USA Today has a Walmart story

@dragon54u (31651)
United States
August 1, 2008 11:30am CST
"Wal-Mart has been calling store managers and department heads to "mandatory meetings at which the retailer stresses the downside for workers if stores were to be unionized" under legislation that has broad support among Democratic candidates." I guess they're not too enthusiastic about unions! I've heard some bad things about Walmart and the way they treat their employees. A cashier here at Walmart makes $15 an hour so wages probably aren't the reason they would want to unionize. They're walking a very fine line here, just a little bit away from telling their employees which way to vote.
5 people like this
7 responses
@jonesy123 (3950)
• United States
1 Aug 08
No employer wants unions. And Walmart has indeed been very aggressive about keeping unions out of their business. Unions fight for proper work conditions, benfits, higher pay, shorter hours, health insurance.... They are also the first to point out, when conditions are not up to par or there was an unlawful firing.... draong54u, I don't know what a cashier makes here. However, you cannot just look at the hourly wage. You need to look at the overall package. What benefits do these employees get? Are their hours kept just below the limit so benefits don't have to be provided? How are schedules set? Vacations? Time off? What other rules are there? Are the break times obeyed? Things like that. Walmart has mastered the art of tiptoeing the line between right and wrong treatment of their workforce. At times they have been successfully sued, but more often than not they got away with it. Of course they are scared, if they have to accept unions. Unions can hurt your business. Just look at the last union organized strike we had in the US. GM incurred major losses because of it. What if the workers at Walmart would strike? How many customers would still go to the store with employees picketing at the entrance and being nasty? How many customers could they still serve, if only the managers or such could work? Their finely oiled machinery would break down...
3 people like this
@dragon54u (31651)
• United States
1 Aug 08
Many Walmarts, like other businesses, only hire part time workers so they save on benefits. I don't think that pay rate I mentioned includes benefits. On the other hand, White Castle starts its employees at $10 an hour and $4.50 per hour in benefits so I think that is a much better job! (They make great burgers, too!) I have heard tales of Walmart requiring employees to work hours for free and denying their employees breaks. If they treated their people right, there would be no call for unions.
2 people like this
@SheliaLee (2738)
• United States
1 Aug 08
This is a very touchy subject for my husband. He is very union oriented and was upset with me because I kept shopping Wal-Mart for so long. I no longer shop there because I didn't want him being upset with me any longer and more than that I respect his feelings. I have found since no longer shopping there that I have found I can save money at other places which was the main reason I kept shopping there, thinking I was saving money. I do think it is wrong that Wal-Mart will not let their people unionize. My husband has said that he has heard of Wal-Mart literally closing stores down to keep a union from being formed. I think this is very wrong. I haven't always agreed with some of the actions of the union but they have helped my husband in the past when the postmaster of the post office where he works treated him wrongly (about six or seven years ago). The union went to bat for him, got him back at work and got him back pay plus interest so I agree that unions should be allowed in Wal-Mart or any other retail store. I agree with you that Wal-Mart is walking a fine line here. SheliaLee
3 people like this
@dragon54u (31651)
• United States
1 Aug 08
My dad worked at GM and if not for the union, he wouldn't have been able to retire when he did and wouldn't have the healthcare he does now. I respect the unions but wish they would work with businesses more and not demand so much that the business fails, which has happened at times. Employees should be able to form unions but shouldn't force people to join. For the most part, I think unions are very good because workers still get treated unfairly.
2 people like this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
1 Aug 08
I am more in favor of give the employees shares in the company. With unions, there is a chance that they may demand high wages and the store could not offer them and still give the benefits. Back in the twenties and previous, unions were a good idea because then the employees were not given decent living wages. Now that has changed. I do not like unions because it sends up an atmosphere of intimidation, if the union does not like what the store does, they can call for a strike and that is wrong. And then the people who shop at the stores, suffer.
@dragon54u (31651)
• United States
1 Aug 08
Yes, that's a major drawback with unions. But Walmart does mistreat its employees in many of its stores and they have no recourse. Unions can be good things, but as you say they demand so much that some businesses can't afford to operate.
3 people like this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
1 Aug 08
I guess in that case, the employees have no recourse. It is such a shame because it would be best that they work together and if the employees could get shares in Walmart, then it would be better. I wonder why Walmart does not go that route? Then everyone wins.
2 people like this
@Barbietre (1440)
• United States
2 Aug 08
This really enrages me. Not so much about the Union stuff because unions have good and bad sides. I know because my husband used to be involved in one for a short time when he worked for the phone company. But the nerve of them to even dare think about telling anyone how to vote. Now I wonder if there is a law about this for even Non union people, I am sure it violates some rights. I am on the fence about shopping there to begin with, but now maybe I will go out and get some Obama buttons and walk around alot just to annoy them. I am a Democrat who would have preferred Hillary, but hey what can you do, it is politics.
2 people like this
@dragon54u (31651)
• United States
2 Aug 08
I don't like any of them. I voted for Huckabee in the primary election and I don't like my choices now. Will there ever be a time when we don't have to vote for the lesser of two evils?! I think Walmart is walking a VERY fine line here. They're campaigning and implying that their employees should vote Republican and the hell with what it does to the country. Walmart is all about the bottom line, not the country that gave them the freedom to have such a profitable business. I'm Republican--I used to be Democrat till Clinton made me ashamed of the party. I'm ashamed of the party now, but there's nowhere to go but Libertarian which means I lose my right to vote in the general elections. I think that violates the constitution, or should. Anyone should be able to vote, regardless of party! I'm more of a libertarian, anyway. I'm middle of the road, a conservative liberal, and neither Dems nor Repubs represent my thinking. Go ahead with your Obama button. He's too socialist for me right now, we'll see what he turns out to be. But parade around Walmart with your button proudly! If all Walmart customers would do that, maybe their policy would be changed but more than likely, they'd go below the media radar. I hate greedy corporations. I wonder how they sleep at night or can stand to look at themselves in the mirror.
1 person likes this
@KCash69 (37)
• United States
1 Aug 08
I have worked at Walmart and it is nothing but a greed machine. They tell employees things like don't get any overtime or we won't get a bonus. The yearly bonus amounted to about $700-$900. I would get in trouble from the managers by saying at the meetings that in the long run getting the overtime would make more than a $700 bonus. They think people are stupid. And if you call them on it they just lie their way out of it.
2 people like this
@dragon54u (31651)
• United States
2 Aug 08
It's sad that Mr. Walton's business vision has been so perverted and twisted out of shape. I will shop at Walmart but whenever I can I go to small local businesses that are family owned like my local small hardware store.
1 person likes this
@anniepa (27248)
• United States
1 Aug 08
I saw on the "bottom line" of my TV screen that Wal-Mart has denied these allegations but I tend to believe what the article says. I've never worked at a Wal-Mart but I've known quite a few people who have and they've said the same as I've read here, when Sam Walton was living it was totally different from the way it is today. From what I've heard their usual tactic is to hired someone for as many hours as possible without having to classify them as "full-time", thus denying them any benefits. If they unionized they'd have a tough time getting away with this practice. They may be able to do it sometimes but not like they do today. I'm very much a union person. It's sad to say but especially in today's "employee hostile" environment without a union workers would really get the shaft all the time. Annie
2 people like this
@dragon54u (31651)
• United States
2 Aug 08
Unions do a lot of good, but sometimes they can make so many demands that the business isn't profitable anymore. They have to watch that! But I have no arguments with unions, they did a lot of good for my dad and are still working for him, protecting his retirement benefits. Lots of businesses are hiring part time now. Lots are also hiring temp workers, like me, so they don't have to pay benefits. The last place I worked the controller had been there 4 years as a temp!
1 person likes this
@Hatley (164338)
• Garden Grove, California
2 Aug 08
hi dragon walmartis walking a fine line as thats just plain wrong all the way around. unions help the employees which is so good and should be permitted in walmart as in all other stores. the employees have the right to unionize as I understand it.
@dragon54u (31651)
• United States
2 Aug 08
They do have the right to unionize but Walmart will make it as unpleasant as possible while they're trying and will fire many on trumped up charges. That's what's happened before with them. And the prices will go up, naturally, but where don't they go up these days?