Tag Archives | Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart Worker Strikes Expand To 28 Stores In 12 States

There’s trouble in paradise, the New York Times reports:

Protests against Wal-Mart expanded on Tuesday, spreading to 28 stores in 12 states, a union spokesman said.

Mr. Schlademan, director of the union-backed Making Change at Walmart campaign, added that more than 200 employees were traveling to Wal-Mart’s headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., to stage a protest on during the company’s annual meeting with financial analysts. He warned that disgruntled Wal-Mart employees, joined by labor unions and community groups, might stage a combined protest and educational campaign the Friday after Thanksgiving, the traditional start of the holiday shopping season.

Colby Harris, who earns $8.90 an hour after three years at a Walmart in Lancaster, Tex., said, “We’re protesting because we want better working conditions and better wages and because we want them to stop retaliating against associates who exercise their right to talk about what’s going on in their stores.”

Wal-Mart officials insisted that the protests were publicity stunts rather than strikes, carried out by a tiny fraction of the nation’s 1.4 million Wal-Mart workers.

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The Walmart Heirs Now Have As Much Wealth As The Bottom 40 Percent Of Americans

Welcome to our sharecropper economy. A couple of years ago, eyebrows were raised by the news that the Walton family’s wealth was equal to that of the bottom 30 percent of U.S. families. In little time that figure has ballooned to 40 percent, the Economic Policy Institute notes:

We have argued previously that Walmart is a useful archetype for trends in the larger American economy over the past three decades. Its enormous size and bargaining power has led to fabulous wealth for its owners, while the compensation it pays its employees is generally low, even by retail standards; and the ubiquity of Walmart stores means that it is effectively the marginal employer in many U.S. counties.

In 2007, it was reported that the Walton family wealth was as large as the bottom 35 million families in the wealth distribution combined, or 30.5 percent of all American families. And in 2010, as the Walton’s wealth has risen and most other Americans’ wealth declined, it is now the case that the Walton family wealth is as large as the bottom 48.8 million families in the wealth distribution (constituting 41.5 percent of all American families) combined.

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The Walmart Meth Lab

Photo: Remi0o (CC)Only in America folks! Xeni Jardin recounts this nutty Walmart meth cooking story at BoingBoing:

Apparently, corporate profits just aren’t enough for some global megabusinesses these days: a Walmart store in South St. Louis County, Missouri was emptied by police when an “active methamphetamine production laboratory” was discovered inside.

Now, it’s entirely possible that the “lab” consisted of an empty plastic bottle and some chemicals, but still, you guys: some tweeker was cooking crystal inside a freakin’ Walmart…

UPDATE: It gets weirder. This local news report further clarifies that a woman detained for shoplifting at the Walmart “began to make meth in the loss prevention office.”

Now that is baller. You’re busted for shoplifting, placed in what amounts to a holding cell inside the store, and how do you kill time? Makin’ ice!…

[continues at BoingBoing]

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Wal-Mart Will No Longer Have People Greeters At The Door

Wal-Mart GreeterSign of the times? Claire Gordon writes on AOL Jobs:

After 30 years, “People Greeters” will no longer welcome Walmart customers with a “cart and a smile.” Four months after Walmart got rid of its night-shift “People Greeters,” the big-box retailer is moving its day-shift greeters inside the store. Walmart claims it’s all in the name of better customer service, but the announcement has left some greeters uncertain about the future of their jobs.

Jerome Allen has greeted morning shoppers at Walmart for five years, the last two at a supercenter in Fort Worth, Texas. He heard through the grapevine that the store was reassigning its night-shift greeters, but was surprised when the store manager called him into his office on Thursday, and told him that there would be no more door greeters at all.

Allen’s new position, which begins Feb. 6, will be to stand in “high traffic” areas of the store, ask customers if they need any assistance, and direct the flow of traffic.

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We Must De-Occupy Big Food

PackagesFollowing on from Willie Nelson’s call to “Occupy The Food Supply”, Christopher D. Cook says we need to de-occupy the industrial “food” suppliers, writing at Alternet:

It is no longer news that a few powerful corporations have literally occupied the vast majority of human sustenance. The situation is perilous: nearly all of human food production, seeds, food processing and sales, is run by a handful of for-profit firms which, like any capitalist enterprise, function to maximize profit and gain ever-greater market share and control. The question has become: What do we do about this disastrous alignment of pure profit in something so basic and fundamental to human survival?

It is time — now, not next year — to de-occupy Walmart. And Archer Daniels Midland. And Tyson Foods. And Monsanto. And Cargill. And Kraft Foods. And the other large corporations that decide what ends up on our plates. Take all our money out, public and personal, from our shopping dollars to school district lunch contracts to the corporate subsidies that uphold these firms’ grip on our food supply, and invest it in a new system that’s economically diverse and ecologically sustainable.

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Man Arrested For Paying With $1 Million Bill At Wal-Mart

Walmart-Million-Dollar-Bill-MugshotTo you, this may be a case of a mentally ill person at Wal-Mart. However, I see it as highlighting the implicit absurdity of money, and an admirable insistence on defining one’s own reality. Winston-Salem Journal reports:

A Lexington man is accused trying to use a fake $1 million bill to pay for his purchases at a Walmart.

Michael Anthony Fuller, 53, of 3 Parker St., walked into the Walmart on Lowes Boulevard in Lexington on Nov. 17. He shopped for a while, picking up a vacuum cleaner, a microwave oven and other merchandise, totaling $476, an arrest warrant says.

Fuller was later charged with attempting to obtain property by false pretense and uttering a forged instrument, both felonies, court records show. A warrant says of the fake million-dollar bill: “There is no such thing.” The largest bill in circulation is a $100 bill.

Lexington police Sgt. Shannon Sharpe said the case is unusual.

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The Industry of Hunger

Photo: Tawheed Manzoor (CC)

Photo: Tawheed Manzoor (CC)

Vandana Shiva on Al Jazeera English explains how, as mega-chains venture into industrial farming, they have created an epidemic of hunger- and generated billions in profit.

New Delhi, India – In November 2011, when the UPA government announced that it had cleared the entry of big retail chains such as Walmart and Tesco into India through 51 per cent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail, it justified the decision saying that FDI in retail would boost food security and benefit farmers’ livelihoods.

But the assurance that FDI in retail would ease inflation did not resolve the political crisis the government was facing; it deepened it. Parliament was stalled for several days of the Winter Session, after which the government was forced to withdraw its decision.

The story of FDI in retail goes back to 2005, when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh signed an agriculture agreement with the US, along with the nuclear agreement.

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Woman Arrested For Attempting Meth Lab Inside Wal-Mart

methIf Wal-Mart has supplanted plazas, main streets, and town squares as the communal gathering place in locales across the country, and meth culture has become the predominant culture in some areas, it stands to reason that a logical weekend activity would be cooking up some meth at Wal-Mart. KJRH in Oklahoma reports:

Tulsa Police say a woman tried to make a meth lab inside a south Tulsa Walmart.

According to police, Alisha Halfmoon, 45, began taking items used to make meth off of shelves at the Walmart located at 81st and Lewis in south Tulsa. She then began trying to make the drug while still inside the store.

When officers took the items outside the store, some spilled. One officer suffered a minor burn to his hand. No customers were injured.

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Wal-Mart Rolls Back Discrimination Law Suit

Photo: Joey Caputo (CC)

Photo: Joey Caputo (CC)

Is Wal-Mart too big to sue? How will this and previous law suits against Wal-Mart effect the future of how other businesses deal with discrimination? Via MSNBC:

If you’re part of a group of employees working for a major U.S. corporation with a gripe about unfair treatment, your collective voices were potentially muffled Monday.

A key attempt to tackle inequality in the U.S. workforce suffered a major blow when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Wal-Mart — with its thousands of stores and millions of employment decisions — was too massive for a group of employees to sue for discrimination using class-action status.

Wal-Mart, according to a 5-4 decision by the high court, is just too big to sue. The court’s decision is a direct hit to women seeking parity in particular. Women now make up about half the U.S. workforce and that means no other minority group seeking a class action would likely constitute such a big block of employees at any one employer.

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British Supermarket Chain Starts Dating Service Based On Shopping Habits

24925Asda, a British retail giant owned by Wal-Mart, has launched an online dating site which matches singles by the products they purchase. Because, really, you are what you buy, and who would want to cohabit with someone who consumes a different brand of toilet paper? Business Review Europe gets starry-eyed:

Asda customers may be able to find love among the cabbages. According to Asda, the novel idea came about after a survey conducted on 10,000 of their shoppers showed that 71 percent of men and 64 percent of women look for a possible match in their local supermarket. And 41 percent said they viewed contents of fellow shoppers baskets to try and gauge whether they were single. Asda has decided to give the lonely hearts of our nation a helping hand!

Asdadating.com is the ‘perfect matchmaking option,’ explains a Asda spokesperson, ‘you can chat to fellow shoppers you like the look of whilst getting your weekly shop done.’

Asda’s dating website matches potential partners based on their shopping habits.

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