(Closed) A Sort of Continuation to Danadelphia’s Post

posted 10 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 32
Member
2239 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I hate walmart because the ones near me are awful shopping experiences. They’re often dirty, full of screaming babies, and in my area seem to be a crime magnet. Around here you can’t go to walmart after dark alone!

Post # 33
Member
1927 posts
Buzzing bee

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@mncrk09:  I said nothing about how much they make per hour.  I have never heard this $70 per hour figure so that did not factor into my opinion on the subject.  But to be honest with you $28 per hour at 40 hours a week works out to almost 60,000 a year.  That’s pretty great earning potential for a job that doesn’t require a college degree.  Either way.. no matter how much money they are making my point was that union leaders REFUSED to accept a pay cut when the alternative was the possibility of bankruptcy of the employer.  That’s absurd.  Given this sort of precedent I can COMPLETELY understand why Wal-Mart would be firmly against allowing uninonization of their workers.  As Mighty pointed out workers are protected by law, they don’t need unions to protect anything other than absurd pay requirements.. so there is no benefit to Wal-Mart to allow them to unionize.  As I stated before Wal-Mart has a responsibility to it’s shareholders to maximize profits, unionization would not be beneficial to that goal.

Post # 34
Member
1023 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

And what about an obligation to their employees…I’m sorry but your apathy makes me sick.

Post # 35
Member
1260 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I don’t think that unions are obsolete in the face of the law, and this is because many workplace injustices still exist for which there are no formal laws protecting employees. For example, in Canda, nursing is a unionized profession (I’m a nurse, so this example is easy one for me to provide – although I understand that nursing is not unionized, for the most part, in the US). Nurses working conditions are constantly pushed to the limits. We are asked to do things that aren’t in our scope of practice, made to feel guilty about sick taking a sick day for fear of “letting the unit down”, and working tons of overtime and extra shifts becuase of the nursing shortage. But I feel better knowing that the union is fighting to improve our working conditions and ensure that our wages compensate us for the challenges we face at work. This may not be the case for the US, a American nurse would have to comment. My example is just to show why nursing must be unionized in Canada.

With reference to Wal-Mart, I think a similar theme is likely happening. Employees are faced with poor working conditions, unfair treatment, and a non-liveable wage. Wal-Mart is right to be scared, becuase a union would force better treatment for their employees and the right to a living wage. This likely would result in increased prices to the consumer. And yes, I do understand that not every Wal-Mart is bad. But my biggest concern is not the people who worked as a cashier during high school while still living at home – its the people who DEPEND on their job at Wal-Mart for a living to support themselves, their families, and perhaps extended families. I feel this folks make up the vast majority of Wal-Mart employees, and so I can understand why they would like union representation.

That is all! Just my opinion.

 

Post # 36
Member
703 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

While I don’t enjoy shopping at Walmart (mostly because it’s always busy and people don’t know how to follow traffic rules with shopping carts), I don’t think they are the big evil corporation that they are made out to be.  The truth of the matter is that they provide hundreds of jobs to the communities in which they are located.  In my area Walmart is one of the best paying grocery store/department store/fast food employers.  And even if they weren’t, they are obviously legally required to pay at least minimum wage.  And while minimumwage isn’t great, it’s better than nothing any day.  Additionally, when a Walmart comes to a town they bring with them more stores and restaurants that will provide more jobs.  I know that I, even at my first job when I was 16, would have spoken up if I was being denied breaks or being made to work off the clock.  Laws about breaks and overtime are no secret.  If these violations were reported they would be followed up on and corrected.

I’m much less disgusted by Walmart selling items as cheaply possible than by certain big box department stores jacking up prices just so you can say you bought your item at their store. 

Post # 37
Member
541 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I’m a former Wal-Mart employee and never had any issues. I made a pretty decent wage for a college student, got a discount on almost everything, had better benefits and cheaper premiums for insurance than I have now (and I work for the company I am insured by) and got paid a dollar an hour extra for working on Sundays and holidays. As well as vacation, sick time, etc, while I was fluctuating between working full and part time while in school. The one time that I ever remember being skipped over for a break was on black Friday and it was an honest mistake and I was sent right away when the error was realized.

I’m not saying that some people don’t have legitimate issues and concerns, but I think they get way blown out of proportion. People tend to complain and make a bigger fuss about the wrongs done, rather than good.

Post # 38
Member
90 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

I have a question for everyone who thinks union workers’ wages are outrageous. Why do you feel that it’s OK for corporations to get as much profit out of their customers as they possibly can, but it’s not acceptable for workers to get as high a salary out of their employers as they possibly can? I am honestly asking here, because I am just not understanding the thought process.

Post # 39
Member
409 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

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@Moose1209: I would just like to point out that even though union jobs don’t require a college degree, most of them do require a specialty knowledge of a profession, like carpenters, plumbers, electricians, ironworkers, etc.  I find it hard to believe that being an autoworker does not require specialty knowledge that was gained during an apprenticeship.  Cars are complex machines and need to be put together correctly in order to maintain safety standards.  

 

Post # 40
Member
1001 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

Every Wal-Mart I’ve ever been in has been dirty, disorganized, and filled with people beating their kids in the shoe aisle.  I’m not even kidding.  I think I witness some form of child abuse every time I have to go in one (and believe me, it’s not often.  Like, I’m on a road trip and desperately need snacks and wiper fluid and NOTHING else is around.)

Plus, my Dad is his company’s union president and Midwest VP of the International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers, so it’s been drilled in my head since childhood that Wal-Mart is Bad.

Post # 41
Member
5147 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

“Every Wal-Mart I’ve ever been in has been dirty, disorganized, and filled with people beating their kids in the shoe aisle.”

I think it depends on the location. I’ve noticed here in Kansas City, people tend to think Walmart is “low class”, and most the Walmarts here are on the crummy side. But back where I grew up, Walmart is where EVERYBODY (teachers, farmers, doctors, lawyers, everyone!) within 100 miles drives to for everything, and the Walmarts out there much nicer and cleaner.

Post # 42
Member
2857 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2011 - Bartram's Garden

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@abbyful: That may be true. The Wal-Marts here in/near Philly are effing GROSS. But I had to go to one with the boy’s dad near their place in rural Indiana and it was at least clean and organized.

Post # 43
Member
5822 posts
Bee Keeper

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@beekiss2: If the purpose of the union was to ensure that everyone in that profession held the technical knowledge to perform it, I would possibly agree that unions are necessary.  Maybe.  Although, that’s what the certificate at the end of your training is for and maybe your job should check that you are certified before they hire you.  That seems like a weak function that a union performs, and not really beneficial to the employees.  (You’re a plumber?  Hey, so am I!  Great, now get back to work…)  And by that logic, why is there a union for grocery chain workers?  Why would Walmart NEED a union?  Being a cashier requires such little training that they now have “Self-checkout” lanes!  I doubt that there is a steep learning curve in stocking shelves, sweeping the floor, or greeting customers at the door.  (I’m not saying that it isn’t honorable to work in one of these positions, only that they require minimum, if any, education or training.)  That was/is my beef with the Safeway strike of ’93.  They were demanding more benefits/higher wages for a job that does not require constant learning/education/training and which could easily be filled by anyone with arms.

I feel that a company has a duty to pay workers for their skills.  I don’t believe that workers should necessarily be paid based on how much the company is earning.  If the workers each owned a piece of the company, they would probably work harder to help that company grow.  And I certainly don’t think that workers should earn so much that the overhead cost exceeds the profit margin.  My mom took pay cut after pay cut along with all of her coworkers in order for the company to survive the economic environment of late.  Her boss even fired his wife so that they could make it.  For a union to refuse a pay cut on behalf of all employees and cause a company to go bankrupt is dispicable, shortsighted, and selfish.

Back to Walmart: I think “peopleofwalmart.com” has given the impression that all stores are full of people wearing the underwear over their pants.  That is probably a better reflection of the population of that particular community than the store they are patronizing.  I’ve seen the same thing in almost every restaurant in Pascagoula, Mississippi.  Claiming that every Walmart is full of classless people is a generalization and doesn’t reflect on the company itself.

Post # 44
Member
90 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

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@MightySapphire: I guess my question is, why do people get soooo heated up about supermarket workers making $16 an hour, but no one seems to care that CEOs regularly run companies into the ground and walk away with multimillion-dollar severance packages? Or they get upset about people on welfare buying cigarettes, but no one seems to mind that the government subsidizes private companies and the taxpayers pick up the tab? 

Post # 45
Member
440 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I have been following for a bit and I guess that I take the stance that a union should be exclusive for a skilled worker. A Walmart employee to my mind is not a skilled worker.

Lady working in a sweatshop as a seamstress = skilled worker

Lady working to put sweatshirts up on a shelf = not skilled worker

I also do not believe that just because you show up to work for a large corporation that can afford to pay you twice the minimum wage means you deserve it.

I think another issue is the differentiating between working at Walmart (and similar places) as a career vs working there as a part-time job to make ends meet or as a college/high school job.

I personally agree with those who believe that unions were once good and now have become a huge reason (of many reasons) that the economy is currently at this point. I also would like to know what the the bagger’s at Safeway were willing to compromise to get their dental insurance. I think that is one of the problems with the unions at this point – yes they want more money, and more benefits but they want to work less hours. So what decent business person would ever want to hire or associate with a union when their bottom line is to make a profit?

I work based on my production and if I want more money (which gets me more benefits) I have to work harder and put in more hours. I see this as a very very good motivator for work. I don’t see unions as encouraging working harder as an exchange for more benefits.

I don’t know if you have been in a Walmart lately but I have as I do shop there regularly and other than the people driving the trucks with shipments I haven’t found a job their that a 16 year old with braces could not do.

I will agree that I do find some of their business policies to be very unethical.

Post # 46
Member
419 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

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@laural: I agree that unions are one the reasons that our economy is faltering. Faced with ever-increasing demands from union bosses, companies are forced to outsource  labor overseas or hire illegal immigrants. Because unions protect bad workers, companies are afraid to fire employees that need to be fired…American companies can’t compete with companies in countries where  the laborers are not so demanding and where the workers have a work ethic and aspire to quality work. Example: American cars have thousands of dollars in pensions, etc. built into the price of the car that Japanse cars don’t have – and that makes the foreign cars a better value. Our country is not going to increases wages until everyone gets a living wage, we will have to lower our wages until we are competitve with our emerging-economy competitors. Or else, our products will be too expensive to compete and then NOBODY will have a job. And, why do people think their employers have to provide for their entire well-being? In other parts of the world, people (GASP) provide for their own retirement. How the younger generation takes care of their parents… Multiple generations live under one roof, etc. All Americans want to keep a certain high standard of living and when they can’t do it – they blame their employers instead of innovating to raise their own standards of living. There is only so much longer that can go on.

In education, the teacher’s unions have destroyed public education. They protect and defend inferior teachers and push back against any attempt to tie teacher compensation to results or make any other meaningful results. As a result, education is one place where absolute idiots can keep their jobs forever and our educational system is among the worst in the world. Now we can’t even compete with the third world in our brain-based functions, which used to be the saving grace that allowed us to grow our economy despite the lack of a manufacturing advantage. So, essentially our labor force is becoming more poorly educated at the exact same time it is demanding higher wages, benefits and concessoins.. what a dangerous situation, I don’t see how we ever recover from this…

America needs to improve its education system and motivation, so that Americans can go back to work and American companies can be great again. I am not happy that our way of life is unsustainable, lest someone think I am rejoycing in our decline, I just think we need to face it and work towards a better future. 

I will say this, what would low-income Americans do if they didn’t have affordable places to shop like WalMart? These “buy local at all costs” people must clearly be wealthy, because I think most people can’t afford those things…..

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