Tag: Wal-Mart

SCOTUS in session.

Our Supreme Court has been rendering some decisions today, and while they threw out a lawsuit they should, I am going to focus on their decisions to if not outright dismiss or side with the defendant – Wal-Mart – to drastically limit the scope of the suit to real cases and what it should have been from the start, thus making it very unlikely that the plaintiffs will win this case in which they tried to win big money by broadly accusing Wal-Mart as being a corporation that has a culture of bias against female employees, where the evidence isn’t there to back that up.

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court on Monday blocked a massive sex discrimination lawsuit against Wal-Mart on behalf of female employees in a decision that makes it harder to mount large-scale bias claims against the nation’s biggest companies.

The justices all agreed that the lawsuit against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. cannot proceed as a class action in its current form, reversing a decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. But they split 5-4 along ideological lines over whether the plaintiffs should in essence get another chance to make their case.

The lawsuit could have involved up to 1.6 million women, with Wal-Mart facing potentially billions of dollars in damages.

Now, the handful of women who brought the case may pursue their claims on their own, with much less money at stake and less pressure on Wal-Mart to settle.

The ruling could make it much harder to mount similar class-action discrimination lawsuits against large employers.

The majority agreed with Wal-Mart’s argument that being forced to defend the treatment of female employees regardless of the jobs they hold or where they work is unfair.

Yeah, I felt this was about a bunch of lawyers hoping to score big from the start. Now the scope of the suit is going to be based on the claim of these handful of women that they were done a disservice because of gender, the court system can hear arguments, and a jury can decide. If the lawyers keep their goal of going after Wal-Mart for the big bucks instead of representing their clients, then they deserve to lose the case as well.

If they are smart enough to roll back their end goal, I am still going to side with Wal-Mart on this. I simply find it hard to believe Wal-Mart would do anything that would threaten its profits. And sex discrimination, not because of the law suits that it can result in, but because it would be a stupid policy to deny the better talent the management jobs or promotions, would hamper their pursuit of the all mighty dollar. Oh, I understand that people can make counterintuitive and dumb moves that in the end hurt them more than those they target for whatever reason, but I doubt Wal-Mart would do that.

The lawsuit, citing what are now dated figures from 2001, said that women are grossly underrepresented among managers, holding just 14 percent of store manager positions compared with more than 80 percent of lower-ranking supervisory jobs that are paid by the hour. Wal-Mart responded that women in its retail stores made up two-thirds of all employees and two-thirds of all managers in 2001.

I am going to side with Wal-Mart on this based on the simple fact that they wouldn’t be stupid enough to make such a claim if they then would have to defend it in court. Of course, you could say the same about the ambulance chasers on the other side, but I have often found they are given so much more leniency to make up things when they target big corporations for shakedowns, that one has to keep that in mind. Anyway, this suit ought to be more interesting now.

The Walmart Brand

Is the brand of “bad taste”, that which has the Made in the USA label clearly marked on the back our most popular export? If those bargain hunters that shop at Walmart are any indication, a devolution is taking place. Is the Geico caveman our next destination?

There is a popular website called People of Walmart that never ceases to amuse. Sometimes I think people intentionally dress retro (code name for WTF are you wearing?) just to make the website, but then that would indicate that some thought went into their appearance, highly unlikely.

The whole Walmart story is facinating:

The company was the world’s largest public corporation in 2010 by revenue.[3]

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is the largest majority private employer

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Walmart has 8,500 stores in 15 countries, under 55 different names

And for the longest time, the kids of the founder, each of which got an inheritance in stock, where the richest folks in the country, pre Bill Gates.

The closest Walmart store to me is in Napa, about 35 miles away, a bit far to indulge in bargains or freak watching, but I am always amused at how polarizing the whole concept of Walmart is.

For years, and probably still is, Walmart was the poster child with the intelligentsia for all the troubles caused by big box stores. First of all, Walmart is non union so you know what ready made enemies that causes. It was always held up as an example of the major corporations taking advantage on the little guys, all for profit motive, when in fact their base salaries, benefits packages, and working conditions were more than competitive , that is why whenever a new store goes up applications for employment skyrocket.

Another complaint was that it was a mom and pop store killer, the big box store would move in and undercut all the local businesses that had to compete. A fair assessment but in perfect keeping with the capitalist system of supply/demand. Lastly, it always invoked the elitist snobs  to feign some faux indignation about attracting “those types” to the community if Walmart was allowed to build there, even though those types were already there and looking to shop more economically.

I have always preferred more choices to less choices, more competing stores vying for my business then one monopoly who will get it regardless of effort because I need what they sell. And since stores, like restaurants, need to attract and keep customers, otherwise they fold, this would provide incentive to get me in the store and get me to return, giving me the power to decide where I want to patronize.

The power of Walmart, to attract customers and generate revenue, is apparent in their success, and if a fashion show gone horribly wrong is thrown in at no charge, what’s the harm?

You know your policies are hurting the poor when

Wal-Mart starts pointing out they are not spending as much as they used to on purchases as they used to:

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Wal-Mart’s core shoppers are running out of money much faster than a year ago due to rising gasoline prices, and the retail giant is worried, CEO Mike Duke said Wednesday. “We’re seeing core consumers under a lot of pressure,” Duke said at an event in New York. “There’s no doubt that rising fuel prices are having an impact.” Wal-Mart shoppers, many of whom live paycheck to paycheck, typically shop in bulk at the beginning of the month when their paychecks come in. Lately, they’re “running out of money” at a faster clip, he said. “Purchases are really dropping off by the end of the month even more than last year,” Duke said. “This end-of-month [purchases] cycle is growing to be a concern.

Gasoline prices are up, inflation has reared its ugly head, and the poor are going to be socked the hardest by these things. Bet you the democrats, the party of the little people, will blame evil oil companies, evil capitalist Wal-Mart, and in general everyone else, but their policies for this. Despite whatever bullshit they say, oil prices are up because of two reasons: the dollar has plummeted in value, and the new Obama Admin policy of blocking oil exploration and extraction is making speculators basically believe oil supplies are going to be negatively impacted sooner than later.

As the dollar loses value and energy prices continue to rise, because of the lack of any real and viable strategy from the left other than to steer billions to their friends pretending this green energy shit is a sound investment, the cost of everything that needs to be moved, refrigerated, and uses plastics, is going to go up. Drastically. Obama is hell bent on beating the malaise of the Carter years it seems. The poor should remember that.