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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wal-Mart Braces For Black Friday Walkouts

A worker pulls a line of shopping carts toward a Walmart store in North Kingstown, R.I. in November 2012. (Steven Senne/AP)

Wal-Mart is preparing for a possible employee walkout on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving – one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

Organizers say they’re expecting about 1,000 of the 4,000 or so U.S. chain stores to be affected by the walkouts.

The Christian Science Monitor reports that Wal-Mart officials are not worried, calling the walkout a “made for TV event.”

Wal-Mart has filed a request with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to intervene, saying the union supporting one of the Wal-Mart workers’ organizations is illegally interfering with Wal-Mart’s affairs.

Wal-Mart workers are not unionized and cannot collectively bargain.

The NLRB has said it will not make a decision until after the Thanksgiving holiday, effectively allowing the walkouts to take place.

Guest:

  • Gloria Goodale, staff writer for The Christian Science Monitor.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • geraldfnord

    Unions were far from perfect—humans were in them and ran them—but
    they were not, pacem the Republicans, composed entirely of corrupt
    bosses, goons, and lazy feather-bedders.  Most of their members did
    their jobs in exchange for being able to lead a middle-class life, and
    barely broke and arms or took very much Mafia money at all.

    Ever since Communism (at least that’s what the Soviets _said_ they were building toward—it always looked more like State Capitalism to me) collapsed, our wealthy persons (real and artificial) haven’t felt the fear that used to urge them toward something like half-decency toward their employees.  They accepted mass unionisation and the higher wages and benefits that accrued thereby as a small price to pay for a firewall against their wealth and their lives’ being forfeit.

    I’m of two minds.  I’m against fear as a weapon, so I don’t want our rich people to do good out of fear…but the current situation has the fear of privation, even of homelessness and of starvation, working every day in most of us to advance the interests of our society’s owners, and they seem unwilling to behave decently out of rachmones, goodness, or even long-term self-interest.  We accept fear of punishment as a useful principle to protect property—and given that most property is now in a very few hands, it is a fear working more to their benefit than to ours—so on balance I wish our rich would remember that most of their property could not exist in the state of Nature, and that if they push the rest of us too far many of us will inevitably decide that the state of Nature were preferable.

  • Maggie

    … 4,000 or so U.S. chain stores to be “affected” (not effected) by the walkouts.

  • RAOUL

    What is missing from the Wall-Mart issue concerning wages and benefits for employees is for the most part the same issues and  that is the search for cheap labor and the end product it always produces, in this case, the unrealistic ratio of wealth a person can derive by creating phony marketing schemes by misusing labor concepts to achieve one’s desired wealth which produces an unrealistic ratio of wealth to wages for the help which after a period of time always produces angst. The ratio of super wealth made from cheap labor with no benefits for one’s employees is the problem at Wall-Mart and others whom use slave labor marketing concepts to produce super wealth for a few and if those concepts don’t work they move their operations to third world areas of the world where they can pay people centavos for 18 hours of work without breaks. This is why Mitt Romney lost big. He was not such a good flimflam artist to pull the wool over the public eyes including the 47% public then asking for another tax break so that he and Sam Wall-Mart could bank more of their money in Cayman island banks. Solution: Make the the Cayman Islands  and American state.

  • Sam Molloy

    I know nothing about how it is to work at WalMart. I don’t think it is totally unbearable judging by their turnover rate, but obviously it could be better and I would pay a penny more for every item if it went to employee health insurance. I strongly believe all stores in America should be forced to close on Thanksgiving day, to keep from penalizing the responsible ones that allow their employees family time. Being open does not increase the total money spent, it just becomes a race to get people’s money first.

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