Thursday, January 05, 2006

How Worker-Friendly Is Wal-Mart?

Wal-Mart used to be the place everyone wanted to go, where you bought everything, and many looked to them for a stable job. Now, what you begin to hear is how Wal-Mart is treating their employees, especially cutting working hours. This makes it hard for workers to pay their expensive insurance premiums, or even live on what little they make.

In one rural Florida town, over 20 percent of workers in the local Wal-Mart had their hours cut. In response, workers went into their community with a petition to reinstate the workers’ lost hours, and collected 390 signatures in three days. Their hours were returned.

In South St. Petersburg, a popular third-shift employee was accused of theft and fired. The next day, half the day shift quit in protest. In another store, 20 workers marched on management after a 70-year-old workplace leader had her schedule changed. Her schedule was returned within days.
A group of 300 workers, in over 40 stores, which is growing - of current and former Wal-Mart workers are part of an organization called Wal-Mart Workers Association. This protest action of the group is intent on making their lives better through work and in their communities.

Some Wal-Mart stores have enforced an “open availability” policy, where supervisors ask employees to sign a document stating that they will be available for any shift at any time. Those who refuse, out of family obligations or self-respect, have been retaliated against with a cut in hours or firing.

I have a friend whose hours have been cut two weeks at a time, and she's been told that the computer makes the schedules. I informed her that computer cannot make schedules; it takes a human to run these computers and to put in a program that generates schedules.

The WWA has plans to expand and become the American Workers Association, a nationwide non-majority union for retail and other chain workers. A second chapter of the WWA recently began in Dallas, Texas.

Go read the other facts in this story. You can also find lots of great information at Wal-Mart Watch.

Linked at TMH's Bacon Bits
Thanks to Euphoricreality.net - Open Post
Linked at Basil's Blog - Picnic 01-01-2006

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2 Comments:

Blair said...

Very interesting. My husband and I have been discussing Walmart an awful lot lately (not all good things). We have relatives who work for them and they don't have much good to say.

Barbara said...

I've been talking to a friend who has been cut drastically on her hours. She thinks it's her stand for Christmas. Another friend who works there doesn't say too much. A mutual friend quit, and my other friend said it was a must! It was hard to deal with the people at WalMart. I'm sure she was talking about the 'bosses'.