The Protests That Weren’t

So I’ve been hearing rumbles of a walkout at Walmart stores on Black Friday. How’d that work out?

“The protest organizers have declined to say how many Wal- Mart associates they expect to be involved in the latest round of actions” says Bloomberg, and while the OurWalmart homepage feed contains lots of pictures of protest groups, there don’t seem to be a lot of actual Walmart employees. In fact, several rather wisful items champion single employees who have walked out of scattered stores. The company estimates that fewer than 50 actual Walmart employees participated, and though of course they have an incentive to undercount, OurWalmart has not given any particular reason to disbelieve them.

I’ve been going through the newswire and keeping seeing this report confirmed over and over again. A few hundred protesters — maybe a handful of actual Walmart employees. Almost all of them are UFCW stooges sent out there to protest and try to unionize Walmart’s 1.4 million employees.

The OurWalmart crowd is hoping this is the first stone in what will become an avalanche. I really don’t see it. Walmart pays decent wages ($8.50-$12 an hour) and hires people who typically have trouble finding good jobs. Every time they open a store, applicants line up to take jobs there. The union crowd and their supporters are simply butting their heads against a stark reality: that vast majority of people do not see Walmart as a bad place to work. I’m sure it seems bad if you’re a student who thinks he’s going to walk into a $100,000 a year deskjob or a you’re a union organizer making six figures. But there are tens of millions of Americans who would jello wrestle a bear for a job right now. And there are worse things in this world than working for Walmart.

I expect we have not heard the last of this. And I expect it will continue to meet with failure.

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  1. RonK

    there is an old saying ‘he who fails to heed the lessons of history are bound to repeat them’. This is a microcosm of that saying. any one remember why mall/plaza became popular – lots of parking, this is kinda lost on mall operators today, how may malls are expanding and reducing parking, on to walmart, why should I spend bucks going to a local mall, when I can anything from walmart online. go ahead unionize, strike, walmart is like blockbuster for retail, one on just about every corner, what do you think they will do if they had labor troubles??

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  2. Poosh

    The UK minimum wage is £6.19. Walmart pays about £5.30 – £7.40 then. Given the US has superior purchasing power that doesn’t seem too bad.

    that vast majority of people do not see Walmart as a bad place to work

    I am not too sure aboot that. I think, given almost no options, the fact that people with no or limited skills / education gravitate to Walmart does not imply the workers do not have a large number of problems with Walmart, merely that their back is against the wall and they have no other options… of course maybe they are happy by enlarge.

    From what I hear Walmart are not decent people, but in a more free economy Walmart’s power and its hold over people with no options would be less. That being said, how much more would the dollar be worth if not for the government (and leftists), and how much more money would one have if not for the direct and non-direct taxes one pays for.

    But I wouldn’t be quick to come to Walmart’s defence from what I know.

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  3. Seattle Outcast

    If you have no adult skills other than stocking shelves and barely being able to read English at the 6th grade level, why in fuck would you complain that somebody gave you a job that pays accordingly?

    This is more of the entitlement mentality currently in vogue amongst the lazy-ass losers of modern society that want all the toys and lifestyle of those that fought their way up through the ranks to get decent paychecks. Once you’re 18, the only thing you get for free is the air you breathe, the rest of it you have to go get on your own devices.

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  4. balthazar

    Walmart actually offers health care options for PART TIME workers(you only need to work 24 hours or more in a week to qualify), thats better than just about any unionized store out there.

    They promote almost exclusively from within, which is also better than most employers.

    The majority of the people working there stock the shelves, they get paid more than what they are really worth already.

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