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The Wal-Mart Strikes PostMon Oct 22, 2012 3:26 pm Offline
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Sat Feb 26, 2011 11:41 am3188Elsewhere
Hey everyone. As you may or may not know, there is currently a strike going on against Wal-Mart. It's very small at this point, but I wanted to know what you guys thought about it. Personally, I think workers should ALWAYS have the right to protest against the company if it's mistreating them, especially with a massive corporation like Wal-Mart and the notorious (and well-earned) reputation that it's earned. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/0 ... 51867.html
Can't we all just get along?
Re: The Wal-Mart Strikes PostWed Oct 24, 2012 10:13 am Offline
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Sun Aug 21, 2011 9:52 am2272Croatia (SE Europe)
Strike is a fundamental right of people in modern democracies. I don't know why has this strike caused so much fuss. Maybe because they're such a big company.
At this very moment there are countless strikes all over the world. And if you happen to live in France, you are probably on strike right now. :P
Re: The Wal-Mart Strikes PostWed Oct 24, 2012 12:13 pm Offline
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Sat Feb 26, 2011 11:41 am3188Elsewhere
That's true, yes. But for some reason, these strikes have gotten more attention, and yes, it's most likely due to the fact that it's Wal-Mart. But I think this has been a long time coming. Wal-Mart has a lot of disgruntled workers and people who hate their business practices.
Can't we all just get along?
Re: The Wal-Mart Strikes PostSat Nov 24, 2012 1:36 am Offline
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Sun Nov 18, 2012 1:09 am18canada
I H8 wallmart
Look up the black friday vids on youtube
Wallmart encourages the worst in people with no regard to proper organisation or safety, and when the stores try to unionise they just shut them down.
Re: The Wal-Mart Strikes PostSat Nov 24, 2012 1:49 am OfflineBoard Moderator
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Tue Apr 08, 2003 1:57 am17369Hollywood, CA
Aside from its size, Walmart is privately-owned and doesn't deal with unions. It's why its prices are so low. But unions want in on Walmart's action, and if they're successful, its prices will surely rise.
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Re: The Wal-Mart Strikes PostSat Nov 24, 2012 4:15 pm Offline
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Wed Oct 10, 2007 6:15 pm5110
Big-Will wrote:
Aside from its size, Walmart is privately-owned and doesn't deal with unions. It's why its prices are so low. But unions want in on Walmart's action, and if they're successful, its prices will surely rise.


You mention this as though Wal-Mart's low prices are the only thing that matters. Those low prices you enjoy are the result of worker exploitation, which is what Unions are designed to protect against.

Walmart is the largest privately owned employer in the United States. Do you really think their screwing their employees is worth the low prices for the consumer?
Re: The Wal-Mart Strikes PostSun Nov 25, 2012 5:00 pm Offline
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Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:33 pm382i could tell you, but there would be a pimp slap involved
there was a protest at the local wal mart here. according to the news, no one in the protest group were actual wal mart employees.

the entire protest group consisted of people from a local union who claimed they came out to protest in order to show support for workers in their community because wal mart is hurting the rest of the country by driving down wages.


sorry, but i find that to be completely self serving. you didn't seem to have an issue with them building the damn supercenter two years ago.........
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Re: The Wal-Mart Strikes PostSun Nov 25, 2012 11:08 pm Offline
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Fri Apr 22, 2011 4:00 pm937
bazi42 wrote:
you didn't seem to have an issue with them building the damn supercenter two years ago.........

Are you sure? Because I've seen petitions and protests against that very thing. They always get built anyway, of course.
To believe in something just because you're afraid of the consequences if you don't believe in something is no reason to believe in something.
Re: The Wal-Mart Strikes PostTue Nov 27, 2012 8:15 am Offline
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Fri Jul 02, 2004 10:51 pm4292San Jose, California
I'm the produce supervisor at a Walmart Neighborhood Market in my city after losing my previous job. I've been with the company since July and I have not had any issues. Though my salary may not be ideal, it's typical for this line of work and isn't what I would call uncomfortable by any means. My co-workers and managers have only treated me with the utmost respect, care, and politeness, and they are some of the nicest and most considerate and hard-working people I know.

We had some jackass come into my store and ask one of my crew members where he and his minions could come and protest. My employee told the asshole to direct their question to a manager and offered to call her for him, but he just scoffed and said our manager was an asshole without ever meeting her. My manager is a very sweet woman and she treats everyone better than any manager I've had before. All this douchebag was interested in was making us look bad, by telling us we're somehow suffering and that the best way to resolve that conflict was by making our store and our company look like a dishonest institution. Their goal was to encourage other people to shop elsewhere so they could shut us down and put us out of a job. They're just like politicians. They whine and bitch and moan when they don't get their way, and they don't think about the impact their actions have on others.

Let me tell you something about unions. Some are genuine and actually do shit for their members, but I've only ever been exposed to a couple dishonest and evil ones (namely, the very same union trying to get Walmart workers on their program; the UFCW). Unions are businesses. Unions desperately want Walmart to unionize its workers because the size of Walmart's workforce means millions upon millions of our hard-earned dollars going to their own paychecks while they fight to get us a raise of 5 more cents an hour. All of the worst jobs I have ever had were unionized. I was paid minimum wage and got no benefits, and people who worked less strenuous positions (read: cashier, janitor) were paid almost double what I was as a clerk. Unacceptable. I'm not paid minimum wage where I work now, and neither is my crew. With a corporation the size of Walmart, you're bound to run into bouts of controversy and unfairness that, while the company as a whole may have to claim some responsibility for, it also lies in the hands of each store and its individual members of management. My dad and stepmother used to be the staunchest anti-Walmart people, and their perception of the company as a whole took a 180-degree turn when my stepmom was suddenly out of a job and she was hired as a manager at a store down in Gilroy. They're both die-hard liberal Democrats, and I know if they had something to complain about, it'd be low wages and bad treatment of workers. They don't see that here, at least not in her store or the three others she's supervised at temporarily, and I don't see it in mine. It used to be they would never set foot in a damn Walmart. Now they buy most of their groceries there.
Re: The Wal-Mart Strikes PostTue Nov 27, 2012 4:30 pm Offline
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Sun Jan 30, 2005 10:24 pm5686The Mormon Homeland
What about paid time off (vacation and sick days) or health care benefits? Wal-Mart is notoriously stingy when it comes to benefits. As a supervisor, you probably have better situation than most of the wage earners at that store. Like most people stuck in minimum or near-minimum wage jobs, if you don't work, you don't get paid. Even if you've got flaming diarrhea or need to take your child to the hospital, tough shit; remember to clock out before you leave.

Of course you're out in California where I think Wally World is the least shitty to its employees. In the vast spaces to your east, it's not quite the same Wal-Mart.

Call me crazy but I believe that anyone who has a full time job deserves paid time off and health care, no matter what their job is or how much it pays. I don't care if you drive a dump truck or pick lettuce or stock shelves; to not have those things is just inhumane. Is it too much to ask to only work 51 weeks a year and not go broke if you get injured? Also is it too much to ask to not have your full time job replaced by two part time jobs?
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Re: The Wal-Mart Strikes PostTue Nov 27, 2012 4:47 pm Offline
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Fri Jul 02, 2004 10:51 pm4292San Jose, California
My situation again is no different from that of any of my crew. That's one week plus 4 days paid, and full health benefits for anyone working 32 hours per week or more. That's all but 2 people, since produce is overstaffed. Another supervisor was just given 3 weeks off, albeit unpaid because she was just hired, to see her husband when he came back from Iraq.

I'm a type 1 diabetic. If anyone's going to bitch about health benefit prerequisites and quality, it would be me. Been there, done that. For me, it's a requirement for any position I take.

City ordinance requires all employers to pay associates a minimum wage of $10.00 an hour, and all of us in the store make more than that. Meanwhile, all surrounding cities have minimum wages ranging from the federal level to $8.75. On holidays we receive double time pay.

All major companies are stingy with benefits. In fact, the only company I can recall off-hand that is particularly notorious for NOT being stingy is Costco. They may have the ideal situation, but good luck stopping corporate greed. It's always going to exist. It's all about the extent of what's in effect.

All I'm saying is you need to point fingers at Target, Safeway, Kohl's...whatever. For every few people who don't complain about their benefits, you have some that do. Proportions for each aside. If I'm not complaining and nobody at my store is, that I know of, it's certainly not in line with the accusations levied on the company as a whole. A great deal of effort has been made in recent years to repair the damaged reputation that, while may have been well-deserved a while back, is no longer as valid as a lot of naysayers will have you believe.

Walmart doesn't enjoy seeing workers go. Even from a financial standpoint, high turnover makes little sense. They want to retain their workforce and use incentives to do so. It costs the company significantly more to hire and train people than it does to keep its pre-existing staff.

You gotta keep in mind who you're talking to; an outspoken liberal who believes every associate should have full benefits, which should be mandated by federal legislation. I'm all about the welfare of the people. All I'm telling you is the reputation on the company as a whole is not reflective of each individual store, associate, or member of management. Putting the past aside, we'll see what the future holds. But right now, I'm not complaining, and the path looks good.
Re: The Wal-Mart Strikes PostTue Nov 27, 2012 7:28 pm Offline
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Sat Feb 26, 2011 11:41 am3188Elsewhere
Well, I'm glad they're treating you well Niels. That's always a plus!

But like trip said, different states have different regulations, and you mentioned that your city has a minimum wage of $10, whereas out here where I live, most workers will get paid $7.25 an hour. The gas station I work at pays me $8 an hour.

The way I view the anger at Wal-Mart is that people are slowly coming to recognize the problems associated with giving more power to companies and corporations, and the most infamous symbol of that right now is Wal-Mart.

But there have been lots of stories circulating about Wal-Mart and there have been more than a few disgruntled workers. All workers should have the right to protest, and if you're not part of a union, then you're taking a major risk in doing so since you won't have anyone to back you up. It's kind've a miracle that the protests work at all.

But my point is that the alternative to having unions is much worse. There's been a lot of mistrust and animosity towards Wal-Mart, and I think for good reason. I have never once shopped at a Wal-Mart and been satisfied. If I went to yours though, that might change.
Can't we all just get along?
Re: The Wal-Mart Strikes PostThu Nov 29, 2012 2:09 pm Offline
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Tue May 24, 2011 1:49 pm3867In range of my WiFi
The wages and conditions of workers are important but so are the prices of goods and the profits of investors. All workers are also consumers after all.

Quote:
Walmart is privately-owned and doesn't deal with unions. It's why its prices are so low.

Competition is the basis of any strong economy.
Retail is not competitive and so government intervention may not just be acceptable but could push prices toward a more competitive market price. This may be a higher price.

Allowing some but not all companies to get away with blocking union rights gives them an unfair advantage, just as some nations having fewer worker's rights gives them a disadvantage. Whatever level of union rights there is it should be the same for everyone.

It's possible for labor or government to become a problem, either by being too big or fighting the wrong battles. I don't think what these workers want is a problem though. We need to keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't get too big but that's way off.

Wallmart (ASDA) has unions in other countries and doesn't die off - the retail market in those other nations seems more competitive than in the US if anything.

I'm sure everything in Niels story is true but you can't get at broad trends from a few experiences; just as snow doesn't disprove global warming, a few union workers doing worse than a few non-union ones doesn't demonstrate that unions don't help workers.

Quote:
Do you really think their screwing their employees is worth the low prices for the consumer?

As has been said numerous times, it screws the taxpayer too as most Wallmart workers are also on welfare to work programmes. It's possible to scrap those programmes. I'm sure the people would still work those jobs as they do in China. I think people would be better off either with those programes or with higher wages to start with.

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which should be mandated by federal legislation

If we could get the benefits of unions without the whole strikes and protests thing (which inconvenience consumers and harm buisiness) it'd be far better. Lobbying federal government directly for those benefits might be a better path than unionizing though you need someone to do the lobbying and that is likely to be a union.

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i find that to be completely self serving

What's wrong with self interest? I thought that was the basis of our system ._.
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