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(Salon)   The Complete Idiot's Guide to Wal-Mart's Black Friday Showdown, which pits low-wage workers against greedy management and owners   (salon.com) divider line 370
    More: PSA, Wal-Mart, picket lines, forced labour, North Jersey, unfair labor practice, cover letters  
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12435 clicks; posted to Main » on 20 Nov 2012 at 10:30 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-21 11:13:53 PM

Summoner101: Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: EmmaLou: As a taxpayer, i don't feel like i should foot the bill for Walmart employees that have to be on welfare just to get by even though they work. Pay your people a living wage for fark's sake.

This. It's obscene that we live in a developed nation and many of our full-time workers can survive on their wages alone. There's something very, very wrong with a society where you can work full-time and not break even.

What compounds the problem is that people have come to some agreement that unions are unnecessary because of state/federal laws except many of the anti-labor business practices Walmart employs would take a union to combat.


That, and once the unions are out of the way, down go the state/federal laws, and we're back to the turn of last century again.
 
2012-11-21 11:16:28 PM

Vector R: As someone who has BT;DT - yes, the working conditions ARE that bad. It's better than nothing, but it's so degrading and soul-crushing, and is the sort of job that just keeps you awake at night long after you've thrown that farking vest somewhere out of sight.


See, the thing is, we're at a tipping point. If enough people decide that starving is better than working where they are...especially if they all come to that realization at the same time...then there might be some real change effected.
 
2012-11-21 11:21:11 PM
clowncar on fire: You can't take a man's wealth through disproportionate taxation- justify it any way you want-- it's still stealing.

So, now paying someone a living wage, so they don't need the tax dollars you already aren't paying them either way = "disproportionate taxation"?
 
2012-11-21 11:22:20 PM

Propain_az: rikkitikkitavi: So, I'm kinda torn on this one... on one hand, I'm for the workers. Thanksgiving Day ought to be sacred enough that everyone has it off, or to some extent. I think most grocery stores are open some, and gas stations... but to force workers to come in at ungodly hours to work a National holiday is ridiculous.

Then, I'm somewhat on the Walmart side, and that is this is business. And if Walmart isn't open, someone else is. And if the workers don't like it, then get a different job that isn't a shiatty retail schlep-chore. I'm sure there are plenty of people that would like that job.

You have brought the voice of reason to this thread.


No, he's brought the fallacy of the mean to this thread.
 
2012-11-21 11:23:35 PM

IlGreven: And therefore, they should only work that wage forever and ever, till the end of time. Even asking for one cent more should get them fired...no, EXECUTED!

/STOP. BLAMING. THE WORKERS.


The Republican Party pays individuals to insert "conservative thinking" onto message boards. Is it possible that the anti-worker sentiments prevalent in threads on this subject and the recent Hostess bankruptcy threads may be related to this? I mean, the vitriol is of an unusually harsh nature, even for the politics tab, and flies in the face of convincing hard evidence.

I'm not just seeing this on Fark, I'm also seeing it on other sites that don't favor one side or the other, and it is to be expected on the right-wing blogs. How in the world do people look at the verified reports of the way Wal-Mart treats its workers, and believe it is the workers' fault for "agreeing" to be treated this way? Do they believe Wal-Mart workers actually agreed to these conditions? Do they believe the Wal-Mart employees reporting this kind of treatment are lying? I don't get it.
 
2012-11-21 11:24:39 PM

Summoner101: sid2112: Summoner101: sid2112: Yeah because those workers had no idea what they were getting into when they SIGNED THE CONTRACT as they were hired by WalMart. I feel so terrible for those poor, duped bastards that wanted nothing more than 20 dollars an hour for doing a job that is worth around 6 dollars an hour. Seriously, my heart is bleeding for the people who got employed, signed a contract that clearly states what the expectations of the job were, and decided to fark off in school instead of actually trying to learn something.

Somewhere a fiddle is playing....

So what happens when Walmart breaks their end of this grand ole bargain? Tough shiat, they're the employee?

Show one instance where they have done that, just one. You won't find it because it never happened!

One instance ever? Well that was easy.


It's a Triangle Shirtwaist waiting to happen...in every city in the nation.
 
2012-11-21 11:25:15 PM

IlGreven: /Yes, that is what the argument has boiled down to.


When you distill it down to its most basic form, every argument of this type can be summed up "You weren't born rich."

Can't get a good job? Get an education.
Can't afford an education? Should have worked harder in school and gotten scholarships or internships.
Went to a bad school system and missed out? You should have been born rich!
 
2012-11-21 11:28:38 PM

IlGreven: That, and once the unions are out of the way, down go the state/federal laws, and we're back to the turn of last century again.


You mean, like this year's official Republican Party platform position of abolishing the minimum wage on American soil?
 
2012-11-21 11:29:15 PM

ox45tallboy: IlGreven: And therefore, they should only work that wage forever and ever, till the end of time. Even asking for one cent more should get them fired...no, EXECUTED!

/STOP. BLAMING. THE WORKERS.

The Republican Party pays individuals to insert "conservative thinking" onto message boards. Is it possible that the anti-worker sentiments prevalent in threads on this subject and the recent Hostess bankruptcy threads may be related to this? I mean, the vitriol is of an unusually harsh nature, even for the politics tab, and flies in the face of convincing hard evidence.

I'm not just seeing this on Fark, I'm also seeing it on other sites that don't favor one side or the other, and it is to be expected on the right-wing blogs. How in the world do people look at the verified reports of the way Wal-Mart treats its workers, and believe it is the workers' fault for "agreeing" to be treated this way? Do they believe Wal-Mart workers actually agreed to these conditions? Do they believe the Wal-Mart employees reporting this kind of treatment are lying? I don't get it.


It's dangerous to post alone. Take this.

1.bp.blogspot.com
 
2012-11-21 11:31:54 PM

Sergeant Grumbles: When you distill it down to its most basic form, every argument of this type can be summed up "You weren't born rich."

Can't get a good job? Get an education.
Can't afford an education? Should have worked harder in school and gotten scholarships or internships.
Went to a bad school system and missed out? You should have been born rich!


Other people are hungry, and willing to endure the type of abuse you currently endure, therefore it is morally acceptable for Wal-Mart to treat you this way and you should be thankful for the salary they deem fit to bestow upon you. Farking ingrates. Wal-Mart employees need to learn their place! They can't be allowed to think they are as good as real Americans! The whole social order would fall apart!
 
2012-11-21 11:37:26 PM

AverageAmericanGuy: It's dangerous to post alone. Take this.


Ha! Aluminum does NOTHING to block the G-rays! If you would have done your research, you would know with the latest technology used by the CIA and the GOP-controlled U.N. who really runs FEMA, a Faraday cage capable of preventing access by the mind control devices requires a steel mesh over ceramic with a copper bare earth ground!

Amateur!
 
2012-11-21 11:38:20 PM

ox45tallboy: AverageAmericanGuy: It's dangerous to post alone. Take this.

Ha! Aluminum does NOTHING to block the G-rays! If you would have done your research, you would know with the latest technology used by the CIA and the GOP-controlled U.N. who really runs FEMA, a Faraday cage capable of preventing access by the mind control devices requires a steel mesh over ceramic with a copper bare earth ground!

Amateur!


You can't fool me, spook.
 
2012-11-21 11:38:26 PM

ox45tallboy: GreenSun: Nobody is forced to work for Walmart. Before you sign up for any job, they tell you how much you'll get paid and all the terms. In the end, it's up to you whether or not you'll take what they offer or not. If you sign up for it, then you can't really complain

See, this is what so many people actually believe, but it is simply not true. No one has stuck a gun to my sister's head and "forced" her to work at Wal-Mart. It's simply pretty much the only job available in this town, because since Wal-Mart put in, several other small businesses went out of business.

And yes, my sister was given "terms" of her employment. Terms including "if you work 32+ hours per week, you are a full-time employee and you get benefits." Terms including "if you work more than your scheduled shift at the request of management, you will receive time-and-a-half overtime. Terms including "you will not be required to show up at work without being on the clock."

Don't act like you know more than other people about something like this. Wal-Mart is not honoring their own agreements, and this is why most of the employees are upset. They have every right to be. Wal-Mart executive management knows that their employees are dependent on their jobs and can't "just quit". They know how much of an upheaval it is to an entire family's schedule if Mom quits and since the family has only one car and Mom suddenly is working at a different time they have to make new arrangements to get the kids to school.

Wal-Mart takes advantage of people in these kinds of situations, and makes craploads of money off of them. I'm sorry, but whatever line you've been fed about Wal-Mart employees is a bunch of bull, and if you would make a stab at a little bit of empathy, you might understand things a bit better and not sound so arrogant and uninformed.


...see, if my employer tried to rein me in with "We can fire you at any time" or some such, my first instinct is to save them the trouble and quit. But then, I have no dependents to tether me to a job, either.
 
2012-11-21 11:44:25 PM

IlGreven: ...see, if my employer tried to rein me in with "We can fire you at any time" or some such, my first instinct is to save them the trouble and quit. But then, I have no dependents to tether me to a job, either.


Precisely. And, by giving a little bit of preference to hiring those with dependents, Wal-Mart can ensure employee loyalty despite horrible treatment. People with kids who work at Wal-Mart simply cannot afford to quit, or they would have done so already.
 
2012-11-21 11:46:20 PM

ox45tallboy: Sergeant Grumbles: When you distill it down to its most basic form, every argument of this type can be summed up "You weren't born rich."

Can't get a good job? Get an education.
Can't afford an education? Should have worked harder in school and gotten scholarships or internships.
Went to a bad school system and missed out? You should have been born rich!

Other people are hungry, and willing to endure the type of abuse you currently endure, therefore it is morally acceptable for Wal-Mart to treat you this way and you should be thankful for the salary they deem fit to bestow upon you. Farking ingrates. Wal-Mart employees need to learn their place! They can't be allowed to think they are as good as real Americans! The whole social order would fall apart!


There are starving children in Africa that would eat that crap! You better eat it or go hungry!

/Okay, you can sleep to the lullaby of my stomach growling, biatch!
 
2012-11-22 12:25:41 AM

IlGreven: There are starving children in Africa that would eat that crap! You better eat it or go hungry!


I suggested that my mom send my Brussels Sprouts to the starving kids in Africa once. She was not amused.
 
2012-11-22 08:52:35 AM
Free-market capitalism (which, despite what one thinks, hasn't been tried save -maybe- in Texas). The problem is too many people want their "freebies" from the backs of people. If all goes as the state would like, the good doctors would be driving in Pintos, while the bad doctors still have a job.

I feel like your response is one part idealism and another part oversimplification.

First of all, the 'state' isn't an actual thinking thing. It truly is a headless entity (despite having a head of state) that doesn't move deliberately towards one particular configuration. Needless to say, it is a complex system full of difficult to model parts - perhaps some that cannot actually be modeled. The "state" doesn't "want" doctors to drive Pintos or to keep bad doctors. Corrupt people within the state may want this, but you can't use corruption as an argument for or against any system because corruption is a result of power and every system you could advocate for will inevitably converge towards a position where few have managed to acquire power over many. In my opinion there is little to be gained by trying to advocate for systems that don't acknowledge this, and the only way we can go forward with progress as a species is to make decisions that deliberately acknowledge this and work through it.

When it comes to free-market capitalism, I have to ask: What is the incentive to better society? Even if you make a fairly compelling argument (and, I think most people now feel like the argument fails to acknowledge decades of history) as to why it would -- this is usually something along the lines of competition makes everyone fight to provide you with better things, so you end up getting to choose from a better and better pool of goods and services and that drives innovation and health and prosperity -- I make the argument that the other configuration, the one we're seeing now, will still happen: competition inherently means winners and losers. In the game of enterprise, winners tend to grow, losers are consumed or absorbed. With each iteration, the barrier to entry becomes greater meaning it's less likely that an honest, hard-working person with a "good idea" will actually be able to take on the winners and enact change. Consider the case of Wal-Mart, where they can operate at a loss for such a long time that they could drive out any small but otherwise competitive business. What this means is that it becomes a game of kings, of titans, where 99.99% of the population of the planet have no way of really participating in the game and can only show up to work.

Now you may say, what is the matter with that so long as our benevolent corporate overlords provide us with a good, slowly increasing in quality, life? I guess nothing, I mean, I don't care about the philosophical aspects of freedom, I can appreciate that all other systems have been disasterous when implemented and as far as the animal kingdom goes we can enjoy a hell of a lot more safety, stablity and peace of mind than any other organsims. But that's not what's happening. While you make accusations that the government, the state, intends to keep bad doctors and pay everyone poorly, the reality is that the absolute definition of a for-profit entity is that it must seek out as much profit as possible. There is absolutely no such thing as a corporation saying "Oh, we've made enough profit already this year." - now how do they do this? They do this by charging as much as they can get away with (until it prohibatively reduces their sales in such a way that it outweighs the extra profit) as well a reducing their costs: which, for most things either directly or indirectly, is wages. So the system has a completely intrinsic state of stress between trying to charge more and pay people less which means they can't afford to pay more. The only reason the system doesn't come flying apart due to that simple stress (which is entirely placed on those that show up to work and actually produce) is because there are still enough entities in existence that they compete with each other and people quit and go work elsewhere. But this again is competition - which means winners and losers. But that's a separate competition: The winners/losers of the corporate word are not the same thing as the winners/losers of the employed world. Wal-Mart is a corporate "winner" but the people that work there are the employment "losers", and the reason we have Wal-Mart is because people want to pay less for more and we seem to be OK with the idea of treating the people that work there poorly (in a way that we would never want to be treated) - because it's not our problem. It will be, some day, when you're downsized or outsourced or whatever, but it's not your problem now.

I don't adore the state. I don't think the government is infalleable or perfect or even "good". But they lack the one thing that makes me feel they are the lesser of two evils: the profit motive. I think that this is a better starting position, and with the right set of tools: total transparency (open source software through all of government, complete public record of all conversations, and so on), total accountability (more local government, the ability to evict politicans from their positions with ease, no lobbying or money in it), etc. we can achieve something that does a better job. I don't think anyone, no matter how state-aligned, has ever thought that the government should not be afraid of its citizens. It's not a blank cheque, it's not an OK to be wasteful. Those are real issues that need to be addressed, but how can you go from "stop being wasteful" to "make a bunch of profit" and think it's going to benefit you, the average joe?
 
2012-11-23 01:06:56 PM

Dinjiin: Strike, baby, strike.

Wal-Mart is just one giant bundle of corporate welfare. They often get tax subsidies for opening new stores. Many of their employees qualify for low-income support programs like food stamps, Medicaid, subsidized housing and busing. I doubt the tax subsidies are going anywhere, but I would like to see their employees paid better.


In short, there's a fair number of studies that say we are going to pay for it somewhere. Either in taxes or higher prices.

IMHO, getting people off the government teat and giving them a better lifestyle will help our economy more than cheaper stuff.
 
2012-11-23 01:24:56 PM

Arumat: CSB time.
I worked a month and a half seasonal position at Wal-Mart while I was attending college part-time. I had evening classes on Tuesday and Thursday, and not only was that listed on my application, but I brought it up again in the interview just to be certain. I was hired, and did my job well. The second week, I was scheduled to work evenings on both Tuesday and Thursday. I spoke with the personnel manager who was in charge of the scheduling, and she told me that there was nothing she could do about it. I spoke to the store manager, and within half an hour my schedule was changed. The next week rolls around, and I'm AGAIN scheduled on Tuesday and Thursday evening. I spoke to the personnel manager again, and she told me she couldn't fix it. I spoke to the store manager, and my schedule was fixed again. Finally after that, I stopped being scheduled on nights I couldn't work, but was passed over for a permanent hiring for a guy who royally screwed up changing a display (he put more expensive televisions there before changing the price, so 3 tvs were sold at $150 that should have cost $250). Fast forward 7 years, and I'm out of the Air Force. It's harder finding a job than I expected, so I apply at Wal-Mart to get at least some income while I hunt for a better opportunity. I get turned down even though I'm willing to work for the normal starting pay with wide open availability. I ask a friend who works management at a store in a different area to check things out for me, and it turns out the fat whore of a personnel manager had left a note in my employee profile that I was a trouble-maker and unreliable.
/CSB


That's the problem working with corporations like this, you get these managers that think they are hot shiat for making 35k a year and act like little dictators over the store.

Given the amount of stores, etc it's really hard to control and get reliable information.

I worked for McDonald's as a teenager and shiat happened all the time. I swear this one fat biatch changed my schedule around a few times to make me come in earlier because I lived nearby. A bunch of other sneaky ass shiat went on as well, along with ignoring some labor laws as well.
 
2012-11-23 11:04:56 PM

shortymac: In short, there's a fair number of studies that say we are going to pay for it somewhere. Either in taxes or higher prices.

IMHO, getting people off the government teat and giving them a better lifestyle will help our economy more than cheaper stuff.


The money will wind up with the rich people anyhow; the more stops it makes along the way, the better off society in general is.
 
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