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Corporations Behaving Badly.
January 8, 2002 10:45 AM   Subscribe

Corporations Behaving Badly. The Ten Worst Corporations of 2001.
posted by Ty Webb (50 comments total)

 
The link doesn't work.
posted by Rastafari at 10:48 AM on January 8, 2002


Looks like you posted a Hotmail-generated link maybe?
posted by kokogiak at 10:49 AM on January 8, 2002


Try Here
posted by kokogiak at 10:50 AM on January 8, 2002


what's that preview button for again?
posted by panopticon at 10:52 AM on January 8, 2002


Thanks kokogiak. Look at the egg on my face. Of course, i blame corporate America.
posted by Ty Webb at 10:52 AM on January 8, 2002


The link very well might have worked on Ty Webb's machine since he was probably still logged into Hotmail when he posted this. Hotmail is terrible, the way it opens all links within a new Hotmail frame. Uggh.
posted by elvissinatra at 10:54 AM on January 8, 2002


"And what is the fundamental basis of morality? Caring about others. "

If I wanted this garbage I could have read the Communist Manifesto...or maybe something about Pollyanna...

"And Wal-Mart’s tolerance of sweatshops abroad is matched by its vicious anti-unionism in its home country. The largest employer in the United States, Wal-Mart is completely union free."

Good for them. Unions only drive up prices for me.
posted by insomnyuk at 10:58 AM on January 8, 2002


That would also probably be why the search didn't find the link in Carol Anne's comment in this thread. I hate hotmail ... I dunno why they don't trash that "feature".
posted by walrus at 11:00 AM on January 8, 2002


Unions only drive up prices for me.

Corporations giving their workers anything more than minimum wage drives up prices. Same with health insurance. Let's only shop at the stores that will do anything to give you the best price.
posted by panopticon at 11:04 AM on January 8, 2002


Guess what, insomnyuk? CEO salaries drive up prices for you, too.
posted by Ty Webb at 11:11 AM on January 8, 2002


Panopticon: sounds good to me. Maybe that's why Wal-Mart is one of the most successful businesses in the country.

Ty Webb: Your non-sequitr is duly noted.
posted by insomnyuk at 11:14 AM on January 8, 2002


If I wanted this garbage I could have read the Communist Manifesto...

Those of us who do care are a legitimate (and growing) market.
posted by skyline at 11:15 AM on January 8, 2002


Oh, no! Coca-Cola licensed Harry Potter to sell its "liquid candy" to kids! Corporations are so immoral!

Limited liability protects companies from "caring." We should remove limited liability! If a company goes bankrupt, the personal assets of its shareholders should be at risk! Who cares if the largest shareholders these days are retirees through their pension funds! We might collapse the economy, but at least we'll be more "moral" (i.e., left-wing).

What a load of crap this article is.
posted by pardonyou? at 11:18 AM on January 8, 2002


insomnyuk: I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you're not just trolling. Would you support an industry dumping waste in a river and polluting local water supply if it kept prices down for you?
posted by Ty Webb at 11:19 AM on January 8, 2002


Ty Webb: No. That would meet my criteria for immoral practices.
posted by insomnyuk at 11:21 AM on January 8, 2002


Unions only drive up prices for me.

Yeah, screw them. Minimum wage for all those service industry bastards!

In fact, let's bring back the pre-union Good Old Days. We'll just pay 'em all poverty-level wages for 16-hour workdays (and get some work out of their bratty kids, too), and pay 'em in scrip that they can spend at The Company Store. We'd also be happy to provide them with a line of credit at The Company Store, in case they can't quite afford our prices. See how nice we are?
posted by chuq at 11:22 AM on January 8, 2002


Unions only drive up prices for me.

Care to bolster that? You just illustrated one of the most glaring Catch-22's of capitalism, which is what to give the workers. Give them too much, and they dip into corporate profits. Don't give them enough, and they can't buy goods.

It is a shame that the US has never had a strong labor movement (relatively), and it is equally a shame that those who think it is a good idea are dismissed as left-wing nutjobs.
posted by adampsyche at 11:24 AM on January 8, 2002


insomnyuk: is it immoral to break the law, even a law you disagree with, as WalMart has repeatedly done (and been found guilty and fined repeatedly) for union busting and harassment?
posted by Ty Webb at 11:28 AM on January 8, 2002


So teaching evolution is immoral?
posted by Jongo at 11:36 AM on January 8, 2002


Everything which does not agree with me is immoral.
posted by aramaic at 11:53 AM on January 8, 2002


My lunch today didn't agree with me.
posted by gazingus at 11:54 AM on January 8, 2002


It is a shame that the US has never had a strong labor movement (relatively), and it is equally a shame that those who think it is a good idea are dismissed as left-wing nutjobs.

The US has had strong labor movements in many industries. Steel, auto manufacture, clothing manufacture, airlines.
posted by jaek at 11:56 AM on January 8, 2002


The US has had strong labor movements in many industries. Steel, auto manufacture, clothing manufacture, airlines.

I didn't say no labor movement, but a weak one when compared to the labor movements that have occurred historically throughout Europe.
posted by adampsyche at 11:59 AM on January 8, 2002


you had an immoral sandwich.
posted by dwivian at 11:59 AM on January 8, 2002


Does an immoral sandwich leave a salacious crumb?
posted by aramaic at 12:14 PM on January 8, 2002


Coca-Cola is bad for using Harry Potter? I guess Pepsi can't use Britney Spears.

I guess just about every corporation better change its advertising so no one is enticed to use their products.
posted by Mark at 12:34 PM on January 8, 2002


Ty Webb, some support please? "Union busting" is not illegal. In the United States companies are free to oppose and campaign against the unionization of their employees (it's the First Amendment corollary to employees' right to campaign for unionization). I happen to know personally that Wal-Mart has not been "found guilty ... repeatedly" of "union busting." I can also tell you that one of the consequences of illegally attempting to prevent a union is an unfair labor practice charge that leads to an order to bargain with the union (called a Gissel bargaining order). I'm afraid you're confusing union propoganda (prompted by labor's embarassment over not being able to organize the employees) with illegal conduct on the part of Wal-Mart.
posted by pardonyou? at 1:02 PM on January 8, 2002


I guess if you say the U.S. has never had a strong labor movement, you must mean relative to the labor movements in places like Russia, China, and Cuba.

And the assertion that labor unions dip into corporate profits is also generally not true. Using your model of greedy executives and corporations, would it be safe to assume that these greedy corporations would prefer to pass the cost on to the consumer?

Whenever there is a tax on goods, for example, the business does not pay the tax, they merely pass the cost of the tax on to the consumer. The same goes for labor unions. And no, I don't think service industry people deserve lots of money for doing nothing. I don't think a janitor who sweeps bathroom floors deserves $19 an hour. I don't think bagboys in Massachusetts deserve the minimum wage they get of $6.75 an hour (though that's not because they are a union). After a local department store chain experienced the unionization of their salesman, they went out of business (the salesmen were lazy and unagressive, by all accounts), and all the employees lost their jobs. Unionization drives the cost of production in the U.S. so high that most corporations are forced to outsource their production to 3rd world countries. Again, more jobs Americans could have. Yeah, those unions sure do a lot for the community, and the local economy.
posted by insomnyuk at 1:05 PM on January 8, 2002


Red-baiting is so 50-years-ago, insomnyuk.
posted by jpoulos at 1:16 PM on January 8, 2002


Oh, and while we're on the subject of "organizational morality," we should all agree that Unions should be held to the same high moral standards, right? Good thing unions aren't notoriously known for corruption and violence. Yeah, unions good; corporations bad.
posted by pardonyou? at 1:19 PM on January 8, 2002


I'm afraid you're confusing union propoganda (prompted by labor's embarassment over not being able to organize the employees) with illegal conduct on the part of Wal-Mart.

I can't speak to the frequency with which it occurs, but it does happen sometimes. Here is one example, a federal appeals court's hearing in which "Sam's Club, a division of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., (Sam's) petitions for review from the National Labor Relations Board's (the Board) final order determining that it had committed violations of § 8(a)(1) and (a)(3) of the National Labor Relations Act (the Act)." (Looking at the facts of the case, they seem pretty mild, but it's a finding that Wal-Mart had engaged in unfair labor practices in an effort to prevent unionization.)

I guess if you say the U.S. has never had a strong labor movement, you must mean relative to the labor movements in places like Russia, China, and Cuba.

Come off it, Insomnyuk. American unions have never been as strong as those in England or Germany -- are we to take it, then, that West Germany and England are bastions of Communism?

Unionization drives the cost of production in the U.S. so high that most corporations are forced to outsource their production to 3rd world countries.

Can you provide facts to back up your assertion that the chief cause of migration of industrial jobs from the US to the Third World is unionization?
posted by snarkout at 1:22 PM on January 8, 2002


snarkout, you kind of proved my point. The case you cited actually reversed a large part of the NLRB's order. You're also right that these facts are pretty mild. Pick any large U.S. company and I'll show you an opinion with more egregious facts. As much as unions hate it, Wal-Mart does an excellent job of opposing unionization through legal means. I think the problem is that some people don't think Wal-Mart (or anyone else) should be able to oppose unionization at all. But that's not the law.
posted by pardonyou? at 1:28 PM on January 8, 2002


The case you cited actually reversed a large part of the NLRB's order.

I just wanted to address your statement that you "happen to know personally that Wal-Mart has not been 'found guilty ... repeatedly' of 'union busting.'" Although I've got no particular opinion about Wal-Mart's efforts to oppose unionization, being found guilty of violating fair labor practices would seem to contradict that, even though (as you and I both agree) Wal-Mart's behavior seems to been largely legal in that incident.

I certainly don't think that corporations should be forced not to speak up about their interests in keeping employees from organizing, although I will cheerfully admit that I admire companies like Lincoln Electric (which has a no-layoffs policy predicated, in part, by ensuring that their employees don't unionize) more than companies that threaten their employees.
posted by snarkout at 1:37 PM on January 8, 2002


Wal-Mart does an excellent job of opposing unionization through legal means.

and illegal. Wal-Mart is not a saintly corporation.
posted by tolkhan at 1:39 PM on January 8, 2002


are we to take it, then, that West Germany and England are bastions of Communism?

Well, you know, they are suspiciously e-u-r-o-p-e-a-n, if ya know what I mean. Probably not the most godfearing folk neither. Why, I reckon they might not even speak english, like all decent folk do! 'Sides which, ain't them Germans just a bunch of huns, drooling o'er our wimmenfolk?

...shoulda shot 'em all in the Big One, says I.
posted by aramaic at 1:42 PM on January 8, 2002


No, snarkout, it was the word "repeatedly" that I was disagreeing with. I do happen to know personally, having represented Wal-Mart in employment-related matters, that they have not"repeatedly" been found guilty of union busting. Your cite to one case with minor facts that was actually reversed doesn't exactly prompt me to change my statement.
posted by pardonyou? at 1:55 PM on January 8, 2002


Well, there's not just the one case. You originally wrote, "I'm afraid you're confusing union propaganda...with illegal conduct on the part of Wal-Mart", but one doesn't preclude the other. I'll gladly grant your point that Wal-Mart's frequent violations seem to be a myth, unless someone else has some hard data to point to. As I said, Wal-Mart's anti-unionization efforts aren't really something I'm terribly informed or opinionated about.
posted by snarkout at 2:13 PM on January 8, 2002


Thanks for posting this great link, I loved it. Yes, maybe the "liquid candy" stuff is a little overboard, but hey, we're currently suing the pants off the Tobacco companies (I'm not saying that's legitimate, but)...maybe Soda is next.
posted by zekinskia at 2:49 PM on January 8, 2002


OK, for the sake of completeness: So there you have it. That's not a big list of infractions. As I said above, name any other big company and I'll show you a list exponentially longer (well, I won't actually show you -- I do have other work to do).

And to me, all this pales in comparison to the abhorrent history of corruption in the UFCW -- the union attempting (and failing) to organize Wal-Mart's workers.
posted by pardonyou? at 2:52 PM on January 8, 2002


I am in the teamsters union, and where I work new people will sometimes ask if they have to be in the union, you know because they don't want to pay the dues. But they still want the benefits package.
posted by chrismc at 2:58 PM on January 8, 2002


But they still want the benefits package.
There is a different plan in place for employees who don't join the union? If that is the case I think it is pretty cool.
posted by thirteen at 3:51 PM on January 8, 2002


Not enough humor in this thread... ENRON ADMITS IT'S REALLY ARGENTINA
posted by Nauip at 5:05 PM on January 8, 2002


I guess if you say the U.S. has never had a strong labor movement, you must mean relative to the labor movements in places like Russia, China, and Cuba.

More like England, France and Germany in the mid-1800's, along with Poland, etc.

Yeah, unions good; corporations bad.

Come on, taking an argument to extremes doesn't prove a point. Whenever there is an opportunity for any kind of power, there will be corruption or at least attempts at it. It is way to simplistic to look at it that way, and no supporter of unions would come close to making such an argument as you put forth.
posted by adampsyche at 5:19 PM on January 8, 2002


Nope thirteen, Minnesota is a closed shop state (if there's a union, membership is mandatory) but they don't know that, so they ask if they have to be in the union when they find out about the dues. My point I guess was that they don't want to pay the dues but they would still want the health insurance, not understanding the role unions play(ed) in obtaining the benefits, which seems a little uninformed to me.
posted by chrismc at 8:32 PM on January 8, 2002


God this is depressing. Doesn't anyone know anything about May Day? Where it started, what it was about, who it was for?

Aren’t you Minnesota teachers going on strike next year?
posted by raaka at 8:36 PM on January 8, 2002


I remember the story about the UPS worker who wanted to opt out of the union dues. Incidentally, he was beaten not too soon after for breaking a strike.
posted by insomnyuk at 9:26 PM on January 8, 2002


God this is depressing. Doesn't anyone know anything about May Day? Where it started, what it was about, who it was for?

Sure, I know everything. I work 50' from where they hung the accused Haymarket bombers. I know where the monument to the dead cops used to be. On May Day 30-40 people march down the street surrounded by 100 cops, they write slogans on the sidewalk, protest pretty much just for my benefit, sing songs and go home. The chalk is washed away, and I get some work done.
Still don't want to be forced to join the union.
posted by thirteen at 10:48 PM on January 8, 2002


Isn't it ironic.
posted by dglynn at 2:40 AM on January 9, 2002


Then you know the “accused” were arrested Casablanca style, some weren't even present when the bomb was thrown, the Governor called the trial grossly unfair and laborers aren't forced to work 16 hour days due to the martyr’s organizing and public dissent. (Yet, most of the manual labor jobs I've held we worked for 12 hours. Time for a new movement.)

Point being there used to be an extremely strong labor movement in the US. It has since shriveled (or forcibly dismantled).
posted by raaka at 2:49 AM on January 9, 2002


So I didn't throw quotes around "accused". I know they didn't do it.
posted by thirteen at 8:00 AM on January 9, 2002


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