Originally Posted by ElMikeTheMike
I worked at a walmart out of highschool for a little over a year. I was never on welfare, nor was my family...not even close. That's a rash generalization there. I'll tell you this:
1.) It's not slave labor at all. In fact the pay as I recall was well over minimum wage and I had benefits with flexible hours.
2.) If Walmart employees (or any retail chain) ever unionized, you can kiss your "everday low prices" goodbye forever. Look what the unions did to the auto industry. By forcing employers to pay over-the-top wages and benefits for unskilled labor, the auto industry is in shambles and can't make money. Walmart would have to raise prices on everything to support it's work force, just as any other industry would. I pray a unionized workforce in retail never happens.
3) General employee mistreatment? Well, WalMart is a HUGE employer. There are bound to be incidents here and there, just like any company.
Remember that press release in the 90's when the CEO of Ford said he wasn't worried about the fact that they had (finally) lost market share of cars to Japan, because Americans drive trucks, and trucks are the future? Yeah... they spend million on marketing research and should have seen this coming.
The UAW has nothing to do with the problems of the American auto-industry. The problems are the fact that GM Ford and Chrysler spend close to no money on R+D compared to their Japanese competitors. The competitors who don;t pay a dime in health insurance to their employees because that is free in Japan. Furthermore, workers of Toyota and Honda in America, their health care costs are a tax write off to the companies, from the Japanese government.
The biggest problems with the Auto Industry is they're run by crooked CEO's, who have for years been slashing R+D to post larger profits just before they retire. And despite horrid performance, somehow they always have higher executive compensation than Toyota or Honda.
Most importantly, the union workers do NOT make $73 / hour. That number includes benefits, embedded taxation to the corporation, and profits on their labor.
Saturn is a not a union shop, and they started turning up losses only a few years after their inception.
Walmarts crimes include:
Forced unpaid labor
firing women for becoming pregnant
had to be taken to court over giving cashiers mats to stand on, which are medically necessary
Went to the supreme court demanding to pay under minimum wage in poor ares.
All supermarkets in NY are unionized, and they compete directly with Wal-Marts and do fine.
One 200-employee Wal-Mart store may cost federal taxpayers $420,750 per year. This cost comes from the following, on average:
$36,000 a year for free and reduced lunches for just 50 qualifying Wal-Mart families.
$42,000 a year for low-income housing assistance.
$125,000 a year for federal tax credits and deductions for low-income families.
$100,000 a year for the additional expenses for programs for students.
$108,000 a year for the additional federal health care costs of moving into state children's health insurance programs (S-CHIP)
$9,750 a year for the additional costs for low income energy assistance.
[The Hidden Price We All Pay For Wal-Mart, A Report By The Democratic Staff Of The Committee On Education And The Workforce, 2/16/04]
Your tax dollars subsidize Wal-Mart's growth
... even without a "bailout"
The first ever national report on Wal-Mart subsidies documented at least $1 billion in subsidies from state and local governments.
A Wal-Mart official stated that "it is common" for the company to request subsidies "in about one-third of all [retail] projects." This would suggest that over a thousand Wal-Mart stores have been subsidized.
["Shopping For Subsidies: How Wal-Mart Uses Taxpayer Money to Finance Its Never-Ending Growth," Good Job First, May 2004]
And I can provide cases of child labor, hiring illegal immigrants, and gender discrimination.
I personally am a fan of Bottom-up economics. We may differ here. I thought something should be posted though