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Wal-Mart Defeats Organizing Union By Closing Store

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I hate Wal-Mart, but I hate unions as well. Not "legit" unions who are just trying to get basic workers benefits, but big unions who think they can blackmail companies into bankruptcy. I pretty much have no sympathy for the people who didn't want to deal with Wal-Mart at all. Instead of negotiating they tried to stick it to Wal-Mart and Wal-Mart just gave them the finger.

Now they have no jobs and no pay rather than a job with moderate pay that Wal-Mart was offering them in an agreement. if they would have just reached an agreement and not tried to push it so far as to screw the company for more than they're worth -- stocking shelves and typing on a cash register -- they might not have lost everyone their jobs.


Wal-Mart Canada announced Wednesday it will close a Quebec store whose unionized employees were involved in negotiations to obtain their first labour contract.

"Despite nine days of meetings over three months, we've been unable to reach an agreement with the union that in our view will allow the store to operate efficiently and profitably," company spokesman Andrew Pelletier said in a statement.


The United Food and Commercial Workers Union was not available for immediate comment but Claudia Tremblay, a cashier at the store, said many employees burst into tears when managers told them about the news Wednesday morning.

"Many people cried, including myself," Tremblay, 29, said in an interview.

"I'm a mother of two children and I'm separated from my husband. It's very difficult."

Yeah, just like the union to disappear and not have a comment after it cost 200+ people their jobs. Do they really care though? The union bastards still have their jobs. While the woman above abstained from the vote, she didn't vote no to the union and probably didn't discourage others either, so no sympathy for you!

Wal-Mart are notoriously low paying bastards, but did the union really think they could push it further than they already had and get away with it?

Tipped by: Outside The Beltway

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Posted by Digger on February 10, 2005 01:39 AM (Permalink)

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"it cost 200+ people their jobs"

One way to interpret it, I guess.

All the same, it seems worth pointing out that it was Wal-Mart that made the decision to close the store, not the union. And Wal-Mart has pulled stuff like this before, e.g. switching to selling only pre-packaged meat after some meat cutters voted to unionize.

Also, I don't imagine Wal-Mart released the data (spreadsheets, whatever) to show why and how it would have been impossible to run this store profitably had it unionized. You know, so interested parties could take a look.

This sort of thing seems more like pure spite.

Posted by: eh on February 11, 2005 08:06 AM

No doubt it was spite, but a company is not required to keep a store open somewhere if they feel that there is less of a headache closing it. I'm not saying it's right, but they have that choice.

Posted by: Digger on February 11, 2005 12:07 PM

First of all, Wal-Mart is planning to close the store. The store has not actually closed yet.

The issue is Wal-Mart is the largest retail store in the world and broke the world record in 2003 American the day after Thanksgiving Day to make USD $1 billion dollar sale just in 1 day in United States not counting world-wide sales.

The entire family of Walton are listed as the richest and wealthiest people in the world but they refuse to share the wealth.

I will support the worker to give donation, to boycott all the Wal-mart in Quebec and Ontario and file legal case against Wal-mart and demonstration through mass media, political lobbying. Wal-mart will lose and we don't need Wal-mart in Canada if they pay $9-$10.00 an hour while the Walton worths over $100 billions plus , more money combined together than Bill Gates.

Are you aware the Walton Family with holdings in Wal-mart is the richest family in the world in the history of the world at the expense of the workers !!!!!!!!!!!!!

They have more money than over 120 countries GDP !!!

Their sales exceeeds more than 120 countries GDP !!!

We shop at Wal-mart and it is "us", the customers that support Wal-mart but Wal-mart exploit the workers.

It is time to take Wal-mart out. I will give money to support the workers. Don't worry. HELP is on the way !!

Posted by: Charles Lamb on February 13, 2005 01:06 PM

I would rather shop at my local stores anyway. Walmart has busted our towns good employers and closed many local businesses. Their cut-throat tactics have been devastating. We have had three of their stores here in my home town. The first one barely had cured cement before they razed it. They built one 10 or 11 years ago and shut it down, to build an even bigger one. The newest pulls in people from 3 to 4 local counties. Thier products are not the best. If I want qaulity, I seek local businesses and competitors. I have worked non-union jobs for years, but I know that if were not for the unions are payrates in non-union jobs would be lower. I think we just need to boycott Walmart but that is a dream that will never hapen.

Posted by: DOK on February 16, 2005 03:41 PM

You're damn right boycotting Walmart will never happen - people like it too much. They offer the same crap as union stores, for significnatly lower money. Most reasonable consumers see this as a good thing. Apparantly, there are some people out there who see this as a threat to the union way of life - as well they should.

Personally, I don't care how much the WAlton's have - that doesn't effect my decision whether to shop at Walmart or not. The fact is, Walmart provides something that union stores never will - merchandise at low prices. You union people want your high wages and fabulous benefits, but when a store comes along that reminds the public exactly how much more you're charging them, you cry foul, and start making irrelevant and emotionally charged arguments why people should not shop there. Why is it bad that the Walton's have so much?? Does that automatically mean they are required to "share the wealth"?? I would argue that the fact that the Walton's are so rich is indicative of their ability to run a productive and profitable business, and is therefore a reason that I WOULD shop there. Of course, all of this is really irrelevant, as the only reason I shop anywhere is the prices. So if you're asking me union vs. Walmart, Walmart will win every time - sorry . . .

And to DOK, you said it yourself "they're products are not the best", and If I want qaulity, I seek local businesses and competitors."
Very good point - If you're looking for something that isn't carried by Walmart, then how is Walmart driving that company out of business????
People make a choice when they shop - do they want low quality for low price, or high quality for high price?? Walmart does not claim to carry high quality goods, so anyone seeking such goods will have to go elsewhere (as DOK pointed out). As long as there is need for these higher quality goods, then companies that provide them will remain in business. Of course, the implication of this statement is that WALMART IS NOT IN DIRECT COMPETITION WITH SUCH COMPANIES!!! Please read this again if it doesn't make sense. Now, when a company sells low quality goods for high prices, then they ARE in competition with Walmart, because they are selling the same goods. So who fits into this latter category???? You got it - union stores.
Next time you're at Walmart and say to yourself, gee, why is this so cheap??? how can they screw the workers by selling this so cheap?? - instead try asking youself why union stores are so expensive. Because they screw the public for higher benefits and wages, and then cry foul when it doesn't go their way.

Posted by: Al on March 7, 2005 02:00 PM

Right on Al! I work for a Wal-mart here in the states and you know what, I've worked as a temp in union factories for less money and NO benefits.... While Wal-mart doesn't pay associates extremely high wages it backs it with perks for the associates... in store discounts, stock options, discounts for sam's clubs and the like. As for the unions, most would come in and probably negotiate a similar deal with possibly higher wages but at what cost to the associate. Let's forget the rise in product costs but think instead of union fees that members are required to pay and let's not overlook the fact that if the union says STRIKE and your a union member it's dangerous for you as a worker to go either way... if you have a family to support and you go against the union and work so you can feed your family other union members can be lewd, nasty, and downright violant..... (which unions see as fine) if you strike your family may go hungry or lose their home. I live in a right to work state where the unions have less pull and I know of factories where union strikes occured and those who had to feed families that worked often had to be escorted in to the factory, I even know of urine being thrown at the worker by their co-workers..... Who's the bad guys here the UNION, the UNION wants a share of your hard earned money and for the most part don't give a hoot to the workers needs as long as they get a good size share of the pie when the cuttings done....

Posted by: Jay on April 18, 2005 04:34 AM

It is amazing the hatred for WalMart in our country. As Americans, we consistently want to believe in the "American Dream". However, when someone or some company gets the American Dream right, we sacrifice them on how well they are doing. Sam Walton started WalMart with one store, just like all of your local stores in town. However, Sam challenged the way he did business and grew his one store to the largest company in the world. Now, if your local stores are that worried about staying in business, they too would figure out a way to do better business. It makes me mad that WalMart gets blamed for putting stores out of business when the true reason is that local business owners were to LAZY to revamp their one store operations and turn them successful. Instead of being critical of WalMart, we should parade them infront of the world to let nations know that the "American Dream" is alive and well.

Posted by: Adam on May 2, 2006 09:10 PM

Adam, my hatred for Wal-Mart is simply because they are so large now they can create their own playing field. Coming into a town and lowering prices to the point a mom and pop couldn't possibly do. They have the global reach to support a loss for decades in order to monopolize an area and then they can strangle the area if they wish later.

I'm a capitalist and see the major success of Wal-Mart. I also see the potential abuse of their size. I'm not sure if there's anything -- or should be anything -- done about abuse of size like that, but it sure allows a lot of potential damage to be done to those just trying to run a retail business locally.

Now with the scale of Wal-Mart and being able to have the power of hiring people in China at a low wage there's no possible way for a mom and pop to compete. A days payroll for a mom and pop supports several people for a week in China for Wal-Mart. It's a snowball that can't be stopped.

So I see both sides of the issue. And I still hate both sides. The unchecked power of a Wal-Mart and the extortionist ways of unions.

Posted by: Digger on May 3, 2006 12:35 AM

Actually, Wal-Mart haters are quick to point out that they are "Low Paying Bastards". But the fact of the matter is, Walmart pays more than Target and Best Buy. They offer more programs and give much more aid to their workers. Penn and Teller did a great show about it on their "Bullsh!t" Show on Showtime. Look up the facts and stop going with the "I hate walmart" because its cool.

Posted by: Sam on April 21, 2007 05:45 AM

Oh yeah that charles lamb is an IDIOT. 10.00 dollars an hour to ring up stuff? Target starts at 6.50 as well does best buy. Pull your head outta your ass dude.

Posted by: Sam on April 21, 2007 05:48 AM

Oh one more thing Charles Lamb, you retard. What you are saying is "Well because they have more money, they should pay more". Thats called Communisim. Go live in China if you want that you jackass.

Posted by: Sam on April 21, 2007 05:51 AM

The American Dream? So Capitalism is going to save the world? That's a laugh! Look what it's done already. Just imagine if the whole world was like America...Can you imagine it? The waste, the pollution from cars and SUV's , the demand for cheap products (which demands cheap wages, which in turn demands civil liberties reductions). What happened to those commercials I used to see when I was a kid, "Made in the USA!" Nothing is made here now. Its all outsourced.

It has nothing to do with Communism and everything to do with a sustainable system that promotes the American worker. And as far as I am concerned, fellow slave, my dream is that the profit from any endeavor or company of people was split equally among ALL slaves and slave masters.

Oh, and god forbid we create a union to defend ourselves the workers, because the corporation has our best interests at heart, we don't need no stinking union...yeah, right. So it should be, individual worker vs. corporation, instead of union of workers vs. corporation?

Maybe Wal-Mart aint directly responsible for this, but it probably was a factor, http://www.nlcnet.org/reports.php?id=605
This is just 1 citation out of a hundred.

Boycotting of Wal-Mart will never happen? I will never shop there again. There, it has started.

Posted by: Ray on November 24, 2008 04:31 AM

I don't blame Wal-Mart. I was in a union for about three months. I went to my first meeting, and the minutes were read. $2000.00 had been disbursed to the local president, $1500.00 to the treasurer, etc. When I asked for a copy of the list of expenditures, the president and vice president jumped up and angrily said,"What the hell do you want it for?" I don't trust union officials and I don't like the fact that Andy Stern, of SEIU is so close to the president and the Health Care debate. Imagine that you own a small business and that a union wants to force it's way upon your workers, and you know you cannot survive the added cost in wages and mandatory benefits, and that you will lose your business and livelihood as a result. Wal-Mart is no more than just another business, but on a larger scale. Think!, Think!, Think!

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