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View Full Version : Wal-Mart. Always non-union employees...Always.


Thomas Veil
Feb 12, 2005, 09:25 AM
Well, they did it again. (http://www.cleveland.com/business/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/business/110820434938471.xml) :(

Tire department workers at a Wal-Mart in western Pennsylvania dealt a stinging defeat Friday to Cleveland-based Local 880 of the United Food and Commercial Workers.

The workers voted 17-0 to stay out of the union, ending an almost five-year drive by Local 880 to organize the auto service department at Wal-Mart's New Castle, Pa., supercenter, about 20 miles southeast of Youngstown.

There are no other pending union-representation elections at Wal-Marts in the United States.

"It's not surprising after 4 years," Local 880 organizing director Lou Maholic said. "Wal-Mart manipulated the system."

Terry Srsen, vice president of labor relations for Wal-Mart, said in a statement, "We are pleased that our associates finally had a chance to vote and send a strong message to the union. In past elections, the UFCW has been rejected over and over by our associates because they do not feel that a third party would add anything to Wal-Mart's culture or environment."

The union predicted before the election that it would lose, saying Wal-Mart's strategy of delay and selective violations of labor law had eviscerated its support.

A federal administrative law judge found Wal-Mart guilty during the union drive of spying on employees, transferring anti-union employees into the tire shop to dilute union support and other violations.

Maholic said Wal-Mart probably timed an announcement concerning one of its Canadian stores as a warning to auto service employees voting in New Castle.

Wal-Mart said Wednesday that it would close a store in Jonquiere, Quebec, after employees there voted to form a union and were negotiating on what would have been the first-ever union contract with the world's largest retailer. Wal-Mart said the union would have forced an already unprofitable store to hire 30 more people and abide by inefficient work rules.

The UFCW's Canadian arm said Friday that it plans to file a complaint against Wal-Mart for bargaining in bad faith.

"Wal-Mart never had any intention of reaching a collective agreement," Michael Fraser, national director of UFCW Canada, said in Toronto, Bloomberg News reported. "Wal-Mart made its decision to close the store months before we sat down at the table with them."

John Challenger, chief executive of Challenger, Grey & Christmas Inc., an employment consultant in Chicago, said the blow to workers - many Jonquiere employees burst into tears when they got the word, according to Bloomberg News - also is a sign of chinks in the armor of a company that seemed invincible in the 1990s.

"Having to take such visibly aggressive action is a signal that they have been forced into some difficult choices," he said.

Wal-Mart has taken heat over the way it pays and treats its workers and because of a massive class-action lawsuit by women over wage and promotion practices.

Wal-Mart is a top concern of the international AFL-CIO. The president of the federation's largest union, Andrew Stern of the Service Employees International Union, has proposed spending $25 million a year to organize Wal-Marts across the country.

One place the UFCW and Wal-Mart are locking horns is Northeast Ohio: The retailer has set its sights on Cleveland.

Wal-Mart has not publicly stated it wants to locate in Steelyard Commons, the shopping center planned for land along the Cuyahoga River once used by LTV Corp. But the project developer and city officials say Wal-Mart aims to be there.

2005 The Plain Dealer. Used with permission.As far as scummy behavior goes, Wal-Mart is turning into the Karl Rove of the retail industry.

The only bright light is that these tactics are perhaps beginning to backfire (http://money.netscape.cnn.com/package.jsp?name=pf/pm/walmartwar) on them. I wish the AFL-CIO luck, because in the present environment -- a viciously anti-union store chain and an unsympathetic administration in Washington -- they're going to need it.

Chip NoVaMac
Feb 13, 2005, 04:58 AM
It has to begin at the root. The people have to realize that every worker deserves a decent working wage, even if it means higher prices. The companies also have to realize that it might mean lower profits (too bad about that corporate jet - fly Southwest instead!).

pseudobrit
Feb 13, 2005, 08:02 AM
Thankfully, the free market is still alive and well in most areas.

Wal-Mart has made it known for quite some time that they don't value good, hard-working employees, and they don't see any advantage to paying their workers a living wages, paying them for overtime or giving them benefits.

Wal-Mart will not pay wages worthy of attracting and retaining good, honest hardworking employees. That is their prerogative in the free market.

It is my prerogative in the free market not to patronise such an establishment.

Chip NoVaMac
Feb 13, 2005, 08:20 AM
Thankfully, the free market is still alive and well in most areas.

Wal-Mart has made it known for quite some time that they don't value good, hard-working employees, and they don't see any advantage to paying their workers a living wages, paying them for overtime or giving them benefits.

Wal-Mart will not pay wages worthy of attracting and retaining good, honest hardworking employees. That is their prerogative in the free market.

It is my prerogative in the free market not to patronise such an establishment.

Amen! After Walmart's actions in this case and in Canada, they will NEVER see another dollar from me till they start to allow unions in, or they start to pay and treat their employees as people, not some damn resource to be used, abused, and thrown away! Time to take away the corporate jets and their golden parachutes in the executive offices in Walmart and across this nation. Time for the execs to see what it it like earning $6 to $7 an hour and try to make a life out of that!