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A body blow to Wal-Mart?

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It's about time Wal-Marts China slave trade is held to the same standards as the rest of American business! You're welcome America.

Wal-Mart workers in New Castle set to vote on union

Thursday, January 13, 2005

By Jim McKay, PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE

It took nearly five years of legal wrangling, but 15 workers in the auto services department at the Wal-Mart supercenter store in New Castle are getting an opportunity to vote on joining a union.

The National Labor Relations Board, in a case that has been pending since 2000, has scheduled an election for Feb. 11 to let employees of the store's Tire & Lube Express department decide whether to join the United Food and Commercial Workers union.

It is the only pending union-representation election at any Wal-Mart in the United States, according to the UFCW, which for years has unsuccessfully sought to represent Wal-Mart employees in stores across the country.

The New Castle election originally was scheduled for the summer of 2000 after the labor board ruled that the tire department workers were an appropriate voting unit.

Wal-Mart had argued that the vote should include the store's total work force of more than 400.

But the 2000 election was halted when the UFCW's Cleveland-based Local 880 filed unfair labor practice charges against Wal-Mart, alleging the giant retailer interfered with the election. The union alleged Wal-Mart executives from Arkansas descended on the store immediately after the election was scheduled and improved conditions for the auto service department workers.

The company installed new equipment and, the UFCW argued, engaged in surveillance of employees' union activities, interrogated them about their union sympathies and moved various employees in and out of the department to dilute support of the union. The allegations were settled by the board in an unpublished ruling late last year, paving the way for the next month's election.

Wal-Mart, which as part of the settlement was ordered to cease the offending practices and inform employees by posting notices in the store, declined to comment yesterday.

UFCW spokesman Greg Denier said Wal-Mart's actions at the New Castle store were typical of tactics used over the years to keep the union out.

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Yay! Chalk one up in the win column for this one. I'm elated to hear about union activities at Wal-Mart. That is exactly what those workers need. Maybe WM will think twice about screwing their workers.

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One of the reasons Wal-Mart stayed out of the Industrial Mid-West and Northeast for so long, strong Union law states, just hoping it catches fire nationwide, Wal-Mart is just evil, they drive out good paying manufacturing jobs to China then buy land from those same broke factories on the courthouse steps and hire all the laid off workers at 50% less!

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This was in the Boston Hearld today... And I hate Wal-Mart and think the yellow smiley is the anti-christ... :ph34r:

Is any of this true? Or is this spin? Cause, this doesn't seem all that bad..

WAL-MART IS WORKING FOR EVERYONE. Some of our critics are working only for themselves.

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Update CEO is now in overdrive with the spector of Unionized workers in Pennsylvania!

Wal-Mart launches campaign to remove sting of criticism

Retailer says it doesn't stifle competition, take advantage of workers

Friday, January 14, 2005

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Wal-Mart chief executive Lee Scott led a media charge Thursday to counter criticism that the world's largest retailer is a behemoth that takes advantage of its workers and stifles competition.

Scott said he wants Wal-Mart workers to know the company was speaking up for them, and he wants Wal-Mart to have a better handle on how it is perceived by the public.

The company bought full-page ads in more than 100 newspapers around the nation to highlight its message that it provides opportunity for advancement and that its stores provide mainly full-time jobs with a broad benefits package.

"We want to get those myths off the table, set the record straight," Scott said in a phone interview. He was in New York City for a round of media interviews.

But a union critic of the discount chain said Thursday the company was ignoring social costs created by its megastores. The United Food and Commercial Workers Union, which has been striving for years to organize Wal-Mart workers, said the company was bending the truth.

Union spokesman Greg Denier said Wal-Mart may count about three-fourths of its workers as full time, but said those employees do not get full 40-hour weeks. He said the health insurance the company touts is too expensive and does not provide enough coverage for illnesses that are short of catastrophic.

Wal-Mart has 1.2 million employees in the United States, making it the nation's largest private employer. Scott said Wal-Mart gives communities stable jobs, and workers have advancement opportunities and benefits that include stock purchases, a 401(k) retirement plan and discount cards.

Scott said the company wants to take its message directly to its customers and their communities. "Customers trust us, and they want to know their trust is well-placed," he said.

That's true of some Wal-Mart shoppers but not most, said Jim Rice, chief credit officer at Bernard Sands Retail Performance Monitor in New York.

"I don't think a majority of shoppers pay attention to either the charges or to Wal-Mart's defense," Rice said. "If Wal-Mart has good selection and good prices, they'll keep shopping."

But Rice said Wal-Mart was right to respond to its detractors.

"Any time you don't answer (criticism), you're going to suffer damage," Rice said, noting Wal-Mart often has let its critics speak and not mounted a defense. "This will have a positive effect."

Shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. fell 44 cents to $53.64 on the New York Stock Exchange Thursday, when most stocks were pressured by higher oil prices and concerns over the economy.

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Good to hear about this.

WalMart = the Devil. I'd actually never even heard of them until 2001 or so when they snuck into the Detroit area with a few suburban stores. I've read up on their business practices and they will never, ever see any of my money.

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