This sucks but us consumers are to blame too. If we’d spend an extra 5% on our goods at places like walmart then they should have the money to handle a union. Then again even if prices went up 5% I doubt walmarts first imperative would be to improve wages and benefits for workers. Walmart makes about $9 billion a year in profits and they have roughly a million low wage workers in their stores, so if all their profit money went to the employees they would each get an extra $9000 a year. Not that any company would give 100% of profits back to their low wage workers, just to show that lack of funds can’t be the sole reason they are so anti-union at WM since cutting into half of their profits and giving it to workers would probably eliminate alot of the anti-walmart sentiment. Still though, this sucks. I was excited when these people unionized a few months ago and it came to this.
Nice call. I wanted to post this but already made a pit thread today.
McDonalds has them beat by 20 years or so.
Only unionized North American store.
The stores in China are unionized.
That’s a damn shame, too–this is serious disincentive for other stores to unionize.
If we were willing to spend an extra 5% on our goods, the downtown areas of small towns across the country wouldn’t look like ghost towns and Walmart wouldn’t be the juggernaut it is today. Seems unlikely, if history is any guide.
It’s the only smart move that Wal-Mart can make, really. If the store loses money, it loses money. If it makes money, it refutes the claim that they can’t successfully operate with a unionized work force.
There’s no way they can win.
Yeah, but that’s China, so it’s probably better to say the Chinese stores are “unionized”.
And small wonder. Unions affiliated with the All-China Federation seldom push for wage increases or safer machinery.
A labor union in a dictatorship listed among the 7 least free countries on earth by Freedom house seems like a hollow victory. I don’t know how much pull the unions in China actually have.
I say unionize 'em all, close 'em all and try again. Mom and Pop shops (though likely it would be big congloms running them fronting M & P for show) etc.
Reeder, would you really want to work in freaking China, unionized or not? Jesus, what would that mean-3 cents a week instead of 2? Maybe you’re allowed to take a five minute lunch instead of three minutes?
The minimum wage in China is about $74 a month. And I remember on a walmart documentary on CNBC saying Chinese workers worked 50 hours a week which isn’t much worse than what american workers work.
Without turning this into a Great Debate, you realize that their are more implications to a union than just higher wages don’t you? A major problem with unions is that many have strict work role defined that make the workforce inflexible and less efficient. One example could be that a person working in customer service would have to refuse to help unstack a pallet in the back if they were asked. That would not be part of the union defined job role. Unions make it very difficult to fire an unproductive employee without jumping through huge hoops. This furthers dampens productivity. Another problem for the business is the potential for strikes, picketing, etc. A union in one store could certainly jump the fire-break and infect other stores to at least in a given area. I believe it is Wal-Mart’s duty to try to prevent union infection by any legal means possible just like it is for any similar business. I don’t know of any company that encourages union control. Wal-Mart is a successful company because it mastered the rules of hyper-efficiency. Unions are almost the antithesis to that.
That is from the aflcio so its biased but to say that unions are just a negative influence is wrong. Unions lower turnover and the inherit inefficiency of that and increase productivity. I am also sure walmart loses some business due to their treatment of their employees and suppliers and the moral boycotting people do in response to that. Better treatment could lead to more customers.
Is there any reason to believe Wal-mart is telling the truth? It seems like this is just another part of a scorched earth policy torward unions.
Have you ever been a corporate manager in a large retail company that has a mix of union and non-union stores and distribution centers? I have. The difference in productivity is noticable even to the casual onlooker and rigidly tracked at the corporate level. It is certainly not in the unions favor. Corporations have a duty to their customers and shareholders to prevent unionization by all legal means possible. You may argue that they have a duty to employees to encourage unionization but that is debatable on a lot of levels. There are disadvantages to employees for employees to and many can’t stand them.
Also, why in the Fuck are you citing me the AFLCIO’s website for a rebutal on the negatives of unionization. I hope you don’t turn in that kind of shit for your classes.
Incidentally, I see no need to pay an extra 5% for the products I buy simply because unionized employees want to make more cash than their peers (and throw part of it away to pay for “union fees”). Perhaps I will consider it if the same unionized employees decide to donate some of their own money to put dinner on my families table every night.
No wait, I’ve got it; why don’t we all unionize, and that way we can all make more money and pay more money for everything we buy when we shop at the stores everyone else who is unionized works at.
Or do you really think that the extra costs of union stores just magically gets paid out of thin air? Remember, CEOs are greedy and evil, it’s not coming from them.
Why the fuck would I cite a rabid conservative for anti-union statements? Same difference, you are both pretty biased.
Many companies have existed with unions and will continue to exist with unions. To say that unions somehow make it impossible to run a business is false. True unions may make business less efficient but you know what? So do environmental laws and so do minimum wage laws and so do maternity leave laws. Sometimes you have to trade efficiency for the overall good of society. The people that work at walmart are also customers and if you trade in the rules benefitting employees then those employees cannot really be good customers.
Then don’t pay an extra 5%. My statement was that one of the reasons things like this happen is because people don’t want to pay an extra 5%.
Unions tend to benefit the lowest paid employees in the US. Since the median wage in the US is about 30k a year saying ‘lets all unionize’ isn’t really based on anything. Unions are more for creating living wages for the service and manufacturing industry and raising wages from 12k a year to 20k a year or so. Even if you have 20 million people in the US making 12k a year or less that is about $160 billion a year spent extra to provide a living wage out of a 11 trillion GDP. Besides those people would just respend their money.
And how did all the automotive companies survive their unionization? The fact that we now live in a global economy now could make it different today.
Either way, I dont really want to debate unions since that’ll take alot of research on my part and i’m too tired. This post is about walmart closing their store as a result of a union.
Lots of companies have and would do the same thing. From their perspective, it is like putting out a small fire in your living room before flames are leaping through the roof. Sometimes unions will have a contract that no one can open a non-union store within something like six months of the old one’s closing in the same location. The company will close down the old store, do some remodeling that happens to take just over 6 months and then reopen union free. Problem solved.
I don’t see how having their anti-union stance “disproved” is a losing situation for them. If they can run a successful store with a union, then why can’t they admit they were wrong and pocket their profits? It’s all about the money, isn’t it? As long as they’re making money, what difference does it make whether there is a union or not?
Or are you saying that Wal-Mart can be shown to be spiteful, and we can expect it to do things out of spite?