Complex calculations behind the Wal-Mart vote

Big Don

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Complex calculations behind the Wal-Mart vote

By Lydia DePillis, Updated: July 11, 2013 Washington Post Excerpt:

Wednesday’s vote on the District’s new “living wage” law had about a decade of history behind it.

Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D), a longtime friend of labor, has tried several times to pass a bill mandating a higher minimum wages for big box stores. In the past, they’ve been almost symbolic efforts, a duty to the unions who knew they didn’t really have a chance.

As Wal-Mart announced plans for store after store last year, with little resistance from the D.C. Council and and no binding community benefits agreement, it appeared that the company’s triumph was complete.

And yet, when the final vote came on a bill that would require retailers with more than a billion dollars in sales and operating in spaces larger than 75,000 square feet to pay a minimum wage 50 percent higher than the District currently mandates, eight council members voted yes.

****SNIP****
Labor leaders, which drafted the bill originally, met with Wal-Mart representatives to say they would pull the bill if Wal-Mart agreed to collective bargaining. Predictably, the mega-retailer said no. “They pulled out all the stops and said this is our number one priority,” said a council staffer who requested anonymity to speak freely. “And when all labor pulls in one direction, that is a powerful thing in this council.”
END EXCERPT
How many people who buy their things at Wal-Mart will be screwed by this blatant play by unions?
 

Flying Crane

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i don't buy anything from walmart, ever. It's been decades since I've set foot into one of those places. If walmart shriveled up and died, the world would be a better place.
 

Scott T

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Corporations write legislation all the time and conservatives smile. Why should unions be barred from doing so?

Also, it's a good bet that unionized stores already pay over that threshold, which is likely why they are exempt from the ordinance.

And I rarely by from the Agent of S.A.T.A.N. known as Wal-Mart as well. I generally shop at Costco, who has a record of treating their employees well.
 

granfire

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Eh, for me it's either Wally World or do without...like most people in the country.

But I bet, without that chain, our trade deficit would look much better! :D
 

rlobrecht

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I wonder what portion of Walmart's costs are people being paid minimum wage? I'd guess its fairly small, compared to the cost of goods, transportation, and warehousing. I flipped through their annual report, but it doesn't go to that level of detail.
 

ballen0351

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I'll shop anywhere I don't care where stuff is made even American made stuff is made using parts from mexico or China so its all crap I use Target mostly now since its closer but I'll hit up Walmart on occasion. As for Walmart paying its employees they don't deserve more then min wage. Your doing an unskilled job you get unskilled money. Want more money learn a skill
 

Scott T

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Who the **** are you to decide what someone's worth?
 

Scott T

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It's something that the airline WestJet figured out, you treat your people properly, they'll reject union pushes themselves.
 

granfire

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Which part of the market, the lowballers like WalMart or the highballers like Costco?

the market that draws from the same pool of employees.

Like, some places pay you 10 bucks an hour to shovel manure, other places don't pay you but 8 for qualified work.
 
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Big Don

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I work for a construction company. I make less than $48 an hour. A couple of weeks ago, I picked up 2 hours of Prevailing Wage at $48.54 an hour, what did I do during those two hours? I shoveled asphalt onto the edges of trench plates. That is pretty unskilled. Why then was I paid the extra wage?
RACISM
To make matters worse, the Davis-Bacon Act has explicitly racist origins. It was introduced in response to the presence of Southern black construction workers on a Long Island, N.Y.. veterans hospital project. This "cheap" and "bootleg" labor was denounced by Rep. Robert L. Bacon, New York Republican, who introduced the legislation. American Federation of Labor (AFL) president William Green eagerly testified in support of the law before the U.S. Senate, claiming that "colored labor is being brought in to demoralize wage rates."

Emil Preiss, business manager of the New York branch of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (a powerful AFL affiliate that banned black workers from its ranks) told the House of Representatives that Algernon Blair's crew of black workers were "an undesirable element of people." The bill's co-sponsor, Republican Sen. James Davis of Pennsylvania, was an outspoken racist who had argued in 1925 that Congress must restrict immigration in order "to dry up the sources of hereditary poisoning."
What racial group makes up a large portion of D.C.'s population? Who are the unions screwing over by driving Wal-Mart out of town?
 

ballen0351

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Which part of the market, the lowballers like WalMart or the highballers like Costco?

Nobody forces anyone to work for Walmart they all take the job. If they want to make more money go find a better job
 

jks9199

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Who the **** are you to decide what someone's worth?

Who are you to decide what a business should pay it's employees?

I'm not going to defend illegal or unfair practices like requiring employees to clock out and return to work -- but the employee takes the job, at the pay offered. They agreed to the deal. If Walmart can't get employees at a given rate -- they'll raise it. Having the DC city council decide to force certain business to pay employees more than other similar businesses is unfair, and will drive business away.
 

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*response to ballen*

They usually do, which leads to another problem: Labour shortage. Don't know about where you live, but this province has a severe shortage in skilled and unskilled labour, forcing us to look at the Mexican, filipino, Irish and American labour pools (among others) to take up the slack
 

ballen0351

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*response to ballen*

They usually do, which leads to another problem: Labour shortage. Don't know about where you live, but this province has a severe shortage in skilled and unskilled labour, forcing us to look at the Mexican, filipino, Irish and American labour pools (among others) to take up the slack
If there is a labor shortage then as an employer the market dictates that you need to pay more. If there's a labor surplus like here then employers can pay less. The market dictates. The problems with Unions is the artificially inflate wages beyond market value and it becomes cheaper to outsource to china
 

granfire

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I work for a construction company. I make less than $48 an hour. A couple of weeks ago, I picked up 2 hours of Prevailing Wage at $48.54 an hour, what did I do during those two hours? I shoveled asphalt onto the edges of trench plates. That is pretty unskilled. Why then was I paid the extra wage?
RACISM

What racial group makes up a large portion of D.C.'s population? Who are the unions screwing over by driving Wal-Mart out of town?

so you are a middle aged white woman, being offended on principle?

I am pretty sure the powers pushing for such ordinances are off like demographic s the people who work there....

leave the racism cry to Al Sharpton...he has no union to claim encroachment on his domain....
 
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