View Thread : Wal-Mart and Unions

Dark Lord Neo
Quebec Wal-Mart may become unionized
Last Updated Mon, 02 Aug 2022 21:24:57 EDT
SAGUENAY, QUE. - A Wal-Mart store in Quebec could become the first unionized store in the retail chain following a decision by the Quebec Labour Relations Board.

On Monday, the Board accredited the United Food and Commercial Workers Union to represent workers at the store in Jonquiere.

There are no unionized Wal-Mart stores. But some meat workers at a Wal-Mart in Texas have joined the United Food And Commercial Workers.
"We are reviewing the decision," Andrew Pelletier, spokesman for Wal-Mart Canada, told the Associated Press. "There was no vote held in the store. This appeared to be an automatic certification, and employees were not given the opportunity to vote on the issue on unionization in a democratically held election, which is of enormous concern."

Written by CBC News Online staff

I read another article in the paper today about a Wal-Mart in Saskatchewan that was doing the same thing, and they had enough signatures on their petition to begin union hearings and hold a vote. The Wal-Mart in Saskatchewan in an area where support for unions is extremely high, it's in the town that was at the heart of the workers movement in Saskatchewan wich led the the election of the first socialist government in North America. In addition Saskatchewan labour laws are very union freindly and make setting up a union very easy in comparison to other jurisdictions in North America.
A Wal-Mart in Manitoba recently voted somthing like 51% against unionizing and 49% in favour.
When Wal-Mart moved into Canada by taking over the Wolco chain(basically a Canadian version of Wal-Mart) there were only 2 stores that didn't remain open. One in Lethbrige, Alberta because it was downtown, and the other in Trail, British Columbia. Wal-Mart provided no explanation as to why they closed the one in Trail, but it happened to be the only Wolco that was unionized.
I think unionization would be a good thing, but I was wondering what other peoples opion on this was, especially Weltal's since he has an insiders perspective.

A Black Falcon
Unionization would be very good for something like Wal-Mart... gives the workers more power and gives them a chance to be able to do better with the company. So obviously Wal-Mart is against it... but I'd definitely think that unionization would help the store's workers.

Unionization of any real sort is uncommon in Virginia.

Personally, I don't like the idea of having to pay union dues, and I'd scab on a strike anyway, cause I like getting paid.

Personally, I could care less if it did happen.

Dark Lord Neo
Unions in Saskatchewan and Quebec are very common, so the chances that it'll happen are fairly high.
You relize the union will pay you while you're on strike, that's what union dues are for, that and running the union.

A Black Falcon
Isn't the main purpose of unions for collective bargaining with employers to try to get better pay, benefits, working conditions, etc?

As in, it helps working-class people, so of course conservatives are against them.

Great Rumbler
Get back to work! This ain't no union shop!

On the topic of Wal-Mart, during one of the news broadcast scenes of The Manchurian Candidate the news ticker reads: "Big Mart posts earning of 30 trillion dollars for the first quarter of the year. The high revenue is due to expansion in third-world countries and competitive wage reduction".

On topic: Personally I don't really care either way if they unionize or not. It's their right to do so if they want.

Dark Jaguar
This should be fun to watch :D. That's about all I have to say about this. particular incident. Except, I highly doubt that unionization was actually FORCED on these people. I think that spin was reasoned something like "they were brainwashed into it, after all they are just a bunch of stupid register biscuits, thus they didn't have a choice".

Eh, anyway unions are fine. They are basically clubs people join, and I'm sure they do some great work. It's just something people need to be careful about...

Isn't the main purpose of unions for collective bargaining with employers to try to get better pay, benefits, working conditions, etc?

As in, it helps working-class people, so of course conservatives are against them.
The trouble with idealist liberals is that they never, ever see the long-term effects of what they do.

If WM became unionized as a whole, it could force the company to scale back operations instead of expand, costing jobs. It would also mean higher prices on merchandise, which is of no help to the mostly working-class people who shop in the place, many who do so exclusively.

I mean, the idea of a union sounds okay on paper, but unions so often become political puppets of the left. The less of those we have, the better off we all are.

Wal*Mart isn't anti-union, it's pro-associate! Oh God help me.

And wal*mart hiring cheap labor is one of the many reasons why the stuff there is so inexpensive. Should there be unions? Well, it's honestly not my fight since I don't plan on working at the one I do for any longer than a couple of years- tops.

Dark Lord Neo
Alot of the employees who voted agains unionizing at some of the stores only did so because they were afraid wal-mart would shut the store down as an example to their other locations. As I said earlier one of the only two Wolco's that Wal-Mart didn't keep open had a union, and only a couple years later they started talking about opening a new store in teh town, of course since it was a different store it wouldn't be unionized.

A Black Falcon
Do you know that if the minimum wage had been kept up with inflation and not frozen in the '90s sometime, it'd be $7.50 now and not $5.15? And that's just keeping up with inflation...

Yes, no unions is one reason Wal-Mart is so cheap. But that isn't a good thing. Like buying from foreign companies that you have a pretty good idea are running with extremely unfair and cruel labor practices and not doing much about it because it means cheaper junk... Yes, a lot of stores do stuff like that. But Wal-Mart is the cheapest and the biggest so it matters most for them...

Hehehe, I remember Darunia saying he wished he could work at Walmart.
On a brighter note Black is baldurs gate 2 worth tracking down and playing?

A Black Falcon
Absolutely. Without question, if you have any intrest at all in Black Isle's style of doing RPGs. The first BG is good, but BG2 is a much better game... more focused, longer, much better story... it's improved in just about every way and you can tell that the team was getting better at RPGs. We've owned BG2 since its release in '00 or '01 but I didn't play it for years... intimidated by its length, I guess. But I finally did and played it for about 75 hours in two weeks to finish it... :D I hadn't been that addicted with a game in a few years at least.

I now have four of the five Infinity engine games -- BG1(with expansion), BG2(with expansion), Planescape: Torment, and my most recent acquisition, Icewind Dale II. The two Icewind Dales are essentially dungeon crawls... story lite, action heavy. BG is in the middle. Torment is on the other end, with a extremely good story, a lot of text to read, and with not a whole lot of combat. It's my favorite of the five, too, but BG2 is in second. :)

... on that note, I probably should finish Throne of Bhaal (the BG2 expansion)... great game...

Baldur's Gate and BGII are relatively common for games that came out a few years back, I'd say... check places with used games. Icewind Dale is still available in places as the Icewind Dale Collection, with both games and the IWDI expansion. Torment is harder to find, though... I don't know if I've seen a copy for sale in years now... Online, I guess.

I have Baldur's Gate (grabbed it off my friend in '99 I believe when he got a new PC) it was on DVD, the only game I have on DVD to tell you the truth, I just installed it now for the first time in the four to five years of having it sitting there :P

Does it have multiplayer? if so I think a three night lan-fest could be in order.

A Black Falcon
BG has multiplay. It's the single player campaign in multiplayer mode. Honestly, I'd recommend single player more... I think it's better. But if you have a friend or something to play with that you can play with a lot and want to play it that way you could... I'd just say it's more a single player game.

BG1... I'd love to be able to play it again, but some years back a new CD drive of ours blew up disk 2 and I never convinced myself to pay for the game again just to get one disk...

Dark Lord Neo

Calif. taxpayers subsidize Wal-Mart workers, study finds
Michael Liedtke
Associated Press
Aug. 3, 2004 08:18 AM

SAN FRANCISCO - Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s employee wages and benefits policies cost California taxpayers $86 million annually to provide health care and other public assistance to the retailer's underpaid workers, according to a new study.

Wal-Mart disputed the study by the University of California Berkeley's Institute for Industrial Relations, contending many of its key findings are badly flawed.

UC Berkeley's analysis, released Monday, is based on the premise that Wal-Mart's paltry pay scale forces the retailer's workers to supplement their incomes with Medicaid, food stamps and other taxpayer-backed assistance programs at an unusually high rate.

The study estimated Wal-Mart employs roughly 44,000 California workers who make an average of $9.70 per hour - 31 percent below the $14.01-per-hour average of other large retailers with at least 1,000 employees. The study calculated Wal-Mart's wages using 2001 payroll figures disclosed in a sex discrimination lawsuit against the retailer.

But Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart said the study's job and wage estimates for California are outdated. The world's largest retailer employs 60,500 California workers who are paid an average of $10.37 per hour, said Wal-Mart spokeswoman Cynthia Lin.

"The (study's) conclusions are questionable because they are based on faulty assumptions," she said.

California taxpayers contribute an average of $1,952 per Wal-Mart worker - 39 percent more than the average public assistance cost of $1,401 per worker at other large retailers with at least 1,000 employees, the study concluded.

"People understand the benefits of Wal-Mart - they have lower prices," said Arindrajit Dube, a research economist who co-authored the study. "What might not be obvious is those low prices are fed by taxpayer-funded compensation."

Wal-Mart rejected that notion, maintaining its wages are similar to those of its rivals. And the company said 90 percent of its workers have health insurance - either through the company or coverage provided by the employer of a spouse or parent. Wal-Mart also employs many elderly workers eligible for Medicare, the federal health insurance for senior citizens.

Great Rumbler
Nice one, DLN. :) *points to only partially deleted post*

A Black Falcon
:D ... the advantages of being an admin? :)

A Black Falcon
DLN's article there does show one of the big arguements against extremely low wages, though. It only benefits the corporate profits. It is extremely bad for the workers, and bad for the people who shop there because a lot of them are probably people who don't make much and if they did they would be in better shape for sure... the only reason against decent wages is that it means Wal-Mart will make less money.

As for expansion, I think they're already just about everywhere...

Dark Lord Neo
I know you guys can see deleted posts, but I logged in with the wrong account so i changed it

A Black Falcon
Not if you completely delete (as in the other delete option, that erases it from the server) posts... :)