Monday, October 30, 2006
Nearly two months after Wal-Mart announced its membership into the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, an anti-gay organization is sounding off, asking its own members to avoid shopping at the retail giant. The American Family Association is reminding its supporters that Wal-Mart recently joined the NGLCC and says Wal-Mart plans to give "two large grants" to the organization.
According to Cybercast News Service, the president of the NGLCC said he expects Wal-Mart to use its influence to pressure suppliers such as Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson and Gillette to give preferential treatment to businesses owned by gay and lesbians. The AFA, noting that the NGLCC is a leading promoter of same-sex marriage, is urging conservatives to take action: "Send your email to Wal-Mart expressing you displeasure with their promotion of homosexual marriage," AFA told its supporters, reports CNS. "Call your local Wal-Mart manager and express your displeasure."
According to the Agape Press, AFA states it found (via a search function at Walmart.com) more than 1,100 items for sale when the term "gay" was entered, almost 500 in response to the term "lesbian," and more than a hundred based on the terms "transgender," "bisexual," and "gay marriage." Sharp says the corporate giant’s new link to support of the homosexual agenda is clear. "There’s no question that Wal-Mart is supporting homosexuality," Randy Sharp, AFA’s director of special projects, told the Agape Press. "They’re supporting the homosexual agenda, whose number-one directive is to bring same-sex marriage to America."
Despite all the pressure and criticism, Wal-Mart stock was up this week. Accrding to the Associated Press, Wal-Mart pleased investors with its announcement that it "plans to bring costs in line with a slowdown in sales and earnings growth." Even so, the company reportedly plans to open stores in 600 new locations next year, reports the AP.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Our organization has brought people of all backgrounds together to fight for a common cause. We have all seen the facts of the affect Wal-Mart has on communities, how they treat their employees, and their disrespect for labor laws. along with the help of community activists has stopped them from opening stores throughout the five boroughs. We Thank all of you for your support.
Press from yesterday's events...
NY Metro: http://ny.metro.us/metro/local/article/WalMart__MTV/5295.html
NY SUN: http://www.nysun.com/article/42161
Friday, October 20, 2006
30 Rockerfeller Center 49th st. Entrance
WAL - MART
Continues their Attempt to Enter Our City
Lee Scott To Be Honored
Lee Scott To Be Honored
Show him Low Wages,
Show him Low Wages,
Increased Polution, No Benefit Jobs AREN'T WELCOME IN NYC
Increased Polution, No Benefit Jobs AREN'T WELCOME IN NYC
For More Information and to RSVP Please
Wake up Wal-Mart T-Shirts will be Distributed at the Event
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Plaintiffs' lawyer Michael Donovan will also seek another $62 million in damages because the jury found that Wal-Mart acted in bad faith. Common Pleas Judge Mark Bernstein is expected to rule on that issue in the next few weeks.
The jury awarded the exact amount the plaintiffs sought, rejecting Wal-Mart's claim that some employees chose to work through breaks and that the loss of a few minutes' pay here or there was insignificant.
Reason #439 Not to let Wal-Mart in our Unique City.
Monday, October 16, 2006
Honestly, after reading countless articles and reports on the great people who run Wal-Mart and their PR department you learn to laugh at some of the ridiculous stunts they try and pull over the eyes of American people. Regardless of where we stand on Wal-Mart, their ethics and Public Relations are a joke. Whether it be hiring fake liberal politicians, creating fake organizations or establishing front groups now what is simply the icing on the cake, Fake couples and their Fake traveling stories.
It has finally been revealed that the humorus flog (fake blog), www.WalMartingAcrossAmerica.com is a flat out PR stunt.
MediaPost.com has revealed the truth about the two travelers "Jim" and "Laura". For those of you who aren't familiar with Jim and Laura, here is a quick summary on what their blog was about...
Jim and Laura are like every American couple, hard workers just simply in search of a fabulous vacation from their full-time jobs. One day Jim and Laura had a brainstorm,
"I started thinking about all the other amazing things there are to see in this vast country of ours. And then I started thinking about how Wal-Mart — one in every town, practically — lets you park overnight for free."Great idea, couldn't have said it better myself, this is where we encounter our first problem(s), they don't exist (yet at least). Through non-stop heavy criticism from bloggers proclaiming that Jim and Laura did not exist, they now do...Wal-Mart Watch: Identity revealed.
“Laura” is now Laura St. Claire, a freelance writer. Jim is James Thresher, a professional photographer and Washington Post employee. Freelancing although, is against his contract with the Post, which has ordered him to return Wal-Mart’s money and remove his photos from the flog.
When the blog was first released, many bloggers immediately knew how unrealistic the blog was. There has been plenty, not surprisingly... there’s more here, here, and elsewhere.
"Wal-Mart has hired fake people," says Jonathan Rees, a labor historian and associate professor at Colorado State University at Pueblo, who has also worked as a staff researcher at the AFL-CIO. In a blog posting for the Web site The Writing On the Wal, Reese published an open letter to Laura and Jim challenging them to reveal themselves and asking who paid for their RV and gas.
Businessweek sums up the entire confusting soap opera here in this report - "Jim & Laura- The Real Story"
Blogging is an independent way for regular people to voice their opinions and feelings. We're fine with Wal-Mart running a blog, what we shouldn't be fine with is the integrity of their blogs. Wal-Mart trying to create this 'hip' image that it is so far from, this is yet another example of Wal-Mart's attempt to fool their consumers. Another reason why this company is extremely messed up.
"Edelman wanted to make consumers think that Wal-Mart is a hip place that you'd want to use as the anchor point for a roadtrip. The problem is it's not. And because blogging is not a control-based medium, Edelman couldn't make Wal-Mart appear to be something it's not. It rang false, and they got caught."
Wal-Mart Adjusts Attendance Policy
To Pare Unhealthy Workers;
1-800 Number for Sick Days
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has enacted a new attendance policy that penalizes workers for multiple unexcused absences and requires them to call an 800 number whenever they get sick, changes critics say are part of a bigger effort to nudge out unhealthy and long-tenured employees.
Also on the labor front, a Pennsylvania jury on Friday awarded $78.4 million to thousands of Wal-Mart employees who claimed they were forced to work during rest breaks and off the clock.
Wal-Mart, of Bentonville, Ark., says the new attendance policy benefits employees by documenting their requests for time off instead of relying on harried store managers to remember each request. And it benefits shoppers by discouraging unexcused absenteeism. "It's not for tracking; it's really to ensure a more consistent application of our absentee policy," spokesman John Simley said.
The new policy instructs employees requesting time off for illness to call an 800 number to get a code and then relay that code to their store manager for approval of their absence. Previously, employees asked their store manager directly for such time off, employees say.
In addition, the new policy formalizes penalties for employees who fail to get their absences authorized or don't bother to call. Among them: Any employee with more than three unauthorized absences in a six-month span will be disciplined, and those with seven will be fired. Any employee who is absent three times during a six-month period and doesn't call the 800 number for any of the three times can be fired. And employees needing more than three consecutive sick days are encouraged to apply for an unpaid leave of absence or time off under the Family Medical Leave Act. Previously, store managers had more discretion regarding discipline for unexcused absences.
The policy change comes at a time when some of Wal-Mart's 1.3 million U.S. workers are riled by fears that the retailer wants to cut costs by attracting healthier employees and a greater percentage of part-time workers. Some employees and Wal-Mart critics decry the new policy as a way for Wal-Mart to discourage unhealthy employees by tracking sick-time use more closely, setting stricter guidelines for authorization and making the process of applying for sick leave more onerous.
"I guess they're just trying to see how many people they can get rid of," said Ramiro Gonzalez, a 49-year-old full-time worker in the produce section of a Wal-Mart in El Paso, Texas. "They're trying to make ways that you can mess it up so they can let you go, especially if you're a full-timer."
Wal-Mart's concerns about its soaring health-insurance costs came to light last year, when an internal memorandum authored by a top Wal-Mart official was leaked. The memo offered numerous suggestions for corralling benefits costs by luring healthier workers.
The new policy "just sends another terrible message that this company looks at its workers as a commodity," said Chris Kofinis, spokesman for Wal-Mart critic WakeUpWalMart.com.
From the employer perspective, automated telephone or Internet-based systems to track worker absences can protect employers against litigation related to providing adequate time off to workers under overlapping federal and state leave laws. "There are a lot of issues that surface when someone calls in sick," said Lisa Franke, a workplace analyst with CCH Inc., a Riverwoods, Ill., provider of employment-law information to companies. "It's really an administrative nightmare, so a lot of employers are outsourcing that to the experts and having them do the dirty work."
Unscheduled absences cost some large employers more than $1 million a year, according to a CCH survey of 323 human-resources executives last year. The survey found that unscheduled absenteeism cost employers $660 per employee per year on average last year, up from $610 the prior year.
In the Pennsylvania case, Wal-Mart was ordered by the jury to pay damages to nearly 187,000 current and former workers in that state. The class-action case had covered labor practices at Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores from March 1998 through May 2006. In addition to the damages awarded by the jury, a state judge is expected to add $62 million in minimum damages required under state labor law, according to Michael Donovan, attorney for the plaintiffs in the case. That would bring total damages in the case to about $140.4 million, excluding an estimated $40 million in legal fees, he said. Wal-Mart attorney Neal Manne said he was confident the company would appeal the jury's decision.
---- Peter Loftus and James Covert contributed to this article.
Friday, October 13, 2006
Forbes - NY,USA
After a number of false starts, Wal-Mart Stores is planning to launch in New York City--the five boroughs, and especially the juicy, consumer-driven world of ...
Made in China: Wal-Mart Unions
YaleGlobal Online - CT,USA
... the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU), the trade union notorious throughout the world for being “useless,” has taken on Wal-Mart and set up ...
Boston Globe - United States
PHILADELPHIA -- Wal-Mart broke Pennsylvania labor laws by forcing employees to work through rest breaks and off the clock, a jury decided yesterday in a ...
Wal-Mart's Too Cool for School
MSNBC - USA
By Rick Aristotle Munarriz. It's another small step back for Wal-Mart(NYSE: WMT) and a giant leap back for its not-so-hip kind. The ...
Why Wal-Mart Wants to Invade New York
Think Wal-Mart is just going to pack up its box and go home? Think again.
The Evils of Wal-Mart
ProgressiveU.org - San Mateo,CA,USA
Today my dad sent me an article from "Shopping Centers Today" about Wal-Mart's newest plan to take over the world: having different stores target different ...
Official Union in China Says All Wal-Marts Are Organized
New York Times - United States
... Mr. Guo said the labor federation would now assist workers in their negotiations with Wal-Mart management for new contracts and would seek to improve ...
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Wal-Mart Voters- The GOP-leaning retailer is encouraging employees to vote. Will that help the Democrats?
The GOP-leaning retailer is encouraging employees to vote. Will that help the Democrats?
By Daniel Gross
Last Friday, Wal-Mart announced it was starting a campaign to encourage its 1.3 million associates to register to vote and participate in the electoral process. Wal-Mart is hiring politicos from the left (Charles Baker) and right (Terry Nelson) to help, and the company is providing workers with voter-registration and education materials.
Critics will assume that this is yet another attempt by Wal-Mart to stack the deck in favor of its favorite political party: the GOP. As the Center for Responsive Politics noted, Wal-Mart has given more than $1 million in federal campaign donations in this cycle, with 71 percent going to Republicans. And Wal-Mart itself is a lot like the contemporary Republican Party—strong in the South, Midwest, Sunbelt, and Great Plains, weak in the cities and coastal areas, and steadfastly hostile to organized labor. The company has also been less than subtle in letting employees know what it thinks about certain politicians. As the Financial Times noted, "In August, Wal-Mart distributed a letter to its employees in Iowa and three other states, highlighting what it said were inaccuracies in criticism by Gov. Tom Vilsack, as well as Sens. Evan Bayh of Indiana and Joseph Biden of Delaware and New Mexico's Gov. Bill Richardson." (Democrats, all.) Wal-Mart also promised employees it would "keep you informed about what these political candidates are saying about your company while on the campaign trail."
But with Wal-Mart, the politico-economic issues are never as simple as they seem, as former Kerry adviser Jason Furman has argued. It is safe to assume that most senior officers of the company are Republicans, although their numbers now include top flack Leslie Dach, a former Democratic political operative. But what about its vast army of associates? If Wal-Mart encourages them to vote and brings some marginal voters to the ballot box in the process, it could be doing Democrats a huge favor.
Wal-Mart's diversity data shows that the company's workforce, and in particular its vast army of sales associates, looks an awful lot like the Democratic base.
It is disproportionately African-American. African-Americans are about 11 percent of the American population and vote overwhelmingly for Democrats. According to this CNN exit poll, they went for Kerry by an 88-11 margin in 2004. But African-Americans constitute nearly 17 percent of Wal-Mart's employees and 18 percent of sales workers. Encouraging more middle- and lower-income African-Americans to vote in states like Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Mississippi would almost certainly be a net positive for Democratic candidates.
We know, as well, that women tend to vote disproportionately for Democrats. In 2004, according to CNN, women (and working women) voted for Kerry by a 51-48 margin. Women are substantially overrepresented in Wal-Mart's workforce. About 60 percent of all employees are women. And three-quarters of its sales workers are female—a higher proportion than at other retailers. All things being equal, more women voting will boost Democratic candidates.
Finally, Wal-Mart's workforce is disproportionately composed of lower-income workers. Barbara Ehrenreich says Wal-Mart's mean wage is $9.68 an hour, which comes out to about $20,000 a year on a full-time basis. In 2004, again according to CNN, those with incomes under $15,000 voted for John Kerry by a 63-36 margin, and those with incomes in the $15,000-$30,000 range voted for Kerry by a 57-42 margin. More lower-income Americans, many of whom are women and African-American, voting would benefit Democratic candidates.
Now, if Wal-Mart's workers all suffer from false consciousness and, a la Thomas Frank's Kansans, reliably vote against their own economic interests, then Wal-Mart's efforts to get them to the polls could help Republicans. But if the African-American, female, and low-wage workers who toil at Wal-Mart tend to vote the way other African-American, female, and low-wage workers who toil elsewhere tend to vote, then Wal-Mart's efforts will be a boon to Democrats.
Another possibility is that by encouraging employees to vote and making it clear which party it generally supports, Wal-Mart is unduly pressuring its employees to vote for Republicans. But unless Wal-Mart goons accompany associates into the ballot box, it's hard to see how that would work. Wal-Mart employees may not have been successful in organizing unions, but they don't simply take whatever the company dishes out without resisting. Lots of them show the ultimate form of resistance to pressure from their employer: Every year, about 40 percent of them quit.Daniel Gross (www.danielgross.net) writes Slate's "Moneybox" column. You can e-mail him at email@example.com.
Article URL: http://www.slate.com/id/2151043/
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Wal-Mart Comes To New York
Robert Malone, 10.10.06, 3:25 PM ET
After a number of false starts,
"I think New York will be good for us, and we will be good for New York," says
This focus on New York follows a veto by Chicago's Mayor Richard Daley of a city council measure that would have blocked Wal-Mart's arrival in Chicago.
Wal-Mart's interest in New York is a continuation of an effort that debuted years ago, when the retailer was barred from a location it had identified in Rego Park, Queens. At the same time, it decided not to proceed with a store on Staten Island.
Wal-Mart's competitors are already very much a feature of New York's retailing landscape. Kmart for years has had a huge megastore with a street-level entrance and two floors below ground on the corner opposite Macy's sprawling Herald Square flagship facility. Another Kmart store is on Broadway south of Union Square. And
Wal-Mart, with 39,000 outlets worldwide, is one of the few national retailers with no presence in New York City, though it has opened in a number of other locations within an hour's drive of Manhattan--including one just five miles across the Hudson River in Secaucus, N.J.; a two-story facility in White Plains in Westchester County; and five stores strategically placed east of New York on Long Island.
The average Wal-Mart store has some 135,000 square feet filled with food, clothes and electronic equipment. Many of its superstores, which are substantially larger, include full grocery stores, pharmacies, even beauty parlors and opticians. Distribution centers, which are upwards of 1 million square feet, serve multiple Wal-Marts via streams of 53-foot container trucks that trundle through the streets.
Wal-Mart officials believe that the arrival of the first New York City Wal-Mart will not immediately result in the arrival of a distribution center, since the first such stores can be supplied from the company's existing distribution centers in New York (four centers) and Pennsylvania (five centers). These centers average 1 million square feet.
Serghini admits that the company must still persuade some skeptical city council members and a less-than-friendly local union. Moreover, space is at a premium within New York City limits, thought it may solve that problem with double-decker stores similar to the one it opened in White Plains.
"I’m not against all mega stores," says James Vacca, the councilman from District 13 in the Bronx.
But any Wal-Mart presence in the Bronx "would have a terrific impact on any of our commercial strip stores," he says. "I have fought to keep these smaller stores--8,000 square feet for instance--and their significant investment in our neighborhood. Would people, if asked, say 'yes' to a Wal-Mart? I think so, but they would not be thinking of the traffic implications or the economic consequences for little people. I want to enhance our existing stores."
Richard Lipsky, head of the Neighborhood Retail Alliance, says the discount retailer "needs to get city council approval for any store over 10,000 square feet. However, if they found an existing store facility already available, they could slide into it."
Lipsky adds that Wal-Mart was blocked by the Staten Island community from opening a store there. He thinks Wal-Mart played it cleverly in Chicago by getting an alderman on their side and positioning a store in a lower-income neighborhood.
The move into cities like New York and Chicago is not mere whimsy on the part of America's savviest retailer. The company has essentially saturated the rural and suburban marketplace, where it had based much of its growth until now. And while big cities may be a challenge in political and social terms, and may pose a complex series of design and supply problems, it's clear this is where the people are--and many of them will crave Wal-Mart's rock-bottom prices.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
RAMPING UP. Wal-Mart gave a total of $326,875 in the 2000 election cycle, $431,017 in 2002, and $857,179 in 2004, according to research by The Institute on Money in State Politics, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research organization based in Helena, Mont. For the 2006 election cycle, the company has given $644,655 so far and seems to be on track to hit a record for political contributions.
"They've gone from zero to warp speed in political giving all across the board," says Bruce Freed, co-director of the Center for Political Accountability, a nonprofit group that tracks corporate political spending. The totals include only direct contributions to politicians and political parties. Adding in money for ballot initiatives and other local issues brings the total of Wal-Mart state giving so far this cycle to $1.25 million.
Monday, October 02, 2006
Wal-Mart executives say they embraced the new policies for a large number of their 1.3 million workers to better serve customers, the newspaper said.
But some Wal-Mart workers say the changes are further reducing their modest incomes and putting a strain on personal lives, the Times reported.
Investment analysts and store managers say Wal-Mart executives have told them the company wants to transform its work force to 40 percent part-time from 20 percent, the Times reported.
Wal-Mart denies it has a goal of 40 percent part-time workers, although company officials said part-timers now comprise 25 percent to 30 percent of workers, up from 20 percent last October, according to the newspaper.