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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov. 8, 2005
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    NC
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    Default The WalMart Strike

    [I'm not going to win any friends, here, but who cares? Cross-posting this from FB:]

    Problem is that the late Sam Walton's sheltered, ignorant kids and the people they have hired to run the business are utterly incompetent and are destroying the corporation even though for the moment Wall Street likes the short term numbers, not realizing that the current management strategy is not sustainable and that the franchise will be another K-Mart headed for oblivion in 3-5 years' time.

    (Imagine if the people who sat around the table with their bizarre blindered opinions at your last extended last family reunion with all the 2nd cousins were all charged with running a Fortune 100 corporation. All of 'em. Not just the five among three dozen who have any knowledge or common sense but are outvoted by the ignorant know-it-alls.)

    I'm frustrated that people who know nothing about how corporations operate have irrationally polarized about WalMart and the current strike [judging from FB commentaries].

    WalMart in concept and in practice is not intrinsically evil, but I totally support the strike, because WalMart management at this moment is stupid and might just as well be evil. It needs a slaughter-bolt between the eyes.

    McGregor's Management X-Theory (i.e., that employees are jerks who need to be watched like a hawk because they will be lazy and dishonest PITA's if they are'nt kept in line) is a cynical nightmare, but that seems to be the model these WalMart management cretins have embraced. The only reason they've been able to get away with it is the desperation of squeezed front-line workers since 2008, and that is unraveling before our eyes. Yippee!! The chickens are coming home to roost.

    I'm not going to try to set forth a detailed salvation plan, but will say as I posted on a thread about the strike earlier today, that the enormous costs of a hostile and rightly disgruntled, management-abused labor force are hidden, just as the earnings-accretive synergies of a frontline workforce with a shared common vision are hidden.

    The net is that with competent management, WalMart could easily surpass the earnings that they've delivered, and do so sustainably.

    Right now the only thing that's keeping these idiots in business is the bad economy with front line people so desperate that until now they were cowed. But enough is enough, even for people who live paycheck-to-paycheck.

    The current model is not sustainable. Walmart, reliant on thin margins, simply cannot survive without its front line folks at very least mollified.

    I'm not making this up. Unlike most of the people with outraged opinions on either side, I actually have worked successfully in management in a corporate environment and learned kicking-and-screaming the hard way much of what works and what doesn't. (Some of my former associates likely think I didn't learn as well as I might have, and they are right. But that was a discussion we all had from the side of spectacularly succeeding in spite of all the obstacles put in our way ...)

    I've spoken to a number of highly competent and hard-working but miserably abused WalMart employees in three states.

    I hope the WalMart strikers bring the Walton kids to their knees.
    Last edited by Adamantane; Nov. 23, 2012 at 05:26 PM.
    "Things should be as simple as possible,
    but no simpler." - Einstein

    “So what’s up with years of lessons? You still can’t ride a damn horse?!”


    18 members found this post helpful.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 15, 2004
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    8,659

    Default

    I hate WM and never ever shop there.


    14 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct. 21, 1999
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    12,953

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FalseImpression View Post
    I hate WM and never ever shop there.

    Yup, I'm on a "until you change your ways" boycott and have been for years.
    Originally Posted by Alagirl
    We just love to shame poor people...when in reality, we are all just peasants.


    9 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 27, 2004
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    1,199

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Louise View Post
    Yup, I'm on a "until you change your ways" boycott and have been for years.

    You obviously don't live where that is the only option to shop. It's that or drive all over hellish city/suburbs to try and find anything. It's not great but I've seen worse.

    I have a couple of extended family members who work there. I've never discussed the "politics of Walmart" with them. I know the quality has gotten worse and they have gotten awful about only having certain items seasonally in the store. The garden center has totally become a spring/summer thing with Christmas taking it over the rest of the year. I'm personally not into "striking". If you don't like an employer, go work somewhere else. That how I feel.


    16 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb. 15, 2004
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    8,659

    Default

    Just saw on the news that some employees did demonstrate against the WM practices and abuse of power. Good for them.


    9 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep. 5, 2011
    Posts
    2,966

    Default

    I have mixed feelings about Walmart, & do shop there. Read all the news stories about them, but still shop there for certain items.

    We've lived here for 15 years, & 3-4 of the SAME cashiers are still working at our local Walmart. And happily so. Can't believe they feel so abused that they'd stick around for 15 years of it. In addition, our local Walmart donates something along the lines of 60+ turkeys, along with other goods, for Thanksgiving & Christmas. They bring them to the food pantry in a tractor-trailer. I've personally seen it.

    Their prices are fair, & more often than not lower than the other chains for brand-name goods. It enables me to bring a full shopping cart of canned/boxed goods & fresh meat products to our local food pantry every week without breaking our wallets.

    And why should I pay over a dollar more each for goods like Reynolds Wrap, ClingWrap, Barilla pasta, any variety of pasta sauce, fresh Purdue poultry, and tons of other stuff? Because someone wants me to prove a point? Don't think so.

    Our local Walmart provides a large portion of our local population with decent products at more than decent prices. If they prefer to & their wallets allow, they can cross the street & pay 1/3 to twice as much at Martins (where I shop as well for certain items). It's a choice.


    13 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
    Posts
    16,016

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hastyreply View Post
    You obviously don't live where that is the only option to shop. It's that or drive all over hellish city/suburbs to try and find anything. It's not great but I've seen worse.

    I have a couple of extended family members who work there. I've never discussed the "politics of Walmart" with them. I know the quality has gotten worse and they have gotten awful about only having certain items seasonally in the store. The garden center has totally become a spring/summer thing with Christmas taking it over the rest of the year. I'm personally not into "striking". If you don't like an employer, go work somewhere else. That how I feel.
    But you just explained why you wouldn't go somewhere else! And your findings "that you'd have to drive hell and yon to find what Walmart has" is an effect of their strategy-- driving out competitors.

    I haven't paid attention to Walmart in a long time. It was clear what kind of business this was, even before they showed their employees how to file for social services. I'm *so* not interested in paying taxes so as to subsidize their labor costs.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


    6 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov. 8, 2005
    Location
    NC
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    2,251

    Default

    I should explain in the interest of full disclosure that I do shop maybe twice a month, sometimes more, sometimes less, at WalMart. Less than 10-15% of what I but the past couple years. Also, my former mother-in-law had been a WM employee and clued me in which led me to check it out with several other employees who sustained everything she'd ever said, no surprise.

    I have never owned WM stock, though I did have a substantial interest in Dollar General for a while and still have a fair stake in Home Depot, which is across the parking lot and pretty much tangential to my local Walmart. The HD employees seem like very happy campers since a management change a few years ago. DG employees are almost as disgruntled as WM but their main complaint seems to be the failure of their management to upgrade the stores and their infrastructure.

    The fact that someone stole my iPhone at WM half a year ago is immaterial. My fault for leaving it on the checkout counter while reaching for my wallet and momentarily forgetting about it... Verizon Wireless said I was one in a hundred who actually got it back :-)
    "Things should be as simple as possible,
    but no simpler." - Einstein

    “So what’s up with years of lessons? You still can’t ride a damn horse?!”



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul. 20, 2007
    Posts
    286

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hastyreply View Post
    You obviously don't live where that is the only option to shop. It's that or drive all over hellish city/suburbs to try and find anything. It's not great but I've seen worse.

    I have a couple of extended family members who work there. I've never discussed the "politics of Walmart" with them. I know the quality has gotten worse and they have gotten awful about only having certain items seasonally in the store. The garden center has totally become a spring/summer thing with Christmas taking it over the rest of the year. I'm personally not into "striking". If you don't like an employer, go work somewhere else. That how I feel.
    You obviously don't live where that is the only option to work....

    In my current location, Walmart is the biggest employer. Don't work at Walmart and you don't work.

    Work at walmart and you get minimum wage with little opportunity for advancment. You get "coached" for all sorts of "infractions" that make it impossible for you to advance. You get assigned tasks that can not be completed during your shift and you will get fired if you work over your shift to finish the job. If you become a "manager", you don't really get to manage. You are punished for finding a more efficient process (a close friend was chastised for "wasting time" on a process that saved an average of 3 hours per day). The workers are treated at the level of the lowest common denominator. It is a soul crushing place to work.


    15 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2002
    Location
    Calera, AL
    Posts
    1,901

    Default

    I pretty much buy all my cat food and cat litter at WM. Sorry, but it is just so much cheaper I can't justify buying it Publix or Winn Dixie.


    8 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun. 1, 2002
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    11,719

    Default

    You have to understand first that Walmart is a gigantic company, each regional manager has a district, each district manager has store managers, each store manager has 10 assistant managers, and each assistant manager is over half a dozen lower managers.

    The store morale and "flexibity" of the rules can differ vastly from store to store and many issues are actually with individual stores having poor managers. The company does go through and will purge managers when the hiring/firing rate and sales rate indicates a problem. It doesn't mean that it isn't an issue, but it can be difficult for "corporate" to control stores that feel like the rules don't apply to them and for that the associates suffer. Stores a few miles apart can operate vastly differently depending on their management.

    Second, you don't have to work at Walmart. You can work somewhere else. The pay rate and health insurance are average for retail. The number of people that want to earn a paycheck but don't want to WORK for that paycheck is staggering.

    Third, this Walmart strike is driven by unions which do not actually occupy Walmart stores. Walmart would be a huge source of income for unions and unions have used all sorts of tactics to get inside Walmarts. There are unions in a few areas, but most of the employees do not seem interested in joining a union. So essentially the unions are encouraging associates to go on strike to protest wages and other things but have ZERO legal input in any negotiation process and can't protect associates that might get fired. Technically what the unions are doing is illegal, and some of the people that you see picketing don't actually work at Walmart.

    Finally, people seem to want retail workers to bring home a bigger paycheck but they are unwilling to pay higher prices for their merchandise.


    19 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
    Posts
    16,016

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by alabama View Post
    I pretty much buy all my cat food and cat litter at WM. Sorry, but it is just so much cheaper I can't justify buying it Publix or Winn Dixie.
    Yabbut, some of that more money you spend is more likely to go into the paychecks of folks in your town. And that money comes back to you when they spend it where you live and work.

    The "sorry" is a sarcastic one, right?
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


    7 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep. 5, 2011
    Posts
    2,966

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    Yabbut, some of that more money you spend is more likely to go into the paychecks of folks in your town. And that money comes back to you when they spend it where you live and work.

    The "sorry" is a sarcastic one, right?
    So where DO you shop "mvp"? Do you have a large family where pinching every penny counts BIG TIME?

    Throw stones only when you've at least had stones in your shoes.


    6 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
    Posts
    16,016

    Default

    I worked for a small shampoo manufacturing firm in the early 1990s that was Walmart-ed on the supply side.

    Back then, Walmart looked for little off-brand products like the ones we made and promised big orders. The tough part, however, was that they dictated some unique stuff for our packaging and also that we had pallets and pallets of finished product ready to go. They also dictated payment terms.

    The contract looked wonderful as it would have doubled our business. But it was risky as well since all the raw materials had to be bought up front. (And in the cosmetics industry some of the ingredients are unique with suppliers dictating their own credit terms. You don't screw over Dow Chemical if you ever want to buy Dowicil.)

    So this little company bit its nails nervously while its bills came due and Walmart had yet to say "Yeah, send XXX pallets of the stuff we told you we'd order." In essence, this company paid to hold Walmart's inventory for them.

    That fubared contract was part of the demise of this dinky firm with a mighty fine product. Which, by the way, was The Bomb for a horse's tail.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


    10 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul. 28, 2006
    Posts
    347

    Default

    I won't shop at walmart, haven't been in one for years.
    I'm not a fan of their corporate policies re: moving into a location and killing off local businesses, low employee wages/benefits, etc.
    I just can't support that intense cash driven only corporate strategy.
    Im prepared to pay a little more to support my local businesses, because I care about my neighborhood.


    15 members found this post helpful.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr. 1, 2008
    Posts
    4,612

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Adamantane View Post
    [I'm not going to win any friends, here, but who cares? Cross-posting this from FB:]

    I hope the WalMart strikers bring the Walton kids to their knees.
    I hope so too.


    10 members found this post helpful.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    44,794

    Default

    Not many choices here, not unless you can drive all over.
    Someone needs to start other stores where people can get to that can't drive well, like Walmart does.

    The national news just commented that some/many of the protesters were not even WM employees.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2010
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    827

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    I worked for a small shampoo manufacturing firm in the early 1990s that was Walmart-ed on the supply side.

    Back then, Walmart looked for little off-brand products like the ones we made and promised big orders. The tough part, however, was that they dictated some unique stuff for our packaging and also that we had pallets and pallets of finished product ready to go. They also dictated payment terms.

    The contract looked wonderful as it would have doubled our business. But it was risky as well since all the raw materials had to be bought up front. (And in the cosmetics industry some of the ingredients are unique with suppliers dictating their own credit terms. You don't screw over Dow Chemical if you ever want to buy Dowicil.)

    So this little company bit its nails nervously while its bills came due and Walmart had yet to say "Yeah, send XXX pallets of the stuff we told you we'd order." In essence, this company paid to hold Walmart's inventory for them.

    That fubared contract was part of the demise of this dinky firm with a mighty fine product. Which, by the way, was The Bomb for a horse's tail.
    This is true, for small businesses being a fulfillment center for Walmart can be disastrous. You basically are loaning them the inventory and they will pay you when the items are sold.

    But if you don't like it, don't do business with Walnart. My Uncle chooses not to supply wood to Walmart for this very reason.

    Unfortunately I think a lot of small businesses don't do research about being a vendor for Walmart and don't realize this is how it goes.


    5 members found this post helpful.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2009
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    22,100

    Default

    What most people fail to realize is how we support Walmart's low wages with food stamps, medicaid and tax breaks.

    For every 3 jobs that are lost when a Walmart moves in, only two are replaced...almost always at lower wages and with fewer benefits.

    For those of you who say...then don't work there, I highly recommend the book Nickel and Dimed.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant


    15 members found this post helpful.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr. 1, 2008
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    4,612

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hastyreply View Post
    You obviously don't live where that is the only option to shop. It's that or drive all over hellish city/suburbs to try and find anything. It's not great but I've seen worse.

    I have a couple of extended family members who work there. I've never discussed the "politics of Walmart" with them. I know the quality has gotten worse and they have gotten awful about only having certain items seasonally in the store. The garden center has totally become a spring/summer thing with Christmas taking it over the rest of the year. I'm personally not into "striking". If you don't like an employer, go work somewhere else. That how I feel.
    Wait. How do you reconcile these two statements.

    "you obviously don't live where that is the only option to shop."

    and

    "If you don't like an employer, go work somewhere else. That how I feel."


    13 members found this post helpful.

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