Asked about the ongoing strike, Walmart spokesperson Dan Fogleman told Salon that every one of Walmart’s stores is “open for business” and “fully staffed,” that “Walmart has some of the best jobs in the retail industry,” and that internal surveys show that most employees are satisfied. Regarding the potential Black Friday action, Fogleman said he “couldn’t speculate on what might happen in the future, but what I can tell you is we continue to have dialogue with our associates.”WalMart Strikes spread to more states
Both Thursday’s strike and today’s were spearheaded by OUR Walmart, a year-old organization of Walmart workers backed by UFCW. The group is calling for improved staffing and benefits as well as an end to alleged retaliation against its members. Though closely tied to the UFCW, OUR Walmart isn’t identifying itself as a union or calling for union recognition from the famously anti-labor company. UFCW; SEIU, the service employees union; and ACORN supported a different non-union Walmart workers association in 2005, so the concept isn’t new. But the strikes are.A combination of legal actions and labor actions, including slowdowns and strikes, have affected the retailer's operations. Despite some statements to the contrary, Walmart, the Most Powerful Company in the World, Admits that Protests and Strikes Lead to Wage Increases
According to St. Louis Federal Reserve President William Poole, the last time there was significant labor unrest at Walmart, in 2006, the company raised wages at 700 stores. Poole, like many at the Fed, regularly spoke with Walmart executives, and they gave him unvarnished views about their business practices because they believed (as did Poole) that the information would be used solely for macro-economic forecasting. On March 27-28, 2006, Poole said that his Walmart contact told him the company would not raise wages, and was planning on moving their work force increasingly towards part-time employment. Poole was interested in this because of its bearing on inflation. “Wages,” he said, “and these are for hourly workers, are absolutely flat – no increases whatsoever in the last year and no increases planned going forward.” Poole continued, “About 20 percent of their associates are part time and that they are going to be increasing that share to 40 percent so they can staff at peak times and get more productivity out of their workforce.”Why Wal-Mart May Respond to Black Friday Strike Threats, Adjust Wage Structure, due to events like those in Texas, Massachusetts, Florida and California
Just two months later, Poole offered some very different and shocking news, “My Wal-Mart contact also said that “Wal-Mart is in the process of raising starting wages in about 700 stores. This is the first time in eight years of talking with him that I’ve heard any comment like that. He said that some of the raises are part of the Wal-Mart, I’ll call it “Social/political” agenda because of all the controversy about Wal-Mart.”
As Wal-Mart public relations officials are quick to point out, in a company workforce of 1.4 million in the U.S. alone, the membership of OUR Walmart is tiny, and fewer still are the handful who are willing to hold a picket sign or offer a public statement outside their own store. But it is also clear that for every company employee fearless enough to participate in one of the sidewalk rallies, there were dozens who kept their heads down, stayed on the job but who silently endorsed the protest.Walmart Strike Memo Reveals Confidential Management Plans
The memo makes clear that Walmart, the world's largest private employer, views the labor protests as a serious attack, a message that runs contrary to the company's public comments that the strikes are mere "publicity stunts," as Walmart's vice president of communications David Tovar told The Huffington Post Tuesday.Wal-Mart isn't the only company affected: Wal-Mart’s dirty partners
Take C.J.’s Seafood, which provided seafood sold at Wal-Mart subsidiary Sam’s Club. Last month, some C.J.’s workers in Louisiana – non-union temporary guest workers from Mexico – went on strike. They charged the company with violating wage laws and locking them inside the plant. The National Guestworker Alliance helped workers organize and bring a complaint to the Workers Rights Consortium, a labor-monitoring organization. The WRC found that employees worked up to 24 consecutive hours, were paid less than 60 percent of minimum wage and lived in vermin-infested trailers on company property.Vast Mexico Bribery Case Hushed Up by Wal-Mart After Top-Level Struggle
In a confidential report to his superiors, Wal-Mart’s lead investigator, a former F.B.I. special agent, summed up their initial findings this way: “There is reasonable suspicion to believe that Mexican and USA laws have been violated.”Wal-Mart's Honest Graft
The lead investigator recommended that Wal-Mart expand the investigation.
Instead, an examination by The New York Times found, Wal-Mart’s leaders shut it down.
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