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Reich writes: "Today, America's largest employer is Walmart, whose average employee earns $8.81 an hour. A third of Walmart's employees work less than 28 hours per week and don't qualify for benefits."

Portrait, Robert Reich, 08/16/09. (photo: Perian Flaherty)
Portrait, Robert Reich, 08/16/09. (photo: Perian Flaherty)


Why You Shouldn't Shop at Walmart Today

By Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Blog

22 November 12

 

 

half century ago America's largest private-sector employer was General Motors, whose full-time workers earned an average hourly wage of around $50, in today's dollars, including health and pension benefits.

Today, America's largest employer is Walmart, whose average employee earns $8.81 an hour. A third of Walmart's employees work less than 28 hours per week and don't qualify for benefits.

There are many reasons for the difference - including globalization and technological changes that have shrunk employment in American manufacturing while enlarging it in sectors involving personal services, such as retail.

But one reason, closely related to this seismic shift, is the decline of labor unions in the United States. In the 1950s, over a third of private-sector workers belonged to a union. Today fewer than 7 percent do. As a result, the typical American worker no longer has the bargaining clout to get a sizeable share of corporate profits.

At the peak of its power and influence in the 1950s, the United Auto Workers could claim a significant portion of GM's earnings for its members.

Walmart's employees, by contrast, have no union to represent them. So they've had no means of getting much of the corporation's earnings.

Walmart earned $16 billion last year (it just reported a 9 percent increase in earnings in the third quarter of 2012, to $3.6 billion), much of which went to Walmart's shareholders - including the family of its founder, Sam Walton. The wealth of the Walton family now exceeds the wealth of the bottom 40 percent of American families combined, according to an analysis by the Economic Policy Institute.

Is this about to change? Despite decades of failed unionization attempts, Walmart workers are planning to strike or conduct some other form of protest outside at least 1,000 locations across the United States this Friday - so-called "Black Friday," the biggest shopping day in America when the Christmas holiday buying season begins.

At the very least, the action gives Walmart employees a chance to air their grievances in public - not only lousy wages (as low at $8 an hour) but also unsafe and unsanitary working conditions, excessive hours, and sexual harassment. The result is bad publicity for the company exactly when it wants the public to think of it as Santa Claus. And the threatened strike, the first in 50 years, is gaining steam.

The company is fighting back. It has filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board to preemptively ban the Black Friday strikes. The complaint alleges that the pickets are illegal "representational" picketing designed to win recognition for the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) union. Walmart's workers say they're protesting unfair labor practices rather than acting on behalf of the UFCW. If a court sides with Walmart, it could possibly issue an injunction blocking Black Friday's pickets.

What happens at Walmart will have consequences extending far beyond the company. Other big box retailers are watching carefully. Walmart is their major competitor. Its pay scale and working conditions set the standard.

More broadly, the widening inequality reflected in the gap between the pay of Walmart workers and the returns to Walmart investors, including the Walton fammily, haunts the American economy.

Consumer spending is 70 percent of economic activity, but consumers are also workers. And as income and wealth continue to concentrate at the top, and the median wage continues to drop - it's now 8 percent lower than it was in 2000 - a growing portion of the American workforce lacks the purchasing power to get the economy back to speed. Without a vibrant and growing middle class, Walmart itself won't have the customers it needs.

Most new jobs in America are in personal services like retail, with low pay and bad hours. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the average full-time retail worker earns between $18,000 and $21,000 per year.

But if retail workers got a raise, would consumers have to pay higher prices to make up for it? A new study by the think tank Demos reports that raising the salary of all full-time workers at large retailers to $25,000 per year would lift more than 700,000 people out of poverty, at a cost of only a 1 percent price increase for customers.

And, in the end, retailers would benefit. According to the study, the cost of the wage increases to major retailers would be $20.8 billion - about one percent of the sector's $2.17 trillion in total annual sales. But the study also estimates the increased purchasing power of lower-wage workers as a result of the pay raises would generate $4 billion to $5 billion in additional retail sales.

This seems like a good deal all around.



Robert B. Reich, Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, was Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration. Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the last century. He has written thirteen books, including the best sellers "Aftershock" and "The Work of Nations." His latest is an e-book, "Beyond Outrage." He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine and chairman of Common Cause.

 

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+22 # GyraSol 2012-11-23 10:06
"A rising tide raises all boats."
 
 
+25 # al4187 2012-11-23 10:32
Not if you don't have a boat, then you drown.
 
 
+5 # Glen 2012-11-23 14:15
A canoe is better than nothing, though, and a great many folks have only their job at Wal-Mart to earn money in their territory. What happens when they have no job or boat or canoe. That is the question everybody is asking.
 
 
+24 # engelbach 2012-11-23 18:20
Walmart is not threatened at all. They can easily absorb the demands of a union and still be immensely profitable. A couple of points less profit will hardly affect them.

All that's stopping them from recognizing a union and instituting decent wages is greed.
 
 
+24 # JSRaleigh 2012-11-23 11:26
Quoting GyraSol:
"A rising tide raises all boats."


Doesn't do much for those who've been thrown overboard though.
 
 
+5 # bingers 2012-11-23 20:40
Quoting GyraSol:
"A rising tide raises all boats."


But trickle down is them urinating on you, not a rising tide.
 
 
+5 # tomtom 2012-11-24 09:32
Quoting Douglas Jack:
gtm. People become strong through collaboration & unity. Rather than, "find another one", how about "stand together to make it better for everyone". Participatory investment programs for all stakeholders in all business, industry & all occupations will bring collective intelligence back to our economy. You might not realize it but when everyone is invested, then the quality of goods, services, lives & environment is improved from the bottom up. Unions are best when all are invested in each other & standing together. Union doesn't mean adversarial. When unions & management stand 'united' to make investment an option for all stakeholders (see my comment above), then we create collaboration, productivity & profitability for all. https://sites.google.com/site/indigenecommunity/relational-economy/participatory-accounting


Exactly, Douglas. The big, yet obscure picture is, making employees partners, is not only showing respect for your own allies but, the best, built in advertising for the business. Now, the Walton Family earning the equivalent of 40% of all lower income earners in América is like they're stuffing and eating their employees. Investing in hardship and poverty is bad business. Cruel and unusual punishment, as a tool for profit, will backfire; is backfiring. Walmart employees are out sourcesd prison labor who pay for their own cells.Quoting GyraSol:
"A rising tide raises all boats."
 
 
+3 # Douglas Jack 2012-11-24 12:52
Imagine a MULTISTAKEHOLDE R PARTNERSHIP worldwide which we could all build together. I originally posted the following but it disappeared when I made a correction. If Sam Walton, Walmart & other box-stores believe in 'Capitalism' (Latin 'cap' = 'head' meaning 'wisdom'), they will develop stakeholder participation contribution programs for: 1) Founders (time, expertise money), 2) Workers (labour, expertise, % of salary), 3) Managers (labour, expertise, % salary), 4) Suppliers (discounts on goods & services) & 5) Consumers (money, patronage & human resources). Immediately Walmart can make wages liveable by supplementing the difference between living wage & present salaries with shares. Each stakeholder group & subgroups (caucuses) are represented on the Board of Directors according to investments. With all stakeholders developing 'invested-inter est', then each stakeholder will be making the stores more profitable through the contributions of their collective intelligence. The most profitable companies in the world provide investment opportunities for all stakeholders. What is the disconnect that; capitalist companies & nations (all-of-us) don't practice what they/we preach? https://sites.google.com/site/indigenecommunity/structure/7-participatory-companies
 
 
+66 # Robert B 2012-11-23 10:18
I never shop at Walmart on any day.
 
 
+35 # shbentson 2012-11-23 11:11
Likewise---I never shop at Walmart.
 
 
+8 # Eliza D 2012-11-25 19:13
I have never been to Walmart and never will go. Just as my children have NEVER been to McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell or any of those other purveyors of poison.My family tries to support small businesses whenever we can. We are not rich, but we try to spend a little more for higher quality products not made in China. About ten years ago, I noticed that just about everything we bought broke, ripped, or disintegrated within a year.Made in China by factory slaves abused by their masters. So we buy less now and try very hard not to be "consumers".
 
 
+55 # bingers 2012-11-23 10:27
The company is fighting back. It has filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board to preemptively ban the Black Friday strikes. The complaint alleges that the pickets are illegal "representation al" picketing designed to win recognition for the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) union. Walmart's workers say they're protesting unfair labor practices rather than acting on behalf of the UFCW. If a court sides with Walmart, it could possibly issue an injunction blocking Black Friday's pickets.

If it's illegal the law needs changing. What should be illegal is corporations interfering in any way with organization efforts.
 
 
+4 # RLF 2012-11-23 10:47
And Obama has done nothing about it...he has even help the anti-unionist. RR should talk about the import policies of Walmart and how they avoid taxes with off shore import entities and also the fact that Walmart posts government benefit info on boards in employe lounges informing how they can do better with food stamps, etc. while avoiding taxes and condemning big government.
 
 
+33 # genierae 2012-11-23 12:30
RLF: How did Obama get to be responsible for every thing that needs changing in this country? He is just one man, and he can't solve every problem. Sometimes it's the people who need to take action instead of waiting around for someone else to do it.
 
 
+22 # drshafer 2012-11-23 13:33
Obama is not only one man, he is our president, not a divine right king/dictator with unlimited power!
 
 
+26 # wwway 2012-11-23 11:46
Over the past 30 years lawmakers have been passing laws that protect corporations and business in every aspect from right to work laws to outlawing employee, consumer law suits. The state of Texas has been leading the nation with this kind of "tort" reform.
For example, In 2003 PBS FRONTLINE produced a documentary called "A Dangerous Business" which addressed efforts of corporations to end work place safety protections. Given that 4% of American consumers of news and information require good reporting it doesn't supprise me that 10 years later Ameicans seem to still be sleepwalking.
 
 
+8 # al4187 2012-11-23 10:37
"cost of the wage increases to major retailers would be $20.8 billion...a result of the pay raises would generate $4 billion to $5 billion in additional retail sales."

Are these numbers right? It doesn't make a good case for raising wages, although I agree they should be raised.
 
 
+7 # bingers 2012-11-23 20:49
Quoting al4187:
"cost of the wage increases to major retailers would be $20.8 billion...a result of the pay raises would generate $4 billion to $5 billion in additional retail sales."

Are these numbers right? It doesn't make a good case for raising wages, although I agree they should be raised.


I think they got that backwards. For instance every dollar in unemployment puts $1.86 back into the economy. When Henry Ford gave better pay to his help his profits increased due to ancillary spending caused by more money put into the local economy.
 
 
+37 # Rich Austin 2012-11-23 10:52
Preemptively ban the strikes? I’ll be there supporting Walmart workers in their struggle to win fair treatment. Courts can do all the banning they want. I’m too damn old to give up my rights to free speech and freedom of assembly. Will the courts preemptively ban citizens from exercising those liberties? If police are there and tell us to move on...I won’t. I’ll remain to peacefully demonstrate my support of exploited workers. Will you join me?
 
 
+11 # djnova50 2012-11-23 10:58
My sister works at Walmart down in Florida. She earns a really good wage by Florida standards. She has decent benefits. I don't know what her thoughts are on these Black Friday strikes. She has told me that since she started working there, Walmart has changed; and, not for the better. At her age, I doubt she would quit to go work some place different. She said that she does most of her shopping at Walmart. But, I never shop there.
 
 
+23 # ChickenBoo 2012-11-23 12:35
Quoting djnova50:
My sister works at Walmart down in Florida. She earns a really good wage by Florida standards. She has decent benefits. I don't know what her thoughts are on these Black Friday strikes. She has told me that since she started working there, Walmart has changed; and, not for the better. At her age, I doubt she would quit to go work some place different. She said that she does most of her shopping at Walmart. But, I never shop there.

...Most people who work at Wal-Mart shop there as well. They can't afford to drive around and shop elsewhere. This is where Wal-Mart really makes money. The workers turn around and give them back their wages for stuff they got from China for a fraction of the cost.
 
 
+29 # engelbach 2012-11-23 11:19
There's no reason that a wage increase should result in an increase in prices. Just let the shareholders, who do none of the work, take a pojnt or two less in profits.
 
 
+41 # wwway 2012-11-23 11:37
I stopped shopping at Wal-Mart years go because of a conversation I had with an employee in the produce dept. I had also visited family in my mother's small home town in Arkansas and saw the consequences of the decision to allow Wal-Mart to do business there. It's the ONLY game in town. So much for the ideal of small business owner being able to compete. Republicans are lying when they claim to be for small business. Small business can't compete when comsumers choose price over quality.
 
 
+20 # ChickenBoo 2012-11-23 12:36
Quoting wwway:
I stopped shopping at Wal-Mart years go because of a conversation I had with an employee in the produce dept. I had also visited family in my mother's small home town in Arkansas and saw the consequences of the decision to allow Wal-Mart to do business there. It's the ONLY game in town. So much for the ideal of small business owner being able to compete. Republicans are lying when they claim to be for small business. Small business can't compete when comsumers choose price over quality.

....AMEN to that!
 
 
+2 # bmiluski 2012-11-26 14:30
My dear, the small business' that the republicans are talking about are the multi-million dollar hedge fund companies that ususally employ only a few people.
 
 
+36 # Shipton 2012-11-23 11:45
My wife works at a Wal Mart in a small town in Wyoming, arguably the most Republican, Libertarian, Teabag state in the union. She went to work at 11AM Thanksgiving Morning and came home for a few hours at midnite. She went back to work at 5AM today, Black Friday and won't be home till after 8PM tonight. There has already been one fight in toys over a plastic toy kitchen set and an incident in Electronics over a video game. Boycott not just this Black Friday but everyone to come. My wife has spent 20yrs with Wally World. I can't wait till she retires.
 
 
+30 # wwway 2012-11-23 12:13
If Wal-Mart and Republicans have any say, she'll NEVER retire!
 
 
+34 # DPM 2012-11-23 11:46
Small number of protesters, out in wind and snow, in Traverse City, MI. Walmart. Almost as many police were present. Walmart guards at the door. A "third world country" operating across the globe! Makes you proud, eh?
 
 
+18 # wwway 2012-11-23 12:18
So true. Big corpoations like EXXON pay off government leaders in other countries to use their police to squash any labor protest. American Mining companies did that 100 years ago in Virginia. I don't now what it will take for working people to stay united once they are united. The wealthy will never give up on efforts to line their pockets and will glady see to it that law enforcement takes their side.
 
 
+45 # Todd Williams 2012-11-23 11:59
Don't ever shop at Walmart and tell all your friends why you do not frequent this corporate piggie store! If we can organize to get Obama re-eelected, then why can we put pressure on Walmart to end its pig-at-the-trou gh practices? The union needs to be in Walmart!
 
 
+23 # ChickenBoo 2012-11-23 12:42
Quoting Todd Williams:
Don't ever shop at Walmart and tell all your friends why you do not frequent this corporate piggie store! If we can organize to get Obama re-eelected, then why can we put pressure on Walmart to end its pig-at-the-trough practices? The union needs to be in Walmart!

...I never shop Wal-Mart, and I do tell everyone why. My sisters family shops there regularly. It's a mind-set. They close their eyes to what's happening to the country and blame everything on Obama, when in fact, if they would just stop supporting "Corporate Piggies" (LOVE that term!) they could do much themselves to help our country get back on it's feet. If the folks at Wal-Mart made more money, they could buy houses and send their kids to school. THAT would sure help our economy.
 
 
+9 # michelle 2012-11-24 17:17
We refer to Walmart as the 'Communist China Product Distribution Center.' Try that with rightwing relatives, it makes them crazy.
 
 
+27 # MindDoc 2012-11-23 12:51
Although a nearby Walmart Superstore is convenient, I will no longer set foot in it, or any Walmart, period. As if we needed more reasons, beyond their cruelty to employees, "squeeze the 99% to support the 1%" support in the recent election, and indifference to the quality of American life in general.

As pointed out constantly, one can get equal or better prices online. Or by waiting 3 days and researching rather than fighting crazed pepper-spraying hordes for $20 off an X-box, etc.

What bothers me most, however, is all the
hype and *acceptance* of the mantra that "consumers WANT" to give up our one most-shared national holiday to go out shopping at midnight after Thanksgiving dinner, or at the crack of dawn. I'm reminded of the GOP (i.e., McDonnell etc.) saying over and over "what Americans want". Based on? Fantasy. Or selective conversation. Maybe the Chamber of Commerce?

I suggest boycotting any store which spits in the face of our having one day each year for family and giving thanks, as opposed to "National Shop til you Drop Day". I know I will. Maybe, like the election, Americans should speak out loudly about what we *really* want, or not.
 
 
+16 # Observer 47 2012-11-23 14:38
Exactly right, MindDoc. Michael's craft stores were open yesterday (Thanksgiving) from 4:00 to 11:00 PM, and when I protested that policy, in response to an e-mail ad from them, they replied to say that their customers overwhelmingly expressed the desire to go out and get inspiration for their holiday creations after the meal on Thanksgiving. I called them on it and labeled them the money-grabbing liars that they are.
 
 
+26 # cordleycoit 2012-11-23 13:21
This fight goes back to Nineteen six. It is about wages, conditions of employ and the right of workers to organize.The nerve of management to treat labor like dogs. these are the people who make the money for them to live like princes. Fight hard brothers and sisters there's a reason it's called a living wage.
 
 
+28 # in deo veritas 2012-11-23 13:37
BRAVO! I have never and will never cross a picket line. If the court sides with the company may it be forever damned as an enemy of the people. We have to stand together! SOLIDARITY!
 
 
+21 # Todd Williams 2012-11-23 15:29
Remember Samuel Gompers! Boycott Walmart! I boycotted grapes for years because of Cesar Chavez and the UFW. It's not different with Walmart. Once a corporate piggy, always a corporate piggy!
 
 
+22 # in deo veritas 2012-11-23 13:39
Wal-mart is the biggest importer of stuff from Communist China therefore a major factor in the trade deficit. An embargo against the Chicoms would likkely sink Walmart's profit boat.
 
 
+2 # robniel 2012-11-26 12:22
Similar for Home Depot. The last Chinese deck screws I bought there had a 40% break rate as they were being installed.
 
 
+25 # Corvette-Bob 2012-11-23 14:18
I went into Wal-Mart once and could not believe the vast sea of junk that they sell. It makes K Mart seem like high end shopping. Wal-Mart represents the ultimate consumerism in the US. Make junk and people will buy the trash. Buying consumer goods represents 2/3 of the U.S. economy. Which is another word for turning the planet into a toxic trash heap. People need to learn to live simplier and to avoid impulse purchasing. As Nancy Reagan said, "just say no."
 
 
+1 # Douglas Jack 2012-11-23 15:23
If Sam Walton, Walmart & other box-stores believe in 'Capitalism' (Latin 'cap' = 'head' meaning 'wisdom'), they will develop participation programs for stakeholder contributions: 1) Founders (time, expertise money), 2) Workers (labour, expertise, % of salary), 3) Managers (labour, expertise, % salary), 4) Suppliers (discounts on goods & services) & 5) Consumers (money, patronage & human resources). Immediately Walmart can make wages liveable by supplementing the difference between living wage & present salaries with shares. Each stakeholder group & subgroups (caucuses) are represented on the Board of Directors according to investments. With all stakeholders developing 'invested-inter est', then each stakeholder will be making the stores more profitable through the contributions of their collective intelligence. The most profitable companies in the world provide investment opportunities for all stakeholders. What is the disconnect that; capitalist companies & nations don't practice what they preach? https://sites.google.com/site/indigenecommunity/structure/7-participatory-companies
 
 
+3 # Robyn 2012-11-23 16:39
Wow, I work in retail and get 25.00 dollars an hour.
 
 
+7 # Rascalndear 2012-11-23 18:24
Hey, tell folks where... maybe they'll switch companies! :D
 
 
+24 # reiverpacific 2012-11-23 17:18
I've been in WM twice -one at my daughter's request and once just out of curiosity- and come out both times feeling glad to be out of there vowing never to return. I found them gloomy, claustrophobic, trashy, no sense of display -everything crowded together, stuff in the clothing section strewn on floors, poor lighting and no sense of quality.
On the other hand COSTCO, which we use once a month to get some essential bulk supplies and the occasional larger item, is a direct contrast to Walmart. They pay their employees a decent living wage, good benefits, provide advancement opportunities and quite importantly, hardly ever if, at all (I've never seen it but I don't watch much) advertise on TV, producing their own PR and distributing by mail.
They are brightly lit, feel roomy, carry top quality goods well displayed at great prices and give samples of edible products they are promoting (I was amused for a time by a friend who actually had lunch twice a week just going round the sample carts) and try to promote American made goods when possible.
Unlike WM, they have arguably the lowest employee turnover in retail. Hell, If I was in retail, I'd be after a job there myself.
Now THAT"S a large business I can and do support as being a good role model.
 
 
-38 # get the money 2012-11-23 17:18
Have no use for unions,, they tend to mske people weak... if ya don't like your job find another one.. real simple
 
 
+24 # Douglas Jack 2012-11-23 17:38
gtm. People become strong through collaboration & unity. Rather than, "find another one", how about "stand together to make it better for everyone". Participatory investment programs for all stakeholders in all business, industry & all occupations will bring collective intelligence back to our economy. You might not realize it but when everyone is invested, then the quality of goods, services, lives & environment is improved from the bottom up. Unions are best when all are invested in each other & standing together. Union doesn't mean adversarial. When unions & management stand 'united' to make investment an option for all stakeholders (see my comment above), then we create collaboration, productivity & profitability for all. https://sites.google.com/site/indigenecommunity/relational-economy/participatory-accounting
 
 
+15 # engelbach 2012-11-23 18:23
Unions are the expression of the strength of the working class.

Weakness and cowardice are characteristic of what you advocate: the beaten worker who slinks away from his job with his tail between his legs.
 
 
+16 # reiverpacific 2012-11-24 12:25
Quoting get the money:
Have no use for unions,, they tend to mske people weak... if ya don't like your job find another one.. real simple

Right!
Try finding a job just like that in this economy.
You must be one of the "Up by y'r bootstraps" crowd and a fink to your own kind.
I don't know what you do but NOBODY is secure these days and I hope that even you don't have to find it out the hard way.
And if you work an eight hour day, have benefits and paid vacations, you have the blood and sweat of Unions to thank for it.
 
 
+4 # bmiluski 2012-11-26 14:34
I'm trying to figure out is someone paid you to post something this stupid or if indeed you are stupid.
The next time you get a paid sick day, paid vacation, paid holiday, and a paid personal day YOU MAY WANT TO THANK THE UNIONS.
 
 
+17 # Kathymoi 2012-11-23 17:57
Focusing exclusively on wages earned by the low wage employees of WalMart stores and warehouses misses 90% of the problems that WalMart brings to the US economy. Shrinking manufacturing jobs? WalMart insists its suppliers (manufacturers) move to China or another country where there are no environmental protections and where workers can be paid less than a dollar an hour. That is a big reason if not the major reason we have less manufacturing in the US. Things are stil being manufactured in the world, just not in the US where we have a minimum wage that is many times higher than anything factory workers are making in WalMart supplier factories. And, WalMart is not only the biggest employer, bringing the average income down in America, it is also the biggest buyer of manufactured goods. WalMart buys such a large percentage of manufactured goods of so many kinds that a manufacturer can hardly be in business at all unless it is supplying WalMart. That means, very little to no manufacturing in the US. There are more issues with WalMart's business practices, and as your article says about wages, WalMart sets the standard. If an employer doesn't pay as little as WalMart, it can't offer prices that compete with WalMart's prices. WalMart keeps lowering the standards in every area. And it is expanding outside of the US into almost every country.
 
 
-18 # HiHho 2012-11-23 19:02
Axe the Hostess union workers how that worked out.....
 
 
+18 # bingers 2012-11-23 21:04
Quoting HiHho:
Axe the Hostess union workers how that worked out.....


It wasn't the unions who sank Hostess it was grossly incompetent management. While the unions gave back stuff for decades to help the company and offered suggestions on how to improve it, management gave themselves huge pay increases and followed the old failing ways with ignorance and arrogance, dooming the company.

No large company has ever gone under because of unions, many have failed because of management.
 
 
-15 # HiHho 2012-11-23 22:44
Quoting bingers:
Quoting HiHho:
Axe the Hostess union workers how that worked out.....


It wasn't the unions who sank Hostess it was grossly incompetent management. While the unions gave back stuff for decades to help the company and offered suggestions on how to improve it, management gave themselves huge pay increases and followed the old failing ways with ignorance and arrogance, dooming the company.

No large company has ever gone under because of unions, many have failed because of management.


I believe we have a fundamental difference of opinion with respect to the responsibility of unions and management in company failures. It appears you believe it it totally management and I beleive it is a shared responsibility in most cases. Here's my prediction for Hostess: the brands will be back (good news if you like Twinkies and HoHos); the jobs will not return. Sad, but that's the way free market economics work.

HiHho, HiHho, it's off to work we go.....
 
 
+11 # engelbach 2012-11-24 08:47
I don't think it's just a matter of opinion. The right's knee-jerk reaction to business failure is always to blame the workers, as if it's beyond the competence of business owners to structure a fair wage into their expenses.

Hostess was failing for a while because of increased competition, less demand for junk food, and poor decisions by management. For example, when was the last time anyone saw a promotional campaign for Twinkies? The company just assumed that the product was a staple that needed no support.

The cost of doing business in the United States includes the cost of a well-paid work force. One can't single out wages as the only cost factor in running a business. There is land, raw materials, distribution, electricity, promotion, maintenance, and so on.

Blaming the unions is an easy out for incompetent management.
 
 
+6 # tomtom 2012-11-24 09:37
HiHho, or high whore,

That's the point, make the employees partners and it would be better for everyone! Unity is the word. It works.
 
 
-7 # HiHho 2012-11-24 16:34
I actually agree with that. Interestingly, one of the best quotes of the last 50 years is from the unlikely source-Rodney King. "Can't we all just get along?" This is equally applicable to the President and Congress, politicians in general,labour and management, different countries of orgin and even bloggers. Too bad it isn't practiced so much anymore.

As to the name, I just HiHho sounded more classy than LoHho and indeed it works better in labor economics discussions than LoHho, LoHho, it's off to work we go.....

HiHho just sounds better.....
 
 
+7 # reiverpacific 2012-11-24 12:29
Quoting HiHho:
Quoting bingers:
Quoting HiHho:
Axe the Hostess union workers how that worked out.....


It wasn't the unions who sank Hostess it was grossly incompetent management. While the unions gave back stuff for decades to help the company and offered suggestions on how to improve it, management gave themselves huge pay increases and followed the old failing ways with ignorance and arrogance, dooming the company.

No large company has ever gone under because of unions, many have failed because of management.


I believe we have a fundamental difference of opinion with respect to the responsibility of unions and management in company failures. It appears you believe it it totally management and I beleive it is a shared responsibility in most cases. Here's my prediction for Hostess: the brands will be back (good news if you like Twinkies and HoHos); the jobs will not return. Sad, but that's the way free market economics work.

HiHho, HiHho, it's off to work we go.....

Twinkies is shit and not food anyway.
I'd like to see the employees retrained to produce something a bit more tasty and nutritious -perhaps get together and revive business themselves (check out Mondragon). It's a dream but has been done.
 
 
-10 # HiHho 2012-11-24 16:58
Using your logic and definition, then I am glad that ALL the people who made these evil cakes (management and workers] are out of a job. Let the workers who made the evil products form an alternative business making healthy stuff. By the way, will the healthy bread and cakes have to be shipped on separate trucks because of a contractual obligation?
 
 
+2 # Martintfre 2012-11-26 11:29
//Twinkies is shit and not food anyway.//

So don't buy them -- that is how a free market works.
Consumers choices regulate the market.
IF the product is below the consumers standards for the cost of goods -- they move on to some thing else or not buy at all.
 
 
+2 # bmiluski 2012-11-26 14:36
You mean HIho Hiho it's off to China we go.
 
 
0 # lewis redmond 2012-11-23 20:44
what happen to the middle class ? walmart form critical mass at port of entry
 
 
-1 # JetpackAngel 2012-11-24 02:26
There weren't any strikes at my store either Thursday or Friday, which was kinda disappointing. In fact, Friday felt a lot like just another day. And at least I didn't get mauled Thursday night by people lunging for the DVDs I was guarding, like I did that one year.
 
 
+5 # independentmind 2012-11-24 19:47
I am so done with Walmart. They came in, drove everyone out of business and then started cutting down on the items they stock and sell. Now we have to go to another town to get these items and our town loses the tax dollars (the only reason I shopped there in the first place). That's in addition to not paying living wages. At least they don't hire people as "independent contractors" to avoid paying taxes like some of our local small businesses do!
 
 
-3 # Martintfre 2012-11-26 11:25
//half century ago America's largest private-sector employer was General Motors, whose full-time workers earned an average hourly wage of around $50, in today's dollars, including health and pension benefits.//

and they have gone Bankrupt -- hum any one up for putting a thinking cap on their heads and figuring this mystery out?

I and a consumer, I have a right to search for the best value for my time and money so I shop at wallMart because they give me a good value for my money.

those of you who think consumers have no rights are oppressors who hate freedom of choice.
 

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