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General Discussion => Occupy Wall Street Movement => Topic started by: Riney on October 29, 2013, 01:01:28 AM

Title: The rest of us are indirectly subsidizing Walmart’s low wages....
Post by: Riney on October 29, 2013, 01:01:28 AM
Robert Reich ( (
Oct 28th 2013

Walmart, America's largest employer, pays its workers a median hourly wage of $8.80. So it’s hardly surprising that most have to rely on food stamps and Medicaid in order to lift their families out of poverty (meaning the rest of us are indirectly subsidizing Walmart’s low wages through our tax dollars). If Walmart raised its wages to $15 an hour, most of its workers and their families would be out of poverty, and those higher wages would flow back into the economy in the form of more purchases and more jobs. Because Walmart has to stay price competitive, the bulk of that increase would come out of profits, which seems appropriate in this era of raging inequality (the Walmart heirs, who still own a substantial portion of the firm, have more wealth than the bottom 30 percent of Americans put together). Last June nearly 200 Walmart workers caravanned to corporate headquarters during the company’s annual shareholder’s meeting to demand better pay; Walmart responded by illegally firing or disciplining more than 60 of them. (Since then, there have been wildcat strikes. Ten days ago, 80 Walmart workers walked off the job at a Miami-area Walmart store protesting low pay, poor working conditions, and retaliation against the "Walmart 60.") 

What can you do? Join actions planned for November 29, Black Friday (the Friday after Thanksgiving and the biggest shopping day of the year) at a Walmart store near you. Let Walmart managers and executives know that you stand with the Walmart 60 and all other workers at the country's largest retail employer. (Pass it on.)
Title: Re: The rest of us are indirectly subsidizing Walmart’s low wages....
Post by: Riney on November 21, 2013, 16:05:15 PM
WEDNESDAY, NOV 20, 2013 11:21 AM EST

Ashton Kutcher vs. Wal-Mart: Epic Twitter clash rages over poverty wages (

Kutcher slams retailer: “You should be proud of your associates but I’m not sure if they should be proud of you”


Ashton Kutcher (Credit: AP/Dan Hallman)

Celebrity actor/producer Ashton Kutcher and retail giant Wal-Mart had a spirited Twitter debate Tuesday over Wal-Mart workers’ wages.

Kutcher (@aplusk ( kicked off the dust-up by tweeting about the news ( that an Ohio Wal-Mart took up an employee-to-employee food charity collection “so Associates in Need can enjoy Thanksgiving dinner.” He wrote, “Walmart is your profit margin so important you can’t Pay Your Employees enough to be above the poverty line?”

Fourteen minutes later, the company’s @WalmartNewsroom ( account, echoing its replies to others on the topic, tweeted back at Kutcher, “It’s unfortunate that an act of human kindness has been taken so out of context. We’re proud of our associates in Canton.” After 10 minutes, Kutcher shot back, “you should be proud of your associates but I’m not sure if they should be proud of you.”

Wal-Mart then offered Kutcher a video on “Opportunity and Benefits at Walmart,” saying, “We know you believe in opportunity like we do & we’d love to talk to you more about it.”

Kutcher quickly countered, “you had 17 billion in profits last year. You’re a 260 billion$ company. What are we missing?”
That set off a trio of tweets from Wal-Mart, starting with, “We think you’re missing a few things,” and then touting that “The majority of our workforce is full-time and makes more than $25,000/year”; that “about 75% of our store management teams started as hourly associates”; and that “every year, we promote about 160,000 people…”

Kutcher told Wal-Mart the company “does a lot of great things but it needs to be a leader on this issue as well.” In its final tweet to Kutcher – so far — Wal-Mart answered, “We know we can always get better as a company. This year we’ve made providing more opportunities for our associates a top priority.”

Kutcher returned to the topic an hour later, linking a blog post on a study estimating the cost of Wal-Mart workers’ use of public assistance, and saying “Walmart should be the leaders not the low water mark.” (
Title: Re: The rest of us are indirectly subsidizing Walmart’s low wages....
Post by: Riney on November 21, 2013, 16:26:12 PM
Wow , for once trolling does some good. :-)

 Walmart is America's largest employer. In order for retail companies to make money , people have to buy their products. If someone works for poverty wages they can't afford to buy anything, so there seems to be a negative feedback loop here somewhere. How can the parasite (Walmart) live if it kills its host (Walmart workers)?

 I think the way they have not killed their host completely is by providing them with extremely cheap poor quality goods. Walmart sells food too.

 Just like in real estate their is a buyers market vs a sellers market, now being a buyers market. There is also an employers job market vs an employees job market. Right now jobs are few, and that keeps wages down and people desperate enough to work for any wage and somehow feel lucky they even have the job they have no matter how horrible it pays them.

 Walmart can preach their rhetoric all they want, maybe in this horrible employers job market they do at least seem to be doing good. But in reality the proof is NOT in the pudding. Just like before the 2008 crash of the stock market, when it was OK to be stealing from peoples 401Ks by siphoning white collar criminal wages and bonuses because EVERYBODY else working on Wall Street was doing it, now Walmart thinks they look great for really just doing the minimal they can do.

 Dear Walmart,

 No one makes the kind of profits you make by earning an honest living. You are stealing those profits off the backs of your workers. I do not care how much you have convinced yourself that you are saints, your not!
Title: Re: The rest of us are indirectly subsidizing Walmart’s low wages....
Post by: Riney on November 21, 2013, 23:31:00 PM
Title: Re: The rest of us are indirectly subsidizing Walmart’s low wages....
Post by: Riney on November 27, 2013, 00:48:58 AM
Title: Re: The rest of us are indirectly subsidizing Walmart’s low wages....
Post by: Riney on November 27, 2013, 00:55:56 AM
Former Walmart Exec Leads Shadowy Smear Campaign Against Black Friday Activists (

Lee Fang ( on November 26, 2013 - 3:16 PM ET

As activists continue to organize demonstrations at McDonalds, Walmart and other low-wage firms, big protests ( are planned against retailers for mistreating their workers this Black Friday. In response, union-busting consultants are ramping up efforts to marginalize them. 
Last night—Worker Center Watch, a new website dedicated to attacking labor-affiliated activist groups like OUR Walmart, Restaurant Opportunities Center, and Fast Food Forward—begansponsoring ( advertisements on Twitter to promote smears against the protests planned for Black Friday. In one video sponsored by the group, activists demanding a living wage and better working conditions for workers are portrayed as lazy "professional protesters" who "haven't bothered to get jobs themselves."
"This Black Friday, just buy your gifts, not their lies," instructs the Worker Center Watch narrator. Watch it:

Worker Center Watch has no information its website about its sponsors. Yet, the group attacks labor activists and community labor groups for lacking transparency. "Hiding behind these non-profits, unions mask their true motivations, circumvent operational requirements and skirt reporting and disclosure obligations," says ( Worker Center Watch, referring to labor-supported worker centers like OUR Walmart. has discovered that Worker Center Watch was registered ( by the former head lobbyist for Walmart. Parquet Public Affairs, a Florida-based government relations and crisis management firm for retailers and fast food companies, registered the Worker Center Watch website.
The firm is led by Joseph Kefauver (, formerly the President of Public Affairs for Walmart and government relations director for Darden Restaurants.  Throughout the year, Parquet executiveshave toured ( the country, giving lectures ( LABOR CONFERENCE BROCHURE - WEB ONLY.pdf) to business groups on how to combat the rise of what has been called "alt-labor." At a presentation ( in October for the National Retail Federation, a trade group for companies like Nordstrom and Nike, Kefauver's presentation listed wage theft, minimum wage, and mandated paid time off as the types of legislative demands influenced by the worker center protesters.
The presentation offered questions ( for the group, including: "How Aggressive Can We Be?" and "How do We Challenge the Social Justice Narrative?"
It seems retailers are now experimenting with how aggressive they can be. Today, Parquet's Worker Center Watch posted ( a link to a Breitbart News story featuring a video allegedly obtained by someone who infiltrated an Occupy activist group planning to demonstrate against Walmart. 
The alarm at how quickly the new organizing model has taken off has sparked anxiety among business executives. Littler Mendelson, a law firm that helps companies defeat labor unions, released a report ( outlining the challenge for corporate executives. The US Chamber of Commerce, a dark money group that counts Walmart and McDonalds as members, produced ( a similar study last week. 
Corporations fear that the new wave of activism could have a multiplier effect that goes way beyond better pay and benefits for their workers. 
In a webinar hosted this month for business executives seeking a "union-free workplace," grmmmph! Jowske explained ( that the alt-labor model could heavily influence millennials and their perceptions of labor unions. "One of the things to consider about what's going there with SEIU's Fight for 15 and all of this is the millennial generation," said Jowske, a former SEIU organizer turned union-buster. "They are getting a steady diet of pro-union from every possible direction...this is also a generation that is very class conscious." Jowske also cited a recent ( In These Times piece to argue that worker centers can be portrayed as "union front groups," and warned that the alt-labor organizing model could have a long-term impact. For instance, the organizing model appears to help unions and community groups forge close ties that could be later used to deploy activists for political campaigns, workplace NLRB elections, and other left-wing causes.  
Bryce Covert talks about ( how women's eye for the long term makes them valuable workers. (