist. If a Walmart opens and no one goes, it closes. If a Walmart opens and only 2/3 of the people go, existing businesses need to adapt to the remaining 1/3 of the population.

      The dark dirty secret is that most people favor price over customer service and Walmart becomes the dominant player in an area because of this preference.

  •   and Walmart might be LOW but so is the (0+ / 0-)

    quality of their goods! when you see something, say, in computers or cameras or such that looks like a good deal, do a search on that item for reviews. OFten that particular model is either not there or reviewed by experts as the low-end of the line ... they sell cheap stuff, pay cheap labor and customers pay cheap prices....

    BUT- if Walmart goes union, support them for that purpose and that purpose only by getting your toothpaste, paper towels and cleaning supplies there....

    Women are 51% of the population yet are represented in congress by barely 17%! Until our representation reflects the population, we risk sliding backwards .....

    by 51percent on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 06:49:32 PM PST

  •  Walmart... (0+ / 0-)

    ...the face of America's Coporate Plantation Complex.

    I knew she was the gal for me as soon as she laid her eyes on me. Right on me shoulder, she did. Popped the buggers right out her head, and laid em on me shoulder. She's a sweet heart, that gal.

    by glb3 on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 11:19:07 AM PST

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