HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Striking Wal-Mart workers...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 08:52 AM

Striking Wal-Mart workers aren't just fighting their employer. They're fighting a whole system. [View all]


from The Atlantic:


Who's Really to Blame for the Wal-Mart Strikes? The American Consumer
By Jordan Weissmann


The Wal-Mart workers threatening to walk off the job on Black Friday aren't just fighting their employer. They're fighting a whole system.


Forget the stampeding shoppers, the half-priced waffle irons, or the pepper spray wielding wackos: barring a federal intervention, the main event this Black Friday could turn out to be a showdown between organized labor and its arch corporate nemesis, Wal-Mart.

After organizing the first retail workers' strikes in the company's 50-year history last month, a union-backed group has promised to lead work stoppages and demonstrations at Wal-Mart stores around the country this holiday weekend in protest of its famously aggressive labor practices. Nobody truly knows how big the turnout will be, or if even more than a handful of Wal-Mart's 1.4 million U.S. employees will actually walk off the job. We might witness something historic, or we might witness a sideshow that shoppers ignore while brawling for bargains. Either way, the threat has made Wal-Mart nervous enough to ask the National Labor Relations Board for an injunction stopping the protests. Should they go on, they will be a test of whether, after years of failing to organize the country's largest employer, labor groups still have the wherewithal to take it on.

It would be a mistake, however, to think of this simply as a clash over one company. Rather, it's symptomatic of forces Wal-Mart helped set in motion and now shape our economy in fundamental way. It's about big box retail's refusal to pay a decent wage. It's about the way we've stacked the deck against unions. And it's about the choices we make as consumers.

Wal-Mart's Bad, But the Competition Isn't Much Better

As Harold Meyerson noted recently in The American Prospect, whereas Ford and General Motors paid their factory workers enough to buy the cars they built, Wal-Mart rose up by paying "its workers so little they had to shop at discount stores like Wal-Mart." ........................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/11/whos-really-to-blame-for-the-wal-mart-strikes-the-american-consumer/265542/



55 replies, 4427 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 55 replies Author Time Post
Reply Striking Wal-Mart workers aren't just fighting their employer. They're fighting a whole system. [View all]
marmar Nov 2012 OP
onethatcares Nov 2012 #1
xchrom Nov 2012 #2
AllyCat Nov 2012 #3
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #4
FarCenter Nov 2012 #5
marmar Nov 2012 #6
FarCenter Nov 2012 #8
lunatica Nov 2012 #13
FarCenter Nov 2012 #15
CitizenPatriot Nov 2012 #18
FarCenter Nov 2012 #21
xtraxritical Nov 2012 #37
FarCenter Nov 2012 #39
lunatica Nov 2012 #42
Cal Carpenter Nov 2012 #23
ProfessionalLeftist Nov 2012 #28
FarCenter Nov 2012 #32
iemitsu Nov 2012 #38
lunatica Nov 2012 #43
iemitsu Nov 2012 #52
ProfessionalLeftist Nov 2012 #40
redwitch Nov 2012 #7
ProfessionalLeftist Nov 2012 #29
CrispyQ Nov 2012 #9
iemitsu Nov 2012 #41
CrispyQ Nov 2012 #46
Jbradshaw120 Nov 2012 #10
iemitsu Nov 2012 #44
Marrah_G Nov 2012 #11
Chef Eric Nov 2012 #14
FarCenter Nov 2012 #16
llmart Nov 2012 #19
CitizenPatriot Nov 2012 #20
Teamster Jeff Nov 2012 #50
humblebum Nov 2012 #22
Starry Messenger Nov 2012 #26
SHRED Nov 2012 #27
FarCenter Nov 2012 #31
SHRED Nov 2012 #33
FarCenter Nov 2012 #34
SHRED Nov 2012 #35
iemitsu Nov 2012 #47
Teamster Jeff Nov 2012 #51
neverforget Nov 2012 #45
lonestarnot Nov 2012 #36
Lars39 Nov 2012 #48
woo me with science Nov 2012 #55
bigtree Nov 2012 #12
PrMaine Nov 2012 #17
iemitsu Nov 2012 #49
PrMaine Nov 2012 #54
Iliyah Nov 2012 #24
Cal Carpenter Nov 2012 #25
DhhD Nov 2012 #30
libdem4life Nov 2012 #53