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(Guardian)   Empowered by the Hostess strike, the Black Friday Walmart strike begins early   (guardian.co.uk) divider line 635
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18435 clicks; posted to Main » on 18 Nov 2012 at 4:16 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-19 01:35:15 AM
One of the few Walmarts outside China to unionize, in St-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada, actually lost its union after the employees (you can imagine there's still quite a bit of turnover after a year or two) voted to remove it.

Union and store got into arbitration for the first workers' agreement. Basically, higher pay, basic insurance (medical is universal here) but most of that raise taken by the union dues. The store stuck to the letter to the agreement, with barely any flexibility in scheduling, promotions, etc.
An employee got ¾ of the store to sign a removal form. National union made personal attacks against her, but obviously they had lost.

Minimum wage jobs are not the unions' priorities, mostly because they can't collect much money than someone making twice as much in a shop. Also, the turnover is too high. Did they get over that "Let's unionize all fast food joints" phase in the States ?
Around here they went for the convenience stores, president of one of the chains made one public statement about this, about how it would make many stores unprofitable, and he got sued under workers' laws. Because yes, around here, the bosses aren't allowed to make private statements (or open ones) to the employees against the union.
 
2012-11-19 01:39:49 AM
Unions. Workers. Management. Corporate whores. It's all politics. Politics is the art of saying who gets what share of today's elk kill without having to go out and actually shoot an elk. And we just keep feeding these motherf*ckers. *sigh*
 
2012-11-19 02:00:08 AM

Weaver95: basemetal: And in other news, WalMart is now hiring.

wal-mart's problem is that they've started to realize that they cannot actually fire their entire work force without it affecting their bottom line. turns out that even the min wage slaves play an important part in the business cycle.


The problem is, yes they can. The non-management jobs require about ten minutes of training, and they hire and fire people like there's no tomorrow. I mean seriously, have you ever met a non-manager at Walmart that actually knew where an item was? This is partly the fault of Walmart. They established a company model where the lower tiers of workers are easily replaced within the same day. Granted, the customer service suffers, but who goes to Walmart for customer service?

The strikes will just amount to a lot of folks getting fired and nothing happening. It'd be nice if the strikes actually accomplished something, but I doubt it will.
 
2012-11-19 02:04:42 AM
This will be my first Black Friday in four years that I'm not working. You're damn right I'm planning on spending the day NOT GOING ANYWHERE.
 
2012-11-19 02:43:34 AM
Holy shiat, so this means I might actually be able to get some Christmas shopping done without having to encounter any of the drooling mongoloids that Wal-Mart takes pity on and employees? Awesome. Self-checkout here I come.
 
2012-11-19 02:53:55 AM

BarkingUnicorn: squirrelflavoredyogurt: EVERYBODY PANIC: 2 - "Everyone's homeless and starving because..."
Nobody is starving. You say everybody is starving, but I don't know even one person who has starved to death in my life. Please return to reality. You are smarter than this. Prove it. Please

You don't know anyone who has starved so that means it doesn't happen? I don't know anyone who's been murdered I guess murder doesn't happen either.

Link

World life expectancy shows a death by malnutrition rate in America of 1 per 100,000. Sure that's a mere 33ish people a year, but why the hell is anyone starving in America? 

China's rate is 1.2 per 100,000 and they have 3-4 times as many people, less farmable land, and far less technology used in producing and distribution of food.

Try 3,300-ish.


A 9/11 every year.
 
2012-11-19 02:56:34 AM

Lee Jackson Beauregard: A 9/11 every year.


No, you communist, unpatriotic bolshevik... THAT'S not a holocaust or a disaster because nobody lost any MONEY! Get a brain!
 
2012-11-19 04:45:27 AM

untaken_name: Don't the executives at Wal-Mart understand that the world owes things to people?


well the executives act like they're owed everything...

BarkingUnicorn: I pay you an extra dollar. You spend it in my store. I get 4 cents profit (that's Walmart's profit margin). Lovely.


The important part is that dollar represents an extra dollar of revenues. You want as many of those dollars as possible. Easiest way to get more of them, is to pay your employees more.
 
2012-11-19 07:25:25 AM

EVERYBODY PANIC: liam76: The only reason people will work at those wages is that the govt is subsidizing them.

So, if we can just get the govenment to stop subsidizing the Wal*Mart employees, they will all finally just up and quit and go get real jobs? Just, cool man! What a boon that would be, huh? Millions of unhappy, unappreciated and underpaid folks would finally become motivated to go do something better. Humanity would be enhanced, the sun would shine more brightly and universal happiness might ensue.

But the evil government keeps holding down the pitiable Wal*Marters, making life slightly tolerable for them, lulling them to sleep with wads of free cash. Damn them to hell! I say (based on the sentence above) that government assistance should be withheld from the oppressed Wal*Mart employees. The term "Starving the out" never had a more correct application.


Might want to work on reading things in context.

The govt, by having to financially assist many Wal-Mart workers, is subsidizing them. Wal-Mart shoudl be paying them so this isn't the case.

I am not saying cut govt support, I am saying don't let Wal-Mart profit off thsoe govt subsidies.

freewill: liam76: 2- I would say that is BS. I have a pretty sweet job and normally do 40 hrs, more than that gets overtime. My previous job I often pulled down 50-90 hour work weeks, now way Iwoudl have put up with that if I wasn't raking in the cash. Anyway my point is if you are working more than 40hours a week you should be getting more than a living wage.

I'm not so sure that I agree with this, because while I understand that many jobs definitely call for a 40-hour-workweek and in those cases it's absolutely true, I'm not sure it's a reasonable assumption that a "living wage" (depending on what, exactly, that is) will always come from working 40 hours a week. The job may just not work that way, because not everybody is doing shift work that they can drop at a fixed time and pick up at another fixed time.

Mine doesn't, and as for it being BS, I literally don't know anyone in a skilled position who can expect to walk away clean at 5 every day. There are weekend emergencies, late night ideas, working late to finish something up, surprise deadlines, and while sometimes it can be the result of mismanagement, it's also a natural part of any growing business. That's part of the different between a skilled worker and somebody working the cash register for minimum wage.


I think you misunderstood my "BS" part. If you are doing work above and beyone 40hrs, regardless of what skill level it is you should be making more than a living wage.

As I said before now I am hourly, but often work overtime (aviation engineering). My former job was in the oil business. I got a base salary, and got bonuses for each job. Nto a direct hourly compensation, but on weeks where I was working 80 hours, I was doing a lot more (or more complicated) "jobs" and got paid more.



3- Enough to support a wife and raise a kid, with no real frills.

I think the idea that an unskilled laborer (and here, we're often talking about employees who, in a pinch, could be replaced by touch screens) should be able to provide food and shelter for 3 people by working 40 hours a week is fabulously optimistic.


I am not saying they be paid that much first week on the job, but I don't think that is unreasonable.



clowncar on fire: "they should be willing to pay them enough to live"- It would be nice but pay is damand based rather than need based. We all want more money- we all don't necessarily possess the skills that are in demand enough that perspective employers are willing to compete for those skills.


I can't really support that race to the bottom mentality. You may not want the bar where I do, but I am sure you can agree that there should be some bare minimium.
 
2012-11-19 07:52:49 AM

jst3p: Silly Jesus: red5ish: Silly Jesus: Have you given thought to the fact that your real problem may be with our welfare system rather than Wal*Mart?

Yes, I did think about that. I came to the conclusion, and so will you, that without government assistance Walmart's employees would be so impoverished they would be homeless or starving or both, so the problem goes back to Walmart's business practices.

So no personal responsibility whatsoever on the part of the person with no skills or discernible value other than breathing?

Lets say you are correct and they have no skills or value, your solution is what? Let them starve? There will always be a segment of the population that can not provide for themselves. How do you propose we deal with them?


There's a good phrase: Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, you feed him for life.

I say create more jobs that actually provide On-the-Job training. Grant you they might not make another Da Vinci, but I'm sure teaching someone how to make something, even in repetition, makes for a better and more stable employee, and the cost of OJT is minimal. The problem is college degrees are becoming the next High School diploma, where it's a basic requirement for many jobs.
 
2012-11-19 08:13:52 AM

Ed_Severson: IlGreven: I'm guessing Wal-Mart does not use the meritocracy model the supermarket you worked at does. Otherwise, the workers would be happy rather than pissed off.

Of course they do. When you have 500 labor hours to spend per week and you have 25 employees who all want 40 hours, supply is low and demand is high. The hours will go to the most reliable employees, and whatever's left over will be distributed among the rest.


That's just it: Wal-Mart won't give employees 40 hours, because then they'd have to make them full-time employees, with the new guarantees of healthcare, etc. therein.
 
2012-11-19 08:18:36 AM

Gunderson: One of the downsides of paying your workers crap is that you get crap in return. Employees just flat out don't give a fark. Employee theft goes through the roof, workers call in sick often, people work while they're "Chemically Enhanced", etc. All these cost companies millions in lost revenue, productive and training expenses. On top of that, the best workers will leave at the first sign of a better opportunity, leaving the place staffed with the 'slugs'.

By just paying people a few dollars/hour more and taking care of their workers, a company can actually get a positive return on their labor investments.


Again, the average CEO today never looks at the "benefit" side of a cost/benefit analyisis; thus, they never even see how happy employees benefit their operations. If you make too much, your hours are cut, or you're laid off (or "asked" to retire) at the first opportunity. And if you dare to fight back, it's you who are the problem, not the CEO who never looks at the "benefit" side of a cost/benefit analysis.
 
2012-11-19 08:28:21 AM

WhyteRaven74: ronaprhys: most make poor choices.

no one should be relegated to depending on welfare while working any substantial amount of hours a week because of poor choices. We're better than telling people "You farked up, now suffer while I mock you". Or at least I am.


Absolutely dead wrong. I'm all for people giving people 2nd and 3rd chances, working to educate them on how the world actually works (not some fantasy world with a safety net that catches you, or where you're guaranteed a job, etc). There are and should be consequences to actions. If you step off a cliff, you fall. Gravity. If you spend too much time in the sun, you get sunburned. If you make choices that limit your career options, then you get to live with that. If you want to sacrifice and better your life, then I've no problem with society supporting that (mostly morally - outside of a HS education, our subsidization of college education is doing nothing but driving the costs through the roof). That makes things better - but only when people are willing to sacrifice to get there.
 
2012-11-19 08:37:16 AM

justoneznot: Just thought I'd add: we've all worked shiatty jobs in our lives. If you're going to work a shiat job, then that's the decision you took, you knew that going in. We've all been there. But you don't take a job scraping shiat all day long, and then 2 months into it decide that it's a shiatty job with shiatty pay. It was in the job description and you knew the pay upfront. If Walmart is so beneath you, then quit. You can't work at Walmart and then pretend like you're above working at Walmart. You're not fooling anyone. You're not skilled labor, you just pass items by a scanner all day long, something a trained monkey can do. I've been a cashier myself, and I had no illusions about the value of my work at that talentless position. It is what it is, and it kept me afloat until I found something better. It's time for a reality check for these idiots that think menial labor is somehow worth $50,000.


And therefore, even trying to change Wal-Mart's ways makes you the bad guy.

/yourenothelping.jpg
 
2012-11-19 09:36:49 AM

jshine: XveryYpettyZ: The central story of the United States is the idea that if you work hard, sacrifice, delay gratification, save and live frugally, in the end you will get ahead and your children will have an opportunity at a better life. Wal Mart, and other stores of their ilk, make a mockery of that ideal by having full-time employees still on public assistance. What is popularly railed-against as lazy people taking advantage of the system is often more a form of corporate welfare than one that benefits the individuals collecting the checks/food stamps/WIC vouchers, etc.

Maybe its the labor market saying "there are too many workers"? I mean, if an employer can offer $x/hr and someone is willing to take it, that fact must have some meaning other than "the employer is evil".


Except it's $X/hr from Walmart plus $Y a month from the government. Walmart just figured out it could externalize some of its labor costs.
 
2012-11-19 09:44:23 AM
If you have a job from a multi-billion dollar, multinational concern that advises you to apply for food stamp cards and Medicaid, you may as well be working for Joe's Sidewalk Cleaning and Poop Removal because, if the past behaviors of most corporate monoliths are any sort of prologue, they're just gonna keep wringing you dry and taking home the gravy, whereas Joe might actually give you a raise if business picks up.
 
2012-11-19 10:02:29 AM
The likely solution to US economic and social woes: Maximum Wage and Basic Income.

It's in society's best interest to look after *everyone* and to prevent individuals from amassing too much power over the rest of society.
 
2012-11-19 10:31:47 AM

Xenomech: The likely solution to US economic and social woes: Maximum Wage and Basic Income.

It's in society's best interest to look after *everyone* and to prevent individuals from amassing too much power over the rest of society.


It precisely the unbridled greed that many men have to hold that sway over society and it's leaders, and hand it down to their progeny like so much family dinnerware, that promulgates all of this "THAT'S COMMUNISM!" crap and constant pissing and moaning about "libruls hate success" that rattle around the political political arena like so many bags of broken crockery.

Here's a plan. If you get 10,000,000.00 ahead the game, you automatically get to retire, start another business, or just sip mojitos and, once you books have been audited and you're proven to have made it honestly, turn it over to the next cat who, upon hitting that mark, also retires. You get an official "Job Creator" medal from the gummint, a watch and some brass plaque for your den.

The system works, capitalist engines remain robust in their service to society, nobody starves, nobody buys congressmen like so many bags of candy, hard work and ingenuity are rewarded, and opportunity isn't just something billionaires have to try and say with a straight face, anymore.
 
2012-11-19 10:51:10 AM
Essentially, it's time to stop mopping up Mr. Creosote's vomit and watch the old pig esplode.

blog.art21.org
 
2012-11-19 11:08:23 AM
As a former Wal-Mart employee who now makes more in a day than I did in two weeks, I'm getting a kick out of this whole situation.

I quit to find a better job. Had to move and sacrifice to do it, but thems the breaks.

/no sympathy for the "strikers". They knew the situation goin in. It's just like teachers that start biatching about low pay and long hours. IT WASN'T A SECRET BEFORE YOU HIRED ON!!!!!
 
2012-11-19 11:10:55 AM

kendelrio: As a former Wal-Mart employee who now makes more in a day than I did in two weeks, I'm getting a kick out of this whole situation.

I quit to find a better job. Had to move and sacrifice to do it, but thems the breaks.

/no sympathy for the "strikers". They knew the situation goin in. It's just like teachers that start biatching about low pay and long hours. IT WASN'T A SECRET BEFORE YOU HIRED ON!!!!!


So, if they can strike and get better wages, why not? Again, all of these businesses have the options to FIRE EVERYONE and rehire or close down like Hostess did ... may I ask why unions are so successful? Maybe because they've found the weakness in the American business model- that labor, while exploited, is expensive to retrain and re-amass once lost ....

Why are you so pissy that those mandated raises and benefits are cheaper than re-training thousands of people?
 
2012-11-19 11:31:55 AM

seadoo2006: kendelrio: As a former Wal-Mart employee who now makes more in a day than I did in two weeks, I'm getting a kick out of this whole situation.

I quit to find a better job. Had to move and sacrifice to do it, but thems the breaks.

/no sympathy for the "strikers". They knew the situation goin in. It's just like teachers that start biatching about low pay and long hours. IT WASN'T A SECRET BEFORE YOU HIRED ON!!!!!

So, if they can strike and get better wages, why not? Again, all of these businesses have the options to FIRE EVERYONE and rehire or close down like Hostess did ... may I ask why unions are so successful? Maybe because they've found the weakness in the American business model- that labor, while exploited, is expensive to retrain and re-amass once lost ....

Why are you so pissy that those mandated raises and benefits are cheaper than re-training thousands of people?


Because the main phrase in a union shop is "Not my job". That's bullshiat. I worked for a short while for the Daily News in New Jersey. It a union shop. The issue I have is the shiattiest worker makes the same as the best worker. There is no incentive to excel. Also, coming in the door I was handed my card and in the "Chairmans Chapel" and making the same amount of money as someone who been there 30 years. fark that. Give me a chance to succeed and get rid of dead weight.
 
2012-11-19 11:38:00 AM

kendelrio: seadoo2006: kendelrio: As a former Wal-Mart employee who now makes more in a day than I did in two weeks, I'm getting a kick out of this whole situation.

I quit to find a better job. Had to move and sacrifice to do it, but thems the breaks.

/no sympathy for the "strikers". They knew the situation goin in. It's just like teachers that start biatching about low pay and long hours. IT WASN'T A SECRET BEFORE YOU HIRED ON!!!!!

So, if they can strike and get better wages, why not? Again, all of these businesses have the options to FIRE EVERYONE and rehire or close down like Hostess did ... may I ask why unions are so successful? Maybe because they've found the weakness in the American business model- that labor, while exploited, is expensive to retrain and re-amass once lost ....

Why are you so pissy that those mandated raises and benefits are cheaper than re-training thousands of people?

Because the main phrase in a union shop is "Not my job". That's bullshiat. I worked for a short while for the Daily News in New Jersey. It a union shop. The issue I have is the shiattiest worker makes the same as the best worker. There is no incentive to excel. Also, coming in the door I was handed my card and in the "Chairmans Chapel" and making the same amount of money as someone who been there 30 years. fark that. Give me a chance to succeed and get rid of dead weight.


Sounds like you have an issue with the business owner then ... there's no such thing as a "union shop" only businesses where the owners/management have agreed to the terms of the union. They are still free to fire every last one of them and start over from scratch ... the business OWNERS just choose not to. Sounds to me like the "not my job" mentality works for them and their profits just fine.
 
2012-11-19 12:59:47 PM

Spirit Hammer: meme now


haha! well done
 
2012-11-19 01:07:01 PM

Weaver95: basemetal: And in other news, WalMart is now hiring.

wal-mart's problem is that they've started to realize that they cannot actually fire their entire work force without it affecting their bottom line. turns out that even the min wage slaves play an important part in the business cycle.


What, additional impulse buy fodder?
 
2012-11-19 01:08:08 PM
I bought all our Christmas gifts online this year. Not a single visit to a physical store was made. I managed to get everything I wanted, in stock, and free shipping. No ship-to-store BS, where I have to have a driver's license, blood sample and proof of purchase to pick it up, nor any backorder/layaway crap.

I don't know how Wal-Mart is nationwide but in Michigan (not Detroit - it's important to make that distinction, as there are many high-scale, safe communities in the outlying areas) it's deplorable. Ginormous super Wal-Marts with nothing in stock, poorly organized and designed, 25 check lanes with 5 checkers. And I'm talking turtle-speed checkers who don't give a shiat. And I get it. WM jobs have no security. There's no union, no incentives to be a better employee, much less establish a career there.
 
2012-11-19 04:34:13 PM

red5ish: Silly Jesus: red5ish: DrewCurtisJr: I'm saying it is irrelevant because even if the government didn't subsidize the healthcare and food stamps of its employees the wages would be the same, the employees would just be more miserable. The wages are more of a reflection of the conditions of the labor market, when a Walmart opens 5k people apply for 400 positions. Without any leverage wages aren't going to improve.

Would they be more miserable or would they be homeless and/or starving? That aside, it is relevant because a business model which depends on their workforce receiving public assistance is not a viable business model in a free market.

It's not? Have you seen their profits?

I'm saying that they are not operating in a free market; they are being subsidized. You and I, as taxpayers, are subsidizing Walmart. Those profits you mention are, in part, thanks to your hard work.


That makes no sense whatsoever. What evidence do you have that Wal*Mart would be paying their employees any more if Obamabucks didn't exist?

And as I've said before. These workers are the lowest of the low. The only place lower that they can go is being 100% on Obamabucks. By working at Wal*Mart they are only, say, 50% on Obamabucks. Wal*Mart is subsidizing Obamabucks, not the other way around. If it weren't for Wal*Mart, these people would be 100% on the government's teat.
 
2012-11-19 04:37:07 PM

jst3p: Silly Jesus: red5ish: Silly Jesus: Have you given thought to the fact that your real problem may be with our welfare system rather than Wal*Mart?

Yes, I did think about that. I came to the conclusion, and so will you, that without government assistance Walmart's employees would be so impoverished they would be homeless or starving or both, so the problem goes back to Walmart's business practices.

So no personal responsibility whatsoever on the part of the person with no skills or discernible value other than breathing?

Lets say you are correct and they have no skills or value, your solution is what? Let them starve? There will always be a segment of the population that can not provide for themselves. How do you propose we deal with them?


Well, I do like Darwin. But I would never demand that a business act as a charity and give them more than they are worth as it relates to their job function. That's what you are doing. I would prefer private charity to step in...not the forced charity of government. Also, being hungry is a pretty good motivator for innovation and lighting a fire under someone's ass.
 
2012-11-19 04:41:56 PM

OregonVet: I'd like to raise minimum wage to $50


images.encyclopediadramatica.se
 
2012-11-19 04:44:48 PM

Silly Jesus: red5ish: Silly Jesus: red5ish: DrewCurtisJr: I'm saying it is irrelevant because even if the government didn't subsidize the healthcare and food stamps of its employees the wages would be the same, the employees would just be more miserable. The wages are more of a reflection of the conditions of the labor market, when a Walmart opens 5k people apply for 400 positions. Without any leverage wages aren't going to improve.

Would they be more miserable or would they be homeless and/or starving? That aside, it is relevant because a business model which depends on their workforce receiving public assistance is not a viable business model in a free market.

It's not? Have you seen their profits?

I'm saying that they are not operating in a free market; they are being subsidized. You and I, as taxpayers, are subsidizing Walmart. Those profits you mention are, in part, thanks to your hard work.

That makes no sense whatsoever. What evidence do you have that Wal*Mart would be paying their employees any more if Obamabucks didn't exist?

And as I've said before. These workers are the lowest of the low. The only place lower that they can go is being 100% on Obamabucks. By working at Wal*Mart they are only, say, 50% on Obamabucks. Wal*Mart is subsidizing Obamabucks, not the other way around. If it weren't for Wal*Mart, these people would be 100% on the government's teat.


i0.kym-cdn.com
 
2012-11-19 05:12:13 PM
Do people really want to run the risk of getting fired in this economy? I'm sure there are people ready to fill those jobs.
 
2012-11-19 05:25:13 PM

Metetron: Do people really want to run the risk of getting fired in this economy? I'm sure there are people ready to fill those jobs.


It these people had foresight they wouldn't be at Wal*Mart in the first place.
 
2012-11-19 06:35:18 PM
Get a Democratic hack government job. No skills needed, just being a political hack! dumbarses

Link 

michaelgraham.com
 
2012-11-20 12:17:50 AM

GroverCleveland: [i511.photobucket.com image 526x473]

I'm afraid the WalMart will be quite operational when Black Friday arrives


Good... GOOD!!!
 
2012-11-20 12:26:09 AM
I have no sympathy for Walmart in this situation. The Home Office has screwed over a lot of people in recent years. It's not just the store employees. Over the past few years, they've laid off hundreds of domestic IT workers, claiming they were doing it because of the economic slump, at the same time they were bringing in H-1B contractors to Bentonville and sending a lot of their development work off-shore. It's still going on right now.

The store employees don't get paid very well, and we're learning that the deck is stacked against them. If they want to go on strike, I say good for them. If Walmart doesn't like it, maybe they should pack up shop and leave the country. God knows they send enough money and jobs out of the country as it is.

"Made In America" indeed.
 
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