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Wal-Mart Strikes Ripe for Union Picking?

Wal-Mart workers nationwide are planning to walk-out on the largest shopping day of the year - Black Friday.  Reasons for the strike are unclear, but CNN Money reports, "Wal-Mart workers have been battling with management over pay, benefits and their ability to speak up, experts say." 

"A Wal-Mart spokeswoman said the number of workers who are raising concerns is very small and don't represent the views of the vast majority of its workforce of 1.3 million," reports CNN.  But even if a few thousand workers decide to strike next week, it's likely to cause disruptions.

Talk of disgruntled workers unfairly oppressed by unresponsive management reeks of Big Labor. As expected, the usual suspects have jumped on the Wal-Mart strike bandwagon.

Occupy Wall Street supports the strike and is requesting donations to feed the hungry strikers. I suppose standing outside a retail establishment, holding a picket sign for one whole day works up quite an appetite. The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union has also expressed their support of the strike and even runs a website called 'Making Change at Wal-Mart.' Their goal is, "challenging Walmart [sic] to help rebuild our economy, starting with America's families." It's not clear why they believe Wal-Mart, a corporation, has a responsibility to America's families, but that is their aim nonetheless. And not surprisingly, they push the class warfare message, accusing Wal-Mart of, "widening the  gap between the very rich and everyone else."

The SEIU directs interested supporters to the Warehouse Workers United site, a site seemingly devoted to Wal-Mart strikers. The Corporate Action Network has three causes, the third is of course, "Justice at Wal-Mart" and implores interested parties to support the Black Friday walk-out.  The AFL-CIO and Jobs With Justice have also thrown their support behind this "viral" strike. 

Interestingly enough, most of the abovementioned sites share the same photos of Wal-Mart workers and articulate issues uniformly. Typical of leftist movements, it certainly appears as though this is another orchestrated effort by Big Labor and its cohorts to manufacture unrest. The result? An opportunity to unionize the largest retail establishment in the country.  It's still unclear how many Wal-Mart employees plan to participate in the Black-Friday strike. Given the parties involved in promoting the walk-out, one thing is certain -- it's hard to imagine anything good coming out of this Astroturf demonstration.

Gen Knoxx

The problem with Walmart is that govt programs create an environment where there are tax subsidies for already hugely profitable companies, as well as a reward (wage subsidy of SNAP(food stamps) and Medicaid) for underpaying workers. Free Market would push these types of businesses to pay more, and then the workers would pay taxes and not drain on social programs. The sickest part of all this is that not only do 80+% of Walmart workers get food stamps, many redeem them at Walmart also. Because Walmart is publicly held, the pressure to continue this profit from taxes scheme is undeniable. By pressuring Walmart to pay more, we are actually fixing a flaw in the free market environment. Now, it's not as good a strategy to just halt the programs because small biz in small communities may need employ at lower wages to remain solvent - in order to prevent even more people from not having access to local groceries and from losing their jobs. If a company is making a lot of money, they should not qualify to get extra "free govt money" or subsidy. If we, the taxpayers, were not subsidizing Walmart, then it would be right to say what they do is there choice, but taxpayers are and so we have a right to tell them that they should pay more so their people won't need wage subsidy and will pay taxes themselves. I DO NOT WANT MY TAX DOLLARS to show up on the WALMART profit column anymore. Do you?

zacsi fac

This whole Black Friday thing is becoming a world wide phenomenon... One of the <a href=" ways to save</a> money if you are planning on buying literally anything and you could start shopping for Christmas way early too!


Gen, you make excellent points. And thanks for the details and references.

Cathie Ackerman

Of course people with food stamps shop at Walmart, that stretches their food dollar. A good decision. A subsidy Gen, not fair. I'm not convinced that Walmart is the reason a person may work there part-time and still get food stamps. That may be their choice. Part-time workers do not generally make high wages in retail, it's just the way it is. The fact that these workers think it is a good idea to go on strike on the busiest shopping day of the year shows you just how much they want a job, as they can be assured they won't have one if that is what they chose to do. That is called a CHOICE. Walmart offers workers what they offer them. If they don't like it they don't have to work there. Find a job where they will get everything they want. Their actions will not result in much sympathy from most working people and certainly will not result in the store shutting down like Hostess. The Unions are out to destroy every business they can get their grimy fingers on. Believe me, they do not want to be unionized, it will cost them more in union dues than the benefits they think they will gain. The Unions like to blame the fat cats in business for low wages for the workers...but it is true of the Unions as well...big fat cats making large salaries and decisions that rarely make any conditions people work under any better these days. They cost everyone too much money.

Gen Knoxx

really? you are going to pick on that statistic when the implications are so much broader?

You can start here with some numbers: When I find a "simpler" explanation for the 80+ number, I will come back and share it.

The food stamps (SNAP) info doesn't even scratch the surface. When profitable companies can underpay because subsidy systems exist, we all lose. For example:

Less payroll tax deductions for Federal, State, and Local taxes. Leading to lack of funding for public service workers etc.

The store(s) actually increase the need for those public services that are underfunded because of the decreased tax revenue. (oh, and I didn't mention that many stores negotiate even further tax breaks/subsidies with localities - see for state by state info)

Most workers do not qualify for company healthcare because they aren't scheduled for enough hours - taxpayers end up covering their healthcare costs.

Children of low wage earners qualify for free and reduced lunches at school.

In addition to not PAYING taxes due to low wages, low wage workers also quality for tax deductions for low-income families.

(this list is paraphrased from an article that was posted by - because I haven't verified the AMOUNTS they included, I am only including the categories and not the dollar amounts. Rest assured, the amount is WAY TOO DAMN MUCH OF MY TAX MONEY.)

Steve Sumski

Please reference "80+% of Walmart workers get food stamps" Thanks

Gen Knoxx

oy - no way to fix typos - there is their... / may need TO employ / thanks for reading, sorry about the typos

Gen Knoxx

oy - no way to fix typos - there is their... / may need TO employ / thanks for reading, sorry about the typos

Linda RN

I hope they all walk out, and get promptly fired because a lot of other people would appreciate the jobs. This smells of union organizing. The unions just destroyed Hostess with 18,700 jobs lost - I'm sure they would like to work at Walmart.


>> It's not clear why they believe Wal-Mart, a corporation, has a responsibility to America's families<<

You just admitted that trickle down economics doesn't work since we can't depend on the free will of corporations for a strong economy.

You just admitted that these "job creators" will only create part time, low wage dead end jobs. Americans need more good paying long lasting jobs.

One way to deal with this is to have the tea party rally support against NAFTA and other corporate trade agreements. They don't seem to be working too good, with the state of the economy.