Archives for posts with tag: wal mart

No matter how big a motherf***er you are, sometimes you’ll have to pay for what you’ve done to all those mothers. Even Walmart’s CEO has to account for his abuse of that company’s “associates”. Mr. Duke was forced out after the National Labor Relations Board announced its intention to prosecute the company for crapping on its workers.

Walmart, you see, really hates the idea of unions. Or anything that might increase labor costs, like, you know, paying a living wage, providing benefits, and so on. And anytime an “associate” (which sounds a lot like “oh s***”. Coincidence? Not in this case.) objects to being treated like a toad in front of bulldozer, Walmart retaliates. Even the NLRB can’t believe the crap that Wal-Mart is pulling, so they are going after the company.

Walmart can charge such low prices because they shift the costs to the American taxpayer: they pay such crap wages, a large percentage of their workers are on food stamps, HEAP, ADC, CHIP, and other expensive government acronyms. They also get tax breaks on the corporate level, in the form of abatements, TIFs, and other corporate welfare. So you pay at least twice for every purchase at Walmart: once at the register, and then with your payroll taxes, and in many cases again with your property taxes. (That’s three times, in case you’re keeping score.)

Mr. Duke is walking away with millions of dollars after making his company an even more hostile and abusive workplace than it was before. The “associates” are even worse off than they were before. And any NLRB action won’t really hurt such a colossus, because Congress has made it difficult to hold companies to account in any meaningful way. So it’s up to us to send a message to the Waltons and their latter-day sweatshops:
Don’t f***ing shop there today.

The only injury any business fears is the loss of profit. If we all say “f*** you” to Walmart and shop elsewhere, we can get their attention. And if we keep doing so, we can force change upon those greedy motherf***ing bastards that run the place.

There are lots of other places that offer great prices on Black Friday. This writer suggests you shop at small, independent local businesses whenever possible. More on that tomorrow. But even if you can’t keep it local (sometimes that is so), you can pick companies that offer a fair deal to you and their workers. Here are some links to such enterprises: http://www.businessinsider.com/most-ethical-retailers-in-the-world-2012-3?op=1
http://retailindustry.about.com/od/retailbestpractices/a/Worlds-Most-Ethical-Retail-Companies-2013-2007-Starbucks-Target-Gap-Ethisphere.htm

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

20131119-083925.jpgThis is what you support when you shop at Wal-Mart: a company that is so abusive to its employees, it runs food drives for them instead of paying them enough to eat. From the article:

Norma Mills of Canton, who lives near the store, saw the photo circulating showing the food drive bins, and felt both “outrage” and “anger.”

“Then I went through the emotion of compassion for the employees, working for the largest food chain in America, making low wages, and who can’t afford to provide their families with a good Thanksgiving holiday,” said Mills, an organizer with Stand Up for Ohio, which is active in foreclosure issues in Canton. “That Walmart would have the audacity to ask low-wage workers to donate food to other low-wage workers — to me, it is a moral outrage.”

Your humble correspondent has worked some truly s***y jobs in his time: car washing, day-labor, chemical-tank cleaning, and so on. Many of these jobs were unsafe, and none of them paid well. But not even those scumballs could rival Wal-Mart’s epic lack of concern for their employees. Here’s a story from one of those aforementioned s***y jobs:

We had a guy working as a dishwasher who made enough to get by (barely), but he collapsed one day at work. Turns out he hadn’t eaten in two days, because his family ate all the food in the house, and there was nothing left for him when he got home from work. Did HR set up a demoralizing “food drive” in the break room? No, they did not. They created a one-off payroll deduction that went to a lunch fund that only the employee could use, to eat at the workplace cafeteria, thus guaranteeing the poor guy three meals a day.

This employer was not a particularly benevolent organization – in fact, they pretty much sucked overall. But they at least understood that it was in their own best interest to have their employees at least f***ing fed on a regular basis. Wal-Mart doesn’t even have that level of awareness.

When you give Wal-Mart your money, you are telling them that you approve of and endorse the (literally) starvation wages they pay. And if you are OK with starving working people to death just so you can save a penny on a pair of Spanx, well, you’re pretty s***y yourself.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

Back in the 70’s and early 80’s, Mr. Blunt and Cranky was a professional musician. That means he could make enough from gigs to pay his bills. Not rich, but getting by. However, bar owners stopped paying players and decided to save money by hiring DJ’s, and eventually Karaoke. The musicians had to quit the stage and get day jobs to pay our bills, but hey, it’s all about the immediate profit margin, right? Pay the least amount possible and make more  money.

Of course, the quality of nightclub “entertainment” these days is, to put it as charitably as possible, minimal. You get what you pay for, and what club owners and “cluboners” are getting for their minimium payout is drunken amateurs who cannot carry a tune in a moving van. They pay for s*** and are getting s***. Not as many people go to bars to hear music these days.

Not that this is unique to the music biz. All over the nation, employers are chopping back on wages, benefits, and generally treating their workers like cheap Kleenex: disposable, cheap resources that can be thrown into the trash at any time, and another pulled from the box to replace it. And politicians of many stripes have helped to make this the new normal via legislation and tax breaks.

In fact, it has gotten so bad, people making the minimum wage can be working full-time and living under a bridge, because they can’t afford both housing and food. If they can afford a roof over their heads, they often must do without transportation or medical care. And unlike this writer, most cannot escape into a different job, because they cannot afford the cost of creatinga new career. These are not going to be motivated, productive employees: rather, they are going to turn into little ticking time bombs, tens of millions of them, waiting for someone or something to light the fuse (read up on the French Revolution if you don’t believe it).

Even absent such a cataclysm, paying people less than they need to survive is a drag on the economy. Think about the Wal-Mart workers who get food stamps or Medicaid, for example. We pay twice for every product we purchase at such an establishment: once at the store, and again with our taxes. And shopping at these places has become a miserable experience, due to horrible employee morale: so bad, in fact, that people don’t want to shop there, and increasingly do not. The employers are paying the minimum and are getting the minimum, all the while demanding the maximum.

One does not need to be an economist to know that this will not end well. If you’re busting your ass and getting screwed while your boss makes millions, you’re going to do a s*** job, because you’re being treated like s***.

The situation has gotten so ridiculous that when a politician proposes raising the minimum wage to a level that is a bit higher but still less than one needs to have the basic necessities of life, why, don’t the Chambers of Commerce and assorted muckety-mucks start to scream and wail like little toddlers who are being made to eat their veggies for a change.  The employers of America have been spoiled for over 30 years, and are now so used being coddled, their every whim indulged, that they are throwing tantrums whenever some teeny amount of discipline is being applied.

Sooner or later, everyone has to learn a simple truth: you get what you pay for. If you pay for motivated workers, you’ll get motivated workers. If you pay for crap workers, you’ll get crap workers.  In the overall economy as in a nightclub, having people who are ill-paid, under-motivated, or unqualified  (or all three) providing a “service” is pretty much guaranteed to make the quality of  that service s*** at worst and minimal at best.

Mr. B & C