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  1. #81
    Forum Member Smoke20286's Avatar
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    Workers sue Wal-Mart over sweatshop conditions
    LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Workers in six countries filed a class-action lawsuit against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. on Tuesday, claiming the world's largest retailer overlooks sweatshop conditions at toy and clothing factories from China to Nicaragua.
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    The suit, filed in California state court in Los Angeles, lists as plaintiffs 15 workers in Bangladesh, Swaziland, Indonesia, China and Nicaragua. They claim they were paid below minimum wage, forced to work unpaid overtime and in some cases even endured beatings by supervisors.

    The lawsuit also lists four California plaintiffs, including two unionized workers at Kroger Co. unit Ralph's and Safeway Inc. grocery stores, who claim Wal-Mart's entry into Southern California forced their employers to reduce pay and benefits.

    The suit could cover anywhere from 100,000 to 500,000 workers, according to attorney Terry Collingsworth of the International Labor Rights Fund, which represents the plaintiffs. Wal-Mart's potential liability could be in the hundreds of millions of dollars, he said.

    Beth Keck, a spokeswoman for Wal-Mart's international operations, said the retailer had not been formally served with the lawsuit, but had received a copy from journalists who obtained it from the lawyers involved.

    "It's really too early for us to be able to say anything about this particular complaint," Keck said. "It involves a number of companies and manufacturers and we're just beginning our research to learn more. We're just at that beginning research phase."

    ALWAYS LOW PRICES

    Wal-Mart became the world's largest retailer by buying cheap, foreign-made goods and selling them to consumers at rock-bottom prices every day.

    Critics, however, say that low-price obsession has pressured store managers to overwork nonunion employees and the retailer has been hit with dozens of lawsuits claiming violations of wage-and-hour laws.

    The company has also been the target of discrimination lawsuits. Last year, a judge said a lawsuit that charges the company discriminated against women in pay, promotions and training could proceed as a class action. That suit, the largest workplace bias lawsuit in U.S. history, covers as many as 1.6 million current and former female U.S. employees.

    The mounting litigation has taken a toll on Wal-Mart's reputation and the Bentonville, Arkansas-based company has responded with a national advertising campaign aimed at repairing the image of its 5,100-store empire.

    According to Tuesday's complaint, Wal-Mart breached its own agreement with foreign suppliers in its failure to monitor factory working conditions.

    "Investigation after investigation of Wal-Mart's operations and suppliers reveal that Wal-Mart is an unrepentant and recidivist violator of human rights," the lawsuit said.

    The plaintiffs allege Wal-Mart's "vast economic power" allows it to impose price and time requirements on supplier factories that result in sweatshop conditions.

    The retailer "knew or reasonably should have known that its suppliers would violate" worker's rights, but continues to do business with those factories, the lawsuit said.

    Wal-Mart's Keck declined to comment on the company's factory policies because of the pending lawsuit. In a statement on its Web site regarding sweatshop allegations -- though not specifically this lawsuit -- Wal-Mart said it "strives to do business only with factories run legally and ethically" and that it "is helping to improve working conditions and create economic opportunity for workers around the world."

    Violations alleged to have occurred in Wal-Mart supplier factories include withheld pay, poor working conditions, reprisal firings for labor union activity and beatings.

    In a Bangladeshi dress factory, a pregnant seamstress who paused on the production line was "kicked hard in her stomach" by her supervisor, according to the lawsuit. Another was slapped in the face with pants whenever she was unable to meet a quota of 120 pairs per hour.

    In Indonesia, one worker in a facility producing "George" label clothing for Wal-Mart regularly saw company representatives visit the factory and overheard her supervisor saying "with Wal-Mart, we cannot have overtime (pay)."

    The foreign plaintiffs are seeking a jury trial, compensatory damages and injunctive relief. Lawyers for the workers said their clients could not seek redress in their home countries because of corruption, the lack of independent judiciaries and for fear of reprisals.
    Yeah they step up to the plate alright
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  2. #82
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    George....

    Why is it so hard for you to allow people to have their own opinion about WalMart? I agree it is wonderful and amazing they stepped up to aid those in need. I also have not changed my mind about how they operate every day as a business.

    As far as WalMart's respnsibility to follow the law...uh huh, guess they don't ever make the paper in New Jersey. There are numerous examples of them following the law only after having been caught by the authorities. And yes I know corporate America as a whole is as clean as a chimney sweeps pants, but don't fool yourself about WalMart's altruistic ways.

    So be impressed by their generosity, but don't be in such a hurry to elevate them to something they are not. Heck George even some of the countries we have long considered enemies have stepped up and offered aid and money should we turn a blind eye to everything else they do or have done? Of course not.

    Standing by fully anticipating another dose of your wonderful attacking sarcasm. By the way George even after your oh so snide comment about "and the home of the brave" I have not attacked you. I have just stated my opinion. Like you so often like to do with your own.

    FyredUp

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    Why is it so hard for people to allow me to have mine?

  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    Why is it so hard for people to allow me to have mine?
    Because people always like to bring someone down who is right the majority of the time.
    It seems that Wal-Mart is the company people love to hate.


    If Wal-Mart is so bad then why are they still so big?
    Why do people still shop there?
    Why do people still go for jobs there?


    The lawsuit that is posted a few posts up is a joke. Really read it. There are so many holes in it.
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  5. #85
    Forum Member Smoke20286's Avatar
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    It seems that Wal-Mart is the company people love to hate.
    For very good reason

    If Wal-Mart is so bad then why are they still so big?
    Because they are so big?

    Why do people still shop there?
    Because it is cheaper, and many people, like many of those posting here don't care about the employee's working conditions, or the sweatshops they run abroad

    Why do people still go for jobs there?
    Because they are desperate for work? Or they don't know any better
    A'int No Rocket Scientist's in The Firehall

  6. #86
    MembersZone Subscriber ChiefReason's Avatar
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    Why do people still shop there?
    Because DVDs for $2.88 each is just toooooooo sweet to pass up.
    Because of the brightly lit stores, wide aisles, snack bars and friendly greeters.
    Because the WalMart where I live is always handing out money to civic organizations.
    Because they collected, then donated millions of dollars to the World War II memorial.
    Because I can.
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    [QUOTE=GeorgeWendtCFI][QUOTE=parafire81]
    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI

    You want to explain this? It makes no sense.

    Refer to the thread on Barbara Bush

  8. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smoke20286
    Because it is cheaper, and many people, like many of those posting here don't care about the employee's working conditions, or the sweatshops they run abroad
    I just love when people comment on things they hear or read second hand.
    Wal-Mart, just like any other corporation has a structure, chain of command, in place and if these disgruntled workers fail to use it properly then it's their own fault. Each store has a chain of command, if you don't get satisfaction you go to the district level, if still no resolution you can go to the regional level if that fails you can go to corporate and it will be settled there.
    These people who were required to work off the clock or without overtime pay evidently never complained to the right people. Wal-Mart Corporate has a policy in place regarding off the clock work and overtime pay. It is part of your hiring package and you sign the paper aknowleging you understand it.
    If people are working off the clock or not receiving overtime pay it is because of the individual store(s), not corporate policy.
    I know of a local store where they had a few workers who would not clock out for lunch or wouldn't take lunch. Work their 9 hrs and go home. That is against corporate policy. When corporate found out, the store manager and all the asst. managers were either fired or transfered out.

    As far as the pay scale is concerned it is dictated by the local area and by the individual store. The local store here started off paying $6.50 hr for cashiers, Home Depot was $8.00hr. Guess what?? Nobody was going to Wal-Mart! They had to raise their starting wage to $8.00hr. to even compete.

    Benefits, they have the same as anybody else, 401k, profit sharing, stock purchase, medical, dental etc. Sure you have to pay for medical and dental but, so do most other companies employees. They also have a choice of 3 different medical plans, how many other companies offer that?

    Hmmm, Wal-Mart owns and runs sweatshops in other countries. That's news to me. I know that Wal-Mart will assist in opening up a manufacturing facility here in the US if it would be cheaper to manufacture here instead of abroad. I haven't seen any Wal-Mart factories lately though.

    It really is a shame that Wal-Mart has to go overseas to find inexpensive products. Maybe they should get help from Radio Shack, Home Depot, Target etc..I'm sure all of their products are manufactured here in the states.


    Quote Originally Posted by Smoke20286
    Because they are desperate for work? Or they don't know any better
    Probably true. But then again sometimes you have to do whatever it takes to put food on the table. Plus at Wal-Mart they get a 10% discount.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefReason
    Because DVDs for $2.88 each is just toooooooo sweet to pass up.
    Because of the brightly lit stores, wide aisles, snack bars and friendly greeters.
    Because the WalMart where I live is always handing out money to civic organizations.
    Because they collected, then donated millions of dollars to the World War II memorial.
    Because I can.
    CR
    ROTFLMAO

    But you did hit the nail right on the head!
    SAEPE EXPERTUS, SEMPER FIDELIS, FRATRES AETERNI
    "Often Tested, Always Faithful, Brothers Forever"

    Once a Marine, Always a Marine

    I got the best of both worlds- Firefighter and Marine

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    I wish Wal-Mart would unionize and pay the greeters $25 an hour, full company paid health care and a company paid pension plan. If they did that then I could pay $30 for a pair of socks

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    Ah...... everyone hates WalMart but they keep building!

    -----

    Voters OK Wal-Marts
    Mark Shaffer
    Republic Flagstaff Bureau
    Sept. 14, 2005 12:00 AM

    WINSLOW - Wal-Mart Corp. won two more major battles in rural Arizona on Tuesday night, as voters in Winslow and Benson approved rezonings for the construction of Supercenters.

    Winslow's Proposition 300, which will allow 7.6 acres to be rezoned commercial for Wal-Mart construction, passed with 76 percent of the vote. About 40 percent of Winslow voters cast ballots. Wal-Mart spent $148,000 on the Winslow campaign through Sept. 1, said City Clerk Suzy Wetzel, and large red and white campaign signs were staked in front of many downtown businesses.

    In Benson, 88 percent of voters cast ballots in favor of Proposition 301, a nearly 10-acre rezoning in the southern Arizona city for a Supercenter.

    Keith Morris, a Wal-Mart spokesman, said the retailing giant was puzzled as to why the rezonings became a ballot issue in each city. The United Food and Commercial Workers, which represents workers in competing supermarkets, has fought Wal-Mart in city rezonings throughout the country.

    "These elections were unique in that both of these projects already had been approved by the city councils," Morris said. "We did everything we were asked to do, and I think these wide margins of support indicate that. It only took 100 to 120 signatures to get these on the ballot."

    Wal-Mart also won a tightly contested election in Flagstaff in May, which would have put a size and grocery limitation on so-called big-box stores.
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  12. #92
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    So Delta and Northwest both declare bankruptcy. The reasons cited? High fuel costs (duh) andcompetition from low fare airlines.

    So....

    These low fare airlines historically provide fewer services (no frills) and pay their employees less than the major airlines. They do alot of business things to cut their expenses and overhead.

    So you WalMart bashers are probably in favor of outlawing these low fare airlines, huh?

  13. #93
    MembersZone Subscriber RoughRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldman21220
    I wish Wal-Mart would unionize and pay the greeters $25 an hour, full company paid health care and a company paid pension plan. If they did that then I could pay $30 for a pair of socks

    Or drive more jobs over seas.
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  14. #94
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    Wal-mart is headed to be a monolpoly over small town commerce. They will be able to set the prices that are charged to the end customer as well as the price paid to suppliers when they eliminate competition. Effeciencies ans building up of a company from so little to so much should be admired, but when does it go too far? When is a monopoly or a near monopoly no longer capitalism?
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

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    Quote Originally Posted by DennisTheMenace
    Wal-mart is headed to be a monolpoly over small town commerce. They will be able to set the prices that are charged to the end customer as well as the price paid to suppliers when they eliminate competition. Effeciencies ans building up of a company from so little to so much should be admired, but when does it go too far? When is a monopoly or a near monopoly no longer capitalism?
    Dennis,

    I agree that we should be concerned about market manipulation due to monopolies. But the consumer will continue to buy from Walmart because they like a bargain? Wonít Target and Kmart look to capitalize on any Px gouging by Walmart? I donít think they prey on small markets, Its their niche'. They tried to open a store here in Manhattan but couldnít because real estate prices were cost prohibitive. Their low cost model doesnít work in most big cities.
    Fortune does not change men; it unmasks them.

    The grass ain't greener, the wine ain't sweeter!! Either side of the hill.


    IACOJ PROUD

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    Quote Originally Posted by RoughRider
    Dennis,

    I agree that we should be concerned about market manipulation due to monopolies. But the consumer will continue to buy from Walmart because they like a bargain? Wonít Target and Kmart look to capitalize on any Px gouging by Walmart? I donít think they prey on small markets, Its their niche'. They tried to open a store here in Manhattan but couldnít because real estate prices were cost prohibitive. Their low cost model doesnít work in most big cities.
    Exactly. WalMart will never be a monopoly (you can't have a partial monoploy) because there will always be competition. If they were truly a monopoly, they would charge whatever they wanted. They, in actuality, charge LESS than most everybody else. It's a basic law of ecomonics. If WalMart tries to charge MORE than everybody else, another big box store will jump right in and takeover.

  17. #97
    Forum Member DennisTheMenace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    Exactly. WalMart will never be a monopoly (you can't have a partial monoploy) because there will always be competition. If they were truly a monopoly, they would charge whatever they wanted. They, in actuality, charge LESS than most everybody else. It's a basic law of ecomonics. If WalMart tries to charge MORE than everybody else, another big box store will jump right in and takeover.
    YOu can't have a partial monopoly, but you can have a localized monopoly and that is what they have created in many places. That is what the up roar is about. Sure they charge less then the other guys, but is that always the best thing for the community when it sends most of those profits back to Arkansas when the towns former commercial district that supported multiple districts go out of business? Other big box stores won't be able to "jump right in and takeover" until they have been able to build up the supply fifedom that Wal-Mart has. Lower consumer prices are great, but they are not the only thing that keeps an economy strong.
    Last edited by DennisTheMenace; 09-15-2005 at 02:31 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

  18. #98
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    George,

    I have never once said you couldn't have your opinion on WalMart. I also don't believe I have ever attacked you or made snide comments about your opinion. Unfortunately you cannot say the same.

    Believe it or not in rural America WalMart is not the loved franchise you want to believe. Several communities in close proximity to me have fought the introduction of WalMart to their communities. Some have won the battle and others have lost. Do people shop their even in highly contested communities? Of course they do. That is their right. But why do I hear many of those same people moaning about the fact that the local businesses aren't there to fund the Cub Scouts, or the school band, or the baseball diamond, or the dozens of other things they used too? People are blind to the benefits of locally owned businesses. Sure you may pay a nickel more for a loaf of bread but you get it back many times over in community minded services. Both because it is good for PR and good for the community, and because they ARE the community. WalMart, irregardless of how much money they give are NEVER a part of any community. They are not locally run, or owned, and in reality have no ties to anywhere other than corporate headquarters who can and does shut them down for any reason they see fit.

    So once again let me say this as clearly as I can...Bravo to WalMart for stepping up to the plate and assisting the victims of Katrina. I hope it is a model for other corporations. But at the same time I will shed no tears if the monster that is WalMart leaves my area...hopefully sooner than later.

    FyredUp

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    1. There is no such word as irregardless.

    2. Lower prices are always good.

    3. WalMart certainly does put money into the local community. Each store has a pretty hefty amount of money to spend at the store management's discretion for local community projects. If the school band, the Cub Scouts or the VFD go to them and ask, very often they will get money. How many mom and pop stores donate TIC or AED to their local department?

    4, It's basic economics.

    5. For every story that is told about a community fighting WalMArt, there are three stories of communities welcoming them with open arms.

    6. When the WalMArt opened in Boonton, NJ, they actually paid for a consultant to come to town and work on business development and preservation with the mom and pops on Main St. How many other corporations would do that? To my knowledge, not a single business has been driven out by WalMArt in that town.

    7. As I have said before, each one of these big box stores have foundations and community outreach programs to assist local civic organizations. I am familiar with a WalMart who allowed a Boy Scout troop to have a car wash in front of their store. They donated all the supplies and even let them use the water for free.

  20. #100
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    George...

    Thanks for proving my point.

    "1. There is no such word as irregardless."

    I guess this is the only way you know how to carry on a discussion. Attack and nit pick anyone else's point of view.

    Have a nice life George...it must be great to believe you are ALWAYS the only one who is right.

    FyredUp

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