The Bishop and the Butterfly: Murder, Politics, and the End of the Jazz Age
    Ramona's picture

    Walmart, the Benevolent Provides Bins for Low-Wage Employees Food Drive


    Everybody knows the Walton family, the people who put the "Wal" in "Walmart", is the richest family in America.  They're so rich you would have to pile up more than 40% of the wealth in the entire United States to even be on the same level.  If each member of the family lived to be a thousand years old, they couldn't even begin to spend all of their fortune.  So asking them to pay their employees a living wage and a few measly benefits is like asking them to give up, say, 1/10,000th of their fortune.  (Don't quote me on that; I don't know that for absolute sure.)

    But I'm ever the optimist, so I put these questions to them:

    Q:  Why won't you Waltons listen to reason and start paying your employees--um, Associates--a livable wage?  It would barely eat into your profits, and people would like you better.

    A:  We don't wanna.

    Q:  Why not?

    A:  Cuz

    So there you have it.  I tried.

    But someone at a Canton,Ohio Walmart must have gotten wind of our concerns because something new and wonderful has appeared in their employee area:

    Photo credit:  Cleveland Plain Dealer

     As you can see, the bins in which poor Walmart employees can donate food items so that other poor Walmart employees might enjoy Thanksgiving dinner are brand new!  These are not moldy old bins that might have held who knows what kind of gross, horrible stuff.  Oh, no! They're clean and nice and, if you're into that sort of bin thing, fall-fashionable.  They are lined up purple and orange, purple and orange, purple and orange.  Like that.

    But wouldn't you know?  Some employees walked in there, read that sign, took one look at those lovely color-coordinated bins, and took offense.

    [A]n employee at the Canton store wasn't feeling that Walmart was looking out for her when she went to her locker more than two weeks ago and discovered the food drive containers. To her, the gesture was proof the company acknowledged many of its employees were struggling, but also proof it was not willing to substantively address their plight.
    The employee said she didn't want to use her name for fear of being fired. In a dozen years working at the company, she had never seen a food drive for employees, which she described as "demoralizing" and "kind of depressing". 

     Strikes against Walmart are planned for Monday in both Dayton and Cincinnati.  I reached out to the Waltons for some clarification, but all I've received so far is this terse comment:

    "No comment."



    The new America: Why don't you beggars go out and get jobs so you can... beg from your fellow employees?  Show some gumption!

     Wal Mart exploits their workers, but it should be noted that they  provide the poor with goods at bargain prices. Andrew Young commended Wal Mart for that.

      I think employers who can afford to pay a living wage should do so, but I don't know if it is practical for the state to force them to. Perhaps we should hope for a resurgence of unions.

    They also donate tons of food to food banks.  I know because my son works at a food bank near Ann Arbor and sometimes picks it up.  Good for them. 

    But this is a whole different story.  This is an ongoing refusal to respect their employees enough to pay them wages that would keep them from having to rely on charity in order to feed their families.

    And yes, a resurgence of unions would be good.

    I have read so many articles on the subject of class lately.

    I have come to the conclusion that the Kock bros and limbaugh and beck and bachmann and palin would just like to give us this message:

    Stay in your place or you will lose what you have.

    You must earn your health protections at $7/hr, you must earn your food at $7/hr, you must earn your residence at $7/hr, you must earn the protection of your children at $7/hr and you must earn your personal honor at $7/hr.

    Be grateful in your 'position'. 

    If you protest, you should be thrown in jail as being traitors.

    McDonalds and Wallmart and a thousand other employers just reward this message.



    Breaking News:  The NLRB is ready to prosecute Walmart for violating workers' rights.  This could only happen now that the NLRB is fully staffed.

    Walmart has already pushed back:

    In an emailed statement, a Walmart spokesperson said, “We disagree with this position by the Division of Advice. This is just a procedural step and we will pursue our options to defend the company because we believe our actions were legal and justified… It’s important to note that there has not been one decision in the last 5 years by the NLRB or by a court finding that Walmart violated the National Labor Relations Act. That is because we take our obligations under the Act very seriously and we train our managers accordingly.”

    Yeah, that was before the NLRB got its legs.  Let's see what happens now.

    My next door neighbor gave me her turkey to cook for Thanksgiving because she has to work 12 hours that day at Walmart.  Her 85 year old dad who lives with her will go with out Thanksgiving if I don't send their share back on Thanksgiving. I have no room at my table but I can certainly cater a nice meal for them in exchange for the Turkey.  She is just a couple of years younger then me so I know she will be exhausted.  I am getting ready to go to the store to pick up a turkey on sale for $.69 a pound.  They are only large 20 lb. so I will have the butcher cut it in half.  I will cook one half on the day before for them and take it over that night. I keep the other half for Christmas because it will fit better in my freezer.  It is just the 2 of them.  I will cook the small turkey for my family Thursday. 

    I guess they are trying to justify this because the Christmas shopping season is 6 days shorter this year.  

    Is she being told she has to work 12 hours that day or is she choosing to?  Either way, she's probably feeling forced.  That Norman Rockwell portrait never rang true for too many families, and now it's even worse.

    Food banks and shelters can't keep up on normal days, but their greatest fear is that they'll have to turn people away on Thanksgiving.  There's something especially tragic about Americans going hungry on a national holiday set aside to give thanks for our bounty.

    Your neighbor is a lucky woman after all.  She has you for a friend.

    She was told because she has supervisory duties but is still hourly.  She told me that her Walmart has gotten in an unusual amount of large flat screen TV but very little of Christmas PJ's, tee shirts, and small holliday home dec.  So I took a look at our store in our neighborhood looks like they have done the same thing.  There is less small gift items and Christmas themed items.  It will be interesting to see if they complain that they had a bad retail season.

    I got the turkey for $.59 lb. at a different chain grocery store in a smaller size.  I drove to the suburb to get it. My store had sold out yesterday. It was a brand new store so it was fun to walk around and look.  The butcher gave me a $1 off coupon too when he cut it in half.  He encouraged me to go on line to sign up to follow their coupons.  I guess I can use my smart phone if I want and not have to print them out.  I would rather have the coupons in my hand because I have always shopped that way and have my own system with an envelop with my list written on the out side. I recycled junk mail envelops for this. 


    I wonder if people just aren't buying Christmas decorations at full price stores like they used to.  Our thrift stores are jam packed with them this time of year and some of the items are gorgeous.  We go to our kids for Christmas now so I haven't decorated in years, but I still miss it.  When we lived in the city I would spend days and days getting my house ready--and then of course days and days taking it all down again after New Years Day.  I don't miss that part!

    I'm glad you were able to get your turkey at such a reasonable price.  We usually have to spend $25 or more in order to get the discount but that's not hard when we're buying for Thanksgiving anyway.  We're going to our grandson's home downstate this year and it'll be both a traditional and a yuppie feast.  Ha ha.  We'll do the traditional stuff and they'll get fancy, but it'll be great to all be together.

    Walmart has a PR nightmare going on right now.  They are being viewed as being a Scrooge.  I just read a article in The Guardian.  The Brits were having a field day with the greed of the retail industry in the US in the comment section.  

    Maybe the sequester and shut down will take a bite out of their profit any ways.  


    Latest Comments