Wal-Mart: a corporate bum

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homaquebec
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Wal-Mart: a corporate bum

Post by homaquebec » Mon Feb 14, 2005 3:10 pm

Last week, Wal-Mart announced that the company was going to close a store in Quebec where the employees were going to have an union. The official reason was that the store did not make money.

Wal-Mart is not only an anti-union company. It is before all the prototype of the new financial capitalism, world wide and unmoral. The multinational company, which sales exceed 250 billion dollars annually, accumulates profits (some nine billion last year) by exploiting the labour of its suppliers, in particular in the Third World countries, as much as its own employees. Wal-Mart manufactures insecurity by creating precarious and badly paid jobs and unemployment when its criteria of profitability are not satisfied.

By its low prices, every day, Wal-Mart, in addition to maintain a new slavery system, takes the money of the people around the world – those who produce and those who buy-, to bring it to the company’s owners. (Five of them are among the ten richest persons in the world).

Soon, governments will have to act to protect nations against such monsters.

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Re: Wal-Mart: a corporate bum

Post by KY Dave » Mon Feb 14, 2005 4:11 pm

homaquebec wrote: Soon, governments will have to act to protect nations against such monsters.
IMO - Just the opposite is happening all around the planet.

With the advent of 'free trade' there is little protectionism or isolation of markets left. In all reality, impoverished country's lifestyles are not raised, the country's lifestyles where the products are sold are actually diminished in value. Sure people get cheaper products, but the economic results of the jobs that are lost because of importing those cheaper products drag the lifestyles lower and lower.

NAFTA benifited Canada and purchasers in the USA, but now job creation is slowing down significantly in these countries. The higher paying manufacturing jobs are being replaced by service jobs. Even high tech jobs are being 'outsourced' to overseas cheaper labor markets.

During a job interview here, you are asked, "Can you say, Do you want fries with that burger?"
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Post by homaquebec » Thu Feb 17, 2005 3:39 pm

The closing of a store in Quebec has been the subject of articles in important USA papers like The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. Il Quebec, during some days, is was the subject of news and comments in all the medias. Monday morning, Wal-Mart published, il all the main daily papers, a full page, saying, in a bad french, that the last days had been hard and that the company loves its associates (its employees).

An interesting news is the fact that for many specialists, it is the begining of the end for the Wal-Mart way of making business. He are some facts reported.
  • Many USA residents think that the expansion of Wal-Mart destroyed the small-town-America, the heart of their country.
  • Some manufacturers of different products refuse to sell some of their products to Wal-Mart to not become too much dependant of the company. Some companies act such a way to become strong enough to be able to negociate with Wal-Mart (Procter & Gamble for example).
  • Many towns refuse to have Wal-Mart stores in their commmunity. The citizen mind wins the battle over the consumer mind. And, contrary at what happened in the past, a company that makes money in a community does not bring some richness in this communiny but poverty.
  • Wal-Mart employees sue the company (there are more than 8000 suits presently and new ones add every day) for the way they are "used".
  • An article published in News Week recalls that some decades ago, the heart of the american economy beated at the rythm of General Mortors and its high salaries; it now beats at the rythm of Wal-Mart and its low salaries that do not allow to live decently.
  • Among the five recommandations that New Week makes to those who want to succeed in business there is one that says DO NOT BE TOO DEPENDANT OF WAL-MART.
So, unions, manufacturers of products, citizens, and over all, consumers who will understand that what they save by buying at Wal-Mart is less important than what they and their countries lost could make Wal-Mart change the way the company makes business.

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You are part of the problem

Post by lemming » Fri Feb 18, 2005 6:16 am

I think it's interesting that quite a few people like to gripe about Wal-Mart, yet still go there to take advantage of the low prices. If you can claim to have never shopped at Wal-Mart, then you might be qualified to soapbox.

But if you're like millions of consumers who have voted with their wallet, and saved $$ by going to Wal-Mart, then you're part of the reason why Wal-Mart is successful.

I welcome the entry of mega-retailers like Wal-Mart into my country. Over here it is Carrefour and Tesco that have set up shop. If Wal-Mart shows up, that'll be great. The big chains offer lower prices, better selection, and fresher food items than the small-timers.

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Post by homaquebec » Fri Feb 18, 2005 7:01 pm

Be careful when you buy in some of those stores. There can be sweats, tears and even blood on some products.

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YOU pay for what Wal-Mart does not pay

Post by homaquebec » Fri Feb 18, 2005 10:24 pm

An University of California-Berkeley Labor Center analysis shows that Californians [in 2001] paid $86 million in public assistance programs for Wal-Mart employees, with $32 million of that directed to public health care.

According to the analysis, "Wal-Mart workers earn 31 percent less in wages, and are 23 percent less likely to have employer-sponsored health insurance than workers in large retail as a whole. At these low wages, many Wal-Mart workers rely on public safety net programs to make ends meet."



More details [Page 6 of the PDF document]

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Developer Drops Plan for New York City's First Wal-Mart

Post by homaquebec » Fri Feb 25, 2005 3:45 pm

According to The New York Times, facing intense opposition, a large real estate developer has dropped its plans to include a Wal-Mart store in a Queens shopping complex, thwarting Wal-Mart's plan to open its first store in New York City, city officials and real estate executives said [February 23, 2005].

[…]

Helen Sears, the City Council member representing Rego Park, had warned Wal-Mart, which has several stores in the suburbs surrounding the city, that to win approval in the city itself, it needed to improve its wages, health benefits and pensions and end its vehement stance against unions.

More details on wirednewyork

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What one must know about Wal-Mart low prices

Post by homaquebec » Wed Mar 16, 2005 3:44 pm

I recently read an interesting text on the way that Wal-Mart pegs the price of a product sold in the company stores.

First, we must know that most people can remember the price of about one hundred products that have an interest for them; they do not know what could be called the regular price of other products.

Then, by researches, Wal-Mart knows what are the products that the price is known by most customers. Thoses products – a brand of coffe for example – is sold at a lower price than the competitors’ one. And most customers have the impression that everything is cheaper at Wal-Mart’s. But if you compare the price of products that are not among the "one hundred basket", you could learn that prices are not the best ones that you can find.

Recently, I was looking for a pair of pants sold in many stores. At Wal-Mart, the price was $25. In an other store, the same pants were sold $22. Last Sunday, surprise : I saw those pants sold at the regular price of $20 in a third store. In addition, this Sunday, they were on sale at $15.

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Post by quosego » Sat Mar 19, 2005 12:06 am

Today i came back from a one week stay in the US. I have never been there before so beside the business matters i had to do i hoped to have a look into the us society.
With this topic in mind i planned to do some shopping in a wall mart if i should get the opportunity.

I managed to see 2 of those stores from the inside and as with many other things i have seen i noticed some differences compared to european practice but not as large as i had expected.
Although i wasn't there during rush hours it seemed to me that they are cutting dowm on number of employees. I did not see to many workers in the store, and noticed that at the exit one woman did monitor 3 or 4 automated cash registers.

I do not know how price levels in these stores compare to others, but comparing to prices i am used to the US seems to have much lower prices (at least in GA, SC and NC).
I knew that fuel prices would be much lower than in europe, but paying 1/3 of what you are used to is still a nice surprise!
But also costs for hotel, food and car rental where lower than expected.

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Post by KY Dave » Sat Mar 19, 2005 1:02 am

quosego wrote:I knew that fuel prices would be much lower than in europe, but paying 1/3 of what you are used to is still a nice surprise!
But also costs for hotel, food and car rental where lower than expected.
It is great to hear another perspective on our fuel prices and other items.

Right now, our gasoline prices are the highest they have ever been.

I wish more people would realize how nice it is to have fuel at such low costs, we can travel around our country an enjoy the freedom of driving.

I know it's not as good for the enviroment as mass transit, but it makes living more enjoyable.

I'm glad you were pleasantly surprised.
Thanks for the words of praise.

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Post by Renier » Mon Mar 21, 2005 10:03 am

What is the average price of petrol (gasoline) in the US. Here in South Africa the regulated price is about R4.50 ($0.75) per liter, which is also about the highest it's ever been.

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Post by KY Dave » Mon Mar 21, 2005 12:25 pm

It was just announced that gas had hit an all time record high, $2.10 US for a US gallon.

That is the national average, some areas experience higher and lower prices, subject to localized demands.

$1 US = 6.10120 ZAR
1 US gallon = 3.785412 litre.
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Post by homaquebec » Mon Mar 21, 2005 1:56 pm

KY Dave wrote:$2.10 US for a US gallon
$1 US = 6.10120 ZAR
1 US gallon = 3.785412 litre.
So, in U.S.A., the price of a liter of gazoline is $0.55 US.

In Canada, the price varies according to the parts of the country. It it lower where oil is produced. In Quebec, the average price is about $0.62 US. The difference with U.S.A. comes from the high taxes on gazoline that are used, among other things, to finance health cares for which we do not pay.

Writing about health cares, a friend of mines got sick while he was in vacation in California. He has been hospitalised 4 days. The bill : $31 000 US. This is one of the reasons why Cuba is so popular as a destination for sunny vacations - half a million of Quebecers each year -.

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Post by quosego » Mon Mar 21, 2005 10:03 pm

Look !!
Those guys from the other side of the ocean know how to use metric, so there stil is hope :)

Some calculations with fuelprices in the Netherlands:
1 liter = 1,285 €
1 USD = 0,75 €
1 liter = 1,713 USD
1 US gallon = 6,485 USD

Last week i heard a lot of people complain about fuelprices in the US.
As soon as i told we pay between 6 and 7 dollars a gallon their faces suddenly looked a lot happier.

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Post by Bateman » Mon Mar 28, 2005 11:40 am

Prices in Germany are roughly similar to the ones in the Netherlands (although slightly lower by a few cents). If they continue to rise like this, driving a car becomes even more a luxury as it is already :wink:

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Post by tandyworld » Fri May 27, 2005 6:15 am

yep :)

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Post by deadown » Tue Jun 21, 2005 8:18 pm

whats up, good to see everybody is still here. yep :)

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Back to Walmart

Post by Mindblower » Mon Jul 25, 2005 8:07 pm

I shoppe around and hope I can remember prices. Every store has some way to attract customers. To believe everything is cheaper in only one store is wishful, and not realistic. Store specials come and go. Certainly as a product ages, gets replaced by something newer, it can go down in price. This explains why Walmart can boast their prices are falling. They want to move their stock.

Now, as far as a store closing, and having conflicts with employees, this is nothing new. One is not forced to work for a specific company. Don't like it, move on. Hardships exist within each company, so do rewards.

When it comes to Unions, they have a place. Normally IMHO, they only protect the long timers. But what I truly find silly, it people wanting to start a Union within a company that pays the minimum salary. Don't people know that they will have to pay Union dues? Whatever extra perks they get, will come from their paycheck. You don't get something for nothing.

One example is McDonald's, which I believe is located in almost every Walmart store. Mac has a training program. You get a chance to move up the ladder from the bottom. Adding a Union, one will have two bosses, since every Union imposes itself on it's membership. The bigger the Union you belong to, the more protection you might get, and do remember they also police what you can and cannot do, Mindblower!

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