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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-06-08 02:28 AM
Original message
Wal-Mart Loses Mexican Pay-Voucher Case
Source: Wall Street Journal

Wal-Mart Loses Mexican Pay-Voucher Case
By MIGUEL BUSTILLO in Houston and ANN ZIMMERMAN in Dallas
September 6, 2008; Page B6

Mexico's Supreme Court ruled this week that Wal-Mart de Mexico, the country's largest retailer based on sales and a unit of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., violated the constitution by paying workers in part with vouchers only redeemable for merchandise at the chain's outlets.

Wal-Mart de Mexico, also known as Walmex, gave store coupons as part of salaries. In a statement, the retailer said the program was voluntary, and "designed to help our employees acquire basic necessities." It went on to explain in the statement that under the program, Walmex would put store credit on electronic cards, and the employees could contribute a matching amount. The credit could then be used at Wal-Mart outlets throughout Mexico.

Representatives for the retailer declined to comment beyond the statement.
The case stemmed from a lawsuit filed by a Wal-Mart employee in Mexico, but details of the suit weren't available.

In its decision, Mexico's Supreme Court likened Wal-Mart's practice to exploitative labor practices in Mexico more than a century ago that led to the Mexican Revolution in 1910.



Read more: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122066524815506105.html...
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-06-08 02:46 AM
Response to Original message
1. Mexican Supreme Court rules against Walmex
Mexican Supreme Court rules against Walmex

The Associated Press
Friday, September 5, 2008

MEXICO CITY: Wal-Mart's Mexico subsidiary on Friday defended a voluntary program that pays employees in food vouchers they must spend at company stores, despite a Supreme Court setback.

A Walmex employee challenged the policy before the Supreme Court, which on Thursday ruled the company could not require the employee to spend vouchers at Walmex. The court didn't order Walmex to abolish the program entirely because no other employees sued.

In a statement, the court said the program resembled those seen at "old company stores," a system in which employees were paid vouchers good only at shops their bosses owned, where prices were often inflated. Mexico's constitution outlawed those stores in 1917.

Walmex, Mexico's largest private-sector employer, stressed that its voucher program is voluntary and includes an electronic debit card that can be used at any Walmex outlet. Still, it vowed to review the program.

"We are a company committed to improving Mexican families' quality of life and complying with the laws and court decisions of this country," the Wal-Mart de Mexico SA statement said. "That is why we will carefully analyze the Supreme Court decision and its implications for the program."

More:
http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/09/05/business/LA-M...
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-06-08 02:47 AM
Response to Original message
2. Reuters: Mexico court rules against Walmex worker vouchers
Mexico court rules against Walmex worker vouchers
Fri Sep 5, 2008 1:16pm EDT

MEXICO CITY, Sept 5 (Reuters) - Mexico's Supreme Court ruled that the country's top retailer, Wal-Mart de Mexico, violated the constitution by paying a worker in part with store cards only usable in the chain's outlets, the court said on Friday.

Wal-Mart de Mexico (WALMEXV.MX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), also known as Walmex and a unit of U.S. retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), gives electronic store cards as part of salaries, which the court said harked back to exploitative wage practices of over a century ago.

For now, the ruling only applies to the one worker and will not oblige Walmex to scrap the card scheme.

But if enough other employees group together to bring a similar case to court it could ensure all future rulings on the card scheme would go the same way, a court spokesman said.

During the long dictatorship of President Porfirio Diaz, which ended in 1911, wealthy landowners and businessmen paid employees with special currency only valid in company stores.

More:
http://www.reuters.com/article/rbssConsumerGoodsAndReta...
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Sodbuster Donating Member (96 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-06-08 03:05 AM
Response to Original message
3. What next? Company housing? Then they don't have to pay them at all.
Since most of their stuff is anywhere from at a 40 - 60 % mark-up or more, you give someone a voucher
instead of pay, and you can cut your wage cost substantially. Of course, it is voluntary as in if you don't accept this,
we will hire someone that will work under these conditions.

Bastards
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Thothmes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-06-08 07:23 AM
Response to Reply #3
8. Does sound sorta like the Company store/town scheme
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pattmarty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-06-08 07:44 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. My thought exactly. Company town with company "scrip".
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tbyg52 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-06-08 10:16 AM
Response to Reply #9
16. Ya load sixteen tons, and whadda ya get? nt
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DUlover2909 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-06-08 03:44 AM
Response to Original message
4. HAHA Fuck Wal-Mart LOL freaking bullshit.
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Tanuki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-06-08 05:54 AM
Response to Original message
5. Pawlenty said at the RNC that the Repubs want to govern "like Sam's Club"
This must be what he had in mind.
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DCKit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-06-08 06:10 AM
Response to Original message
6. "I owe my soul to the company store".
How can this be wrong?
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Prophet 451 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-06-08 06:59 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. that is EXACTLY what came to my mind too n/t
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Lithos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-06-08 11:35 PM
Response to Reply #6
22. exactly...
Same song going through my head.

L-
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icnorth Donating Member (954 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-06-08 07:49 AM
Response to Original message
10. "designed to help our employees acquire basic necessities."
Apparently cash gives employees way to much latitude...what a supercilious bunch of assholes.
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fasttense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-06-08 07:51 AM
Response to Original message
11. In 2006, when I worked for Wal-Mart, they made us watch the 9/11
footage of the exploding towers and the people jumping out of the flaming buildings. They gathered all the morning shift and put us in the conference room on Sept 11, 2006. They said it was in remembrance of the people who died on 9/11. It made me sick and angry. But it worked for the repukes here because they voted in another bunch of corrupt and lying repukes. I don't work there anymore, I wonder if they will do it again in 2008?

Wal-Mart turning America back to 1800, one vote at a time.
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Heather MC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-06-08 08:23 AM
Response to Original message
12. So glad Istopped giving these soulless bastards my hard earn money
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Indenturedebtor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-06-08 08:52 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. Yes I even had a free Sams Club membership through my parent's biz
I went out and bought a Costco membership instead. Hey you gotta get your deodorant and canned tomatoes somewhere.

What evil bastards.
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Heather MC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-06-08 09:30 AM
Response to Reply #13
15. haa haa I shop at Dollar stores and EBAY, Craigslist.com and Freecycle ONLY
I think we have enough crap in country, that we don't need to buy new crap, just buy crap other people don't want

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Indenturedebtor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-06-08 05:35 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. I need to buy food ;) They have cheap food n/t
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entanglement Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-06-08 09:19 AM
Response to Original message
14. No surprise, the bastards are running a "company store" in Mexico
which is 18 kinds of immoral, unethical and exploitative. This is a small (but significant) victory for Mexico's toilers; many bigger battles lie ahead.

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WindRiverMan Donating Member (693 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-06-08 02:02 PM
Response to Original message
17. It's not a voucher, it is called script
and it happened here not too long ago either. My grandfather, a coal miner,and many like him put their lives on the line so we don't have to get paid in script. Amazing we allow WalMart to operate in the US when they have these kinds of business practices.
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Trajan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-06-08 08:03 PM
Response to Original message
19. Sixteen Tons ...
You load sixteen tons and what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt.
Saint Peter, don't you call me 'cause I can't go,
l owe my soul to the company store.
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AnneD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-06-08 11:31 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. Boy...
my first thought too.
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AlphaCentauri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-06-08 10:01 PM
Response to Original message
20. Same way they are doing with non-profits
Wal-Mart is Mexico's largest private-sector employer in the nation today, with nearly 150,000 local residents on its payroll. An additional 19,000 youngsters between the ages of 14 and 16 work after school in hundreds of Wal-Mart stores, mostly as grocery baggers, throughout Mexicoand none of them receives a red cent in wages or fringe benefits. The company doesn't try to conceal this practice: its 62 Superama supermarkets display blue signs with white letters that tell shoppers: OUR VOLUNTEER PACKERS COLLECT NO SALARY, ONLY THE GRATUITY THAT YOU GIVE THEM. SUPERAMA THANKS YOU FOR YOUR UNDERSTANDING. The use of unsalaried youths is legal in Mexico because the kids are said to be "volunteering" their services to Wal-Mart and are therefore not subject to the requirements and regulations that would otherwise apply under the country's labor laws. But some officials south of the U.S. border nonetheless view the practice as regrettable, if not downright exploitative. "These kids should receive a salary," says Labor Undersecretary Patricia Espinosa Torres. "If you ask me, I don't think these kids should be working, but there are cultural and social circumstances rooted in poverty and scarcity."


http://www.newsweek.com/id/32624


MEXICO: Wal-Mart's Plans for Indigenous Areas Under Fire


The only solution to the cultural onslaught of the megacorporation called Walmart is to boycott its stores. Stop shopping at Walmart! Patzcuaro is a beautiful town in the state of Michoacan, inhabited by several thousand indigenous people who make the town famous by their unique celebrations and crafts. The nearby town of Juchitan in Oaxaca is also facing the invasion of a Walmart store. In Juchitan the old practice of bartering for goods still survives in the enchanting open-air markets. Lorenzo Trujillo, head of the Civic Front for the Defence of Teotihuacan Valley, says this time they will not allow Walmart to further invade the indigenous areas of Mexico. They will no longer allow Walmart to destroy the beautiful, indigenous Mexican culture!! Long live all coalitions that struggle against all the Walmarts of this world!

http://www.worldproutassembly.org/archives/2005/09/mexi...
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jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-07-08 12:34 PM
Response to Original message
23. There is one GOOD way they could do this...
but since it's Wal-Mart we're talking about, they never would.

Wal-Mart has the most sophisticated computer system in all retail. It tracks every item in every Wal-Mart. One of the things it tracks is what Wal-Mart paid for an item. The computer could easily be set up to charge vendor cost, not shelf retail, on every item bought with Wal-Scrip with the exception of easily-resellable luxury goods and auto parts. (Without those exceptions, every mechanic in Mexico would employ an "inventory associate" whose job is to work at Wal-Mart stocking shelves so he can spend his whole paycheck on filters and lubricants.) The upside to Wal-Mart is they'd be able to "float" this money in very short-term investments, like American Express does with traveler's checks and every retailer in the world does with gift cards.

But since we are talking about the world's most evil retailer, you KNOW they're charging these guys full shelf price, and making money on the float anyway.
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JustAnotherGen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-07-08 01:19 PM
Response to Original message
24. Sounds like
Sharecropping to me . . . :mad:
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