Walmart Strikers Prepare For Black Friday Protests Across Country
Why they are striking:
http://www.globaltvedmonton.com/money/6 ... story.html
Anybody who hates or does not understand unions ( yes they can and have abused their authority, but look at the eternal battle of workers vs management/owners with an unbiased eye first please ) should watch this movie!! :
Union Movie: Norma Rae (1979)
It seems like many of the opinions on this board are either pro or anti unions. My take is that it would entirely be based on the time and era that we are talking about. As a general rule, I do feel that unions are outdated in the U.S. and do more harm than good for all of the stakeholders involved, including the workers themselves.
However, it would be foolish to think that unions didn't contribute significantly toward the health and well being of workers (which were most of Americans) during the early to mid part of the 20th century. The idea of children working 6 days a week, 12 hours a days, for a pittance is not an ideal which any society should embrace.
This movie was made in the late 1970s when unions still had a strong presence in America, though they were on the decline. As such, it really isn't out of place and time. I can't comment on whether it was good for this particular factory because I don't know the facts and movies tend to be very biased. However, I wouldn't hold against it the fact that the factory ultimately closed down 20 years later. That is a long time and so much had changed in U.S. manufacturing that the factory would or certainly could have closed down regardless of whether it was unionized or not.
Word!! Notice that even though that person thinks that unions do more harm than good ( typical bias and in some cases it is quite true, but not in "every" case! ), he or she then goes on to state that:
That is why the Walmart workers are walking off the job today ( Black Friday ) to protest their sad working conditions - minimum wages, bias towards men in management, paying men more than women for the SAME job/duties, and lack of benefits or being forced to pay outrageous premiums for simple health insurance, etc etc. The complete list of grievances is probably a lot longer, but those are the main reasons they are walking off the job and I for one support them!!"it would be foolish to think that unions didn't contribute significantly toward the health and well being of workers (which were most of Americans) during the early to mid part of the 20th century. The idea of children working 6 days a week, 12 hours a days, for a pittance is not an ideal which any society should embrace."
This is also a good movie about union organizing and greedy bosses, James Earl Jones is even in it!!
I was keen to see another Sayles film after having recently watched
Matewan is on the surface a simple tale of greedy bosses and put-upon
workers. The setting for the film is the early 20th century American
town of Matewan, where the miners are treated appalingly by the
mining company. A strangers arives in town, and encourages the
workers to set up a union. Trouble, of course, is inevitable.
Sayles steers clear of most of the cliches of this kind of set-up,
giving us fully rounded characters and something a lot more subtle
than "goodies" and "badies".
If Walmart was not so damn greedy then their workers would not feel FORCED to unionize/organize and strike/walk off the job since management has rejected any and all of their grievances which is standard operating procedure here for Walmart since they first opened their doors. All management has to do here is bend a little and all this could be avoided...Walmart is turning America into China when it comes to working conditions... stepping backwards, not forwards... I am not saying they should double their wages or anything extreme like that, but would it "kill" Walmart to increase the wages slightly and offer proper and affordable ( relative to their wages of course ) health-care insurance etc!!??
Walmart profits and financial statements:
http://www.walmartstores.com/sites/annu ... cials.aspx
http://www.stock-analysis-on.net/NYSE/C ... fitability
Walmart is a Fortune 500 company, and with all their billions in profit they could easily afford to give a "little" more back to their employees, greedy bastards!!
For the record, Target is just as bad as Walmart when it comes to its employees, check out these stories from ex-Target workers/management:
http://gawker.com/5805975/life-in-the-b ... yees-speak
I was an Executive Team Leader for a miserable year right out of college. It was the worst year of my life mostly because I wasn't cut out for retail and the horrible hours, but also because it just sucked. I worked a mandatory 50 hour week, but most of the time ended up closer to 60-65 especially around the holidays. I made less an hour than most of the Team Leads who were paid hourly when you accounted for how many hours I worked for my paycheck.
In regard to unions I remember being taken out of my daily duties to spend a day watching union training videos showing us how we should handle things should a union approach our store. We were told the union would have to get voted in at each store individually. I'm not sure if it was true, but other ETL's basically said Target would close a store that voted in a union and reopen another one.
A lot of the workplace culture at Target depends on the managers at a specific store and the tone they set. I have experienced both very good and very bad, but overall, between when I started and when I left this last time, there's been a shift in company culture. When I started [in 1996], the corporate slogan was "Fast, Fun & Friendly". And they did a pretty good job of living into that. It was a fun place to work, and it seemed like there was career potential.
Now the slogan is "Expect More. Pay Less." It's supposed to be a slogan for customers, but I encountered many employees who felt it applied better to how the company treated them...
I also remember one of my managers mentioning to me that Target Corporate has an "anti-union team" with its own jet, whose sole purpose it is to go into markets where union activity is rumoured, and work against it. Apparently working at a store where this is going on is a particular hell.
If for some reason I wasn't able to finish all my duties, we were threatened with a write up that would go in our permanent record (if one got enough rite up they could be fired) They also started showing anti-union videos at this point. We were told if we had any concerns that we could just go to our LODs (basically, managers) or HR and tell them but everyone in my group that watched the videos just laughed because we all knew that our LODs and HR had favorites and these favorites were often times that were mistreating the employees (cutting our hours, refusing to give us breaks, being flat out bitches) and nothing would ever be done.
The best part thought had to be around review time which fell in April. At this point your immediate supervisor (team leader) would write a report which was a critique of your work year. This is when all the things you've been doing wrong the past year comes up as a way to justify giving you such a low pay raise even if they had never critiqued your work during the actual year so that you could, oh I don't know, improve. My first pay raise that didn't coincide with California minimimum wage laws was $.25, the year after it was $.11 and during my last year it was $.8. Yes, after working at Target for almost five years I was making just making 44 cents more than someone who had just been hired. I knew at this point that I had to quit. Luckily a month later I found another job that paid significantly better and I quit this bitch.
So I worked at Target for just a few months. I was victim of the shitty economy and had to do what I needed to barely stay afloat. Apparently having two degrees and a graduate degree relegated me to "lead cashier", but I digress. During my training I had to watch an anti-union video. It was awful. It was also humiliating. We like to think Target is better because aesthetically it is more pleasing but they treat their workers like crap. It's disgusting to see how they refused to pay someone an extra .25 cents even though they are in the horrid idea that is 'Food Ave'. The worst practice is 'encouraging' Target workers to open a Target credit card and use their shit wages to become further indentured slaves to their shitty concept of a store. I've seen the policies that result in the degradation of the human spirit. The idea that we should pay people a living wage and a safe workplace is beyond the likes of them. Target's motto: keep them stupid and poor and powerless.
And so it goes... the typical threat against unionization is always the same: "If you walk out or strike and try to unionize, we will simply close down this store and open another one elsewhere"...Unfortunately in this weak economy with so few jobs out there, this scare tactic works very effectively... but enough is enough!!
If ALL the Walmart workers walk off the job today, not just a few that are brave enough to risk their jobs, then Walmart cannot fire everyone ( cannot run Retail with no staff, takes time to hire and train new workers dontcha know ), and management will then be FORCED to deal properly with their workers... Go Walmart Strikers!!