Wal-Mart says Black Friday was a success, despite labor dispute

posted at 5:16 pm on November 23, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

Wal-Mart and big labor never seem to be too far from some type of dispute, but there was some particular trouble brewing between union workers and the big-box store in the run-up to Black Friday. Union organizers were threatening to stage walkout protests on this, the biggest day of many retailers’ years, in order to achieve maximum impact — but the day went off with hardly a hitch. Fox News reports:

The National Labor Relations Board said Friday that due to the ‘complex’ legal issue,  it will issue a ruling next week on Walmart’s request for an injunction against union-backed worker protests at store locations on Thanksgiving night and Black Friday.

But while the NLRB considers the request, the world’s largest retailer called this year’s Black Friday a success even though union-backed protests broke out at some locations over worker conditions and wages.

… Walmart said in a statement Friday that stores saw larger crowds then last year. The company also downplayed the number of protests and called it a “union-funded publicity stunt.”

“Only 26 protests occurred at stores last night and many of them did not include any Walmart associates,” the store said in a statement. It estimated that less than 50 associates participated in the protests.

Le sigh. Is it just me, or does it always seem like unions somehow manage to be endlessly vocal about the many ‘injustices’ perpetrated by evil, greedy supercenter, but at the end of the day, relatively few actual Wal-Mart employees demonstrate much desire to get involved?

To close, I’ll leave you with this classic from John Stossel — on oldie, but a goodie.


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I had to go the Wal*Mart in Dallas that was supposed to be the main protest for the city, it was even on the news last night. Four cops, lots of customers, no protesters and nobody walked out.

The protest was so dumb, they chose a Wal*Mart grocery store instead of a full store just a couple of miles away to stage their local protest.

cozmo on November 23, 2012 at 5:23 PM

Wal-Mart employees were too busy working to protest.

ladyingray on November 23, 2012 at 5:26 PM

The end result of unionizing Walmart would be evaporate the reason people shop at Walmart to begin with … low prices.

Of course who shops at Walmart the most? Lower income and middle class. Unions wouldn’t hurt Walmart, they’d hurt Walmart shoppers.

But as we all know, the bottom line for unions is more money to fill their non-taxpaying coffers.

darwin on November 23, 2012 at 5:29 PM

Hm. Interesting video. Hadn’t seen that one.

A couple of thoughts. Walmart in some ways is evil if you like smaller, more specialized retailers, like what you would see in a downtown area. Walmart goes into a town and because it has very deep pockets and that store can operate at a loss for a couple of years in order to grow its roots, it can effectively kill any competition (small mom and pop businesses) as no small business can lose money and customers for very long.

Another is that low prices come on the backs of lower wages. That’s something that society needs decide whether it’s important or not. It’s like a $2 apple, which would be the cost if it weren’t picked by migrant workers.

kim roy on November 23, 2012 at 5:35 PM

Is it just me, or does it always seem like unions somehow manage to be endlessly vocal about the many ‘injustices’ perpetrated by evil, greedy supercenter, but at the end of the day, relatively few actual Wal-Mart employees demonstrate much desire to get involved?

It’s not just you. And let’s not forget that Wal-Mart gives jobs to people who would otherwise be unemployed in small towns throughout America. People who are not necessarily looking for a career but for a paycheck.

Happy Nomad on November 23, 2012 at 5:35 PM

The National Labor Relations Board said Friday that due to the ‘complex’ legal issue, it will issue a ruling next week on Walmart’s request for an injunction against union-backed worker protests at store locations on Thanksgiving night and Black Friday.

Hey, welcome to government run health care. Timeliness isn’t government’s strong suit. I can imagine the following will become common:

The National Labor Relations Patient Treatment Permission Board, a subset of the PPACA’s IPAB and authorized by the HHS secretary (as the secretary shall decide) said Friday that due to the ‘complex’ legal medical issue, it will issue a ruling next week on Walmart’s patient’s request for an injunction against union-backed worker protests at store locations on Thanksgiving night and Black Friday heart bypass to treat the patient’s heart attack suffered last Thursday. Said patient unfortunately expired Saturday while waiting for the IPAB to determine if this was appropriate treatment

AZfederalist on November 23, 2012 at 5:36 PM

AZfederalist on November 23, 2012 at 5:36 PM

It’s been far too long, but that is the Comment of the Day™.

Steve Eggleston on November 23, 2012 at 5:40 PM

The other day on The Five” Bob Beckel grumbled that Wal-Mart employees making 11 bucks and change an hour “can’t live on that.” That’s the problem with having NY-DC corridor people commenting on national programs: they have no clue what life is life outside of that corridor. For your information, Mr. Beckel, there are millions of Americans who CAN live on that because they don’t reside in that stupid city with the 25 dollar hamburgers you call home.

radjah shelduck on November 23, 2012 at 5:46 PM

Another is that low prices come on the backs of lower wages. That’s something that society needs decide whether it’s important or not. It’s like a $2 apple, which would be the cost if it weren’t picked by migrant workers.

kim roy on November 23, 2012 at 5:35 PM

It’s a circle…if the employees earn more and the prices go up, the employees will pay more. So you’re back to square one. Plus if prices go up fewer people will shop and the need for the number of employees goes down.

Actually, minimum wage and slightly higher is probably a fair wage for what most of lowest level retail employees do. Often cashiers are paid more than say a stock person or lot attendant. KMart ran into a problem a few years ago when they required all employees to be able to run registers. They ended up giving in because so many were incapable of doing so and many of the cashiers refused to take their turn in the back.

As for the small stores being put out of business, that’s the way retail has always been…competition. They could adapt by offering different products and utilizing the internet, and many do. Retail is about the customer and what they want. Companies come and go, it’s nothing new.

Deanna on November 23, 2012 at 5:47 PM

kim roy on November 23, 2012 at 5:35 PM

I see a few flaws in your logic.

First, smaller more specialized retailers downtown don’t have the choices available at the Supercenter at the edge of town. And it isn’t one-stop shopping. Do you really want to spend a Saturday morning going to this store for a ream of paper, that store for paint brushes and duct tape, and a third for groceries? It’s as much about that as anything else.

Secondly, Wal-marts don’t operate at a loss for a couple of years to, presumably, cut the competition off at the knees. They are profit-oriented and wouldn’t go into a market they don’t think they can dominate within the first six months. How many more people do you suppose are employed than would be with smaller specialized retailers.

Finally, few people realize that Wal-Mart revolutionized logistics and inventory control. They deserve credit for that even as the unions are still teed-off that they have never made inroads within the company. Primarily because Wal-Mart has traditionaly been in markets where unions and communists are one and the same.

I live in a very liberal area of Northern Virginia. There is an undeveloped (actually under-developed) section of property close to my house. Rumors abound as to what will happen there. Whenever the idea of a Wal-Mart comes up you can hear the exploding heads in my neighborhood. For that reason alone, I stand with Wal-Mart.

Happy Nomad on November 23, 2012 at 5:49 PM

I avoid Wal Mart because the stores are to darn BIG and I usually just want one thing. But I support them totally in their right to market their stores anyway they chose.

I loved a study from some goof ball professor who studied them and concluded that they would be better off with union labor. If he had a brain he would have just asked Wal Mart for their opinion. After all they have a PhD in marketing their own stores. Educated idiots.

BullShooterAsInElk on November 23, 2012 at 5:52 PM

For your information, Mr. Beckel, there are millions of Americans who CAN live on that because they don’t reside in that stupid city with the 25 dollar hamburgers you call home.

radjah shelduck on November 23, 2012 at 5:46 PM

Liberals have never understood how Wal-Mart changed small towns throughout America. And as I posted above, also revolutionized logistics and inventory control. All without government grants or charters.

Happy Nomad on November 23, 2012 at 5:53 PM

In further attempt to distract from Susan Rice’s lies and subterfuge towards the Benghazi cover-up the media whores at the Washington Post are now calling Black Friday racist.

viking01 on November 23, 2012 at 5:57 PM

I avoid Wal Mart because the stores are to darn BIG and I usually just want one thing. But I support them totally in their right to market their stores anyway they chose.
idiots.

BullShooterAsInElk on November 23, 2012 at 5:52 PM

It’s the Chick-Fil-A thing in a different guise. The left wants us to hate Wal-Mart because they are non-union. They do their best to demonize a company that has thrived by free market principles. But where are the Wal-Mart employees who do the “Joe Soptic” thing and whine about lack of benefits and claim Wal-Mart killed their spouses?

Happy Nomad on November 23, 2012 at 6:00 PM

Secondly, Wal-marts don’t operate at a loss for a couple of years to, presumably, cut the competition off at the knees. They are profit-oriented and wouldn’t go into a market they don’t think they can dominate within the first six months. How many more people do you suppose are employed than would be with smaller specialized retailers.
Happy Nomad on November 23, 2012 at 5:49 PM

I can’t disagree with the rest of your post that I removed except to say that I’m one of those people that would go to separate stores for items because I like the specialty aspect and usually the better service they provide.

But to your second point – you’ve pretty much conceded the point that Walmart goes into a place to “dominate”, which was my point. What is domination *except* to cut off at the knees and put other places out of business.

If a particular township doesn’t want a mega store, then that’s the community’s choice, especially if they have a vote. Those who feel strongly about it one way or another will show up.

As for the jobs aspect, I’m not sure whether continuing the spiral of cheap junk for cheap prices with cheap labor is really a plus.

Something to think about, it seems.

kim roy on November 23, 2012 at 6:04 PM

Another is that low prices come on the backs of lower wages. That’s something that society needs decide whether it’s important or not. It’s like a $2 apple, which would be the cost if it weren’t picked by migrant workers.

kim roy on November 23, 2012 at 5:35 PM

Society doesn’t need to decide anything. YOU can decide to only shop at small mom and pop stores if you want. I chose to shop at Walmart, Home Depot, and Amazon for most consumer goods, and smaller shops for more specialized things. Sometimes price is most important to me, sometimes service is. It depends on what I’m buying.

This is called voting with your wallet, and it is kind of the root of the economic theory of capitalism.

Also, WalMart is a huge innovator, but they won’t be around forever. A smaller, more nimbler company with newer better ideas will eventually come along and unseat them, just like they did to Sears, and Sears did to the rural stores in the old days.

If you don’t like walmart, or how they choose to compensate their employees (who work there by choice, are mostly young or retired, and would rather make $8.50 at walmart then $10 an hour doing backbreaking manual labor or whatever their other choices may be. Anyone supporting a family on a single walmart income obviously made some questionable decisions in life to end up in that situation — again not walmarts fault).

Timin203 on November 23, 2012 at 6:04 PM

If a particular township doesn’t want a mega store, then that’s the community’s choice, especially if they have a vote. Those who feel strongly about it one way or another will show up.

As for the jobs aspect, I’m not sure whether continuing the spiral of cheap junk for cheap prices with cheap labor is really a plus.

Something to think about, it seems.

kim roy on November 23, 2012 at 6:04 PM

It is not their choice. “society” can’t decide who can and can’t buy what property. That’s absurd. If “society” doesn’t want a big box store then DON’T SHOP THERE and trust me, they will disappear.

Timin203 on November 23, 2012 at 6:07 PM

Is Wal-Mart, like, a place you buy stuff to put on your walls?

~ Paris Hilton

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on November 23, 2012 at 6:07 PM

Last year Black Friday set the record for gun sales (NICS), and my guess is that Wal-Mart had a large part to play in that.

It will be interesting to see if the record is broken this year as well.

mad saint jack on November 23, 2012 at 6:08 PM

FOLLOW THE MONEY!

Unions are lusting to unionize the 1,500,000 Walmart workers. Why? Because that would be 1,500,000 people now paying union dues!

And with that kind of money, imagine the union’s clout when it comes to political action efforts. Politicians would tremble.

Louis on November 23, 2012 at 6:09 PM

… the media whores at the Washington Post are now calling Black Friday racist.

viking01 on November 23, 2012 at 5:57 PM

Really? We lost the language when that idiot called out a city council person for using the word “niggardly”. A perfectly fine, if now presumptuous English word that did not mean what the idiot thought it meant.

Waitaminut. Let’s re-think this in Obamamerica. The root for Black Friday is the day in the year that many retail stores finally move from operating in the red (at a loss) to operating in the black (at a profit). In Obamamerica, any business making a profit is necessarily greedy and not being a beneficial part of the community. That means its prices are too high when making a profit. When prices are too high, who suffers? Yep, women and minorities. So yup, “Black Friday” is racist.

/Wow, liberal logic sure makes my head hurt. I need some aspirin.

AZfederalist on November 23, 2012 at 6:10 PM

FOLLOW THE MONEY!

Louis on November 23, 2012 at 6:09 PM

Evidently, some people cannot. Or, they are lefty union plants.

cozmo on November 23, 2012 at 6:10 PM

I’m sure Walmart workers realize how easily they can be replaced – if they should choose to “walk out” under protest. Nobody at Walmart is doing rocket science, and I’m sure most are just glad to have some kind of work this year.

TarheelBen on November 23, 2012 at 6:11 PM

… the media whores at the Washington Post are now calling Black Friday racist.

viking01 on November 23, 2012 at 5:57 PM

Really? We lost the language when that idiot called out a city council person for using the word “nixxard1y” (yes, the term for “parsimonious” or “stingy” is edited out by the censoring software). A perfectly fine, if now presumptuous English word that did not mean what the idiot thought it meant. Now it is banned in all places, even HotAir apparently.

Waitaminut. Let’s re-think this in Obamamerica. The root for Black Friday is the day in the year that many retail stores finally move from operating in the red (at a loss) to operating in the black (at a profit). In Obamamerica, any business making a profit is necessarily greedy and not being a beneficial part of the community. That means its prices are too high when making a profit. When prices are too high, who suffers? Yep, women and minorities. So yup, “Black Friday” is racist.

/Wow, liberal logic sure makes my head hurt. I need some aspirin.

AZfederalist on November 23, 2012 at 6:12 PM

Evidently, some people cannot. Or, they are lefty union plants.

cozmo on November 23, 2012 at 6:10 PM

I don’t think anyone doesn’t realize what’s going on. It’s very clear the motivation when you realize the democrats are siding with the unions over their base (mostly poor, uneducated people who tend to shop at walmart).

They think it’s a good trade off for a reason.

Timin203 on November 23, 2012 at 6:12 PM

A couple of thoughts. Walmart in some ways is evil if you like smaller, more specialized retailers, like what you would see in a downtown area.

kim roy

Ummm…no. McDonald’s isn’t evil because I prefer pizza and they don’t have any.

xblade on November 23, 2012 at 6:15 PM

But to your second point – you’ve pretty much conceded the point that Walmart goes into a place to “dominate”, which was my point. What is domination *except* to cut off at the knees and put other places out of business.

kim roy on November 23, 2012 at 6:04 PM

No, “dominate” means a way to provide an alternative to over-priced specialized stores with limited choices, an inefficient organization, and few job opportunities.

It is free-market economics. Those retailers effected by a Wal-Mart in the neighborhood have to prove their worth or die by the fact they no longer hold a monopoly on the goods they retail.

Happy Nomad on November 23, 2012 at 6:15 PM

I’m sure Walmart workers realize how easily they can be replaced – if they should choose to “walk out” under protest. Nobody at Walmart is doing rocket science, and I’m sure most are just glad to have some kind of work this year.

TarheelBen on November 23, 2012 at 6:11 PM

Walmart is considered a pretty decent job where I live. They hire unskilled people en masse so it’s not hard to get a job, and they train you, compensate you better then most places around here for the kind of work (entry level), they have good benefits and are courteous (they work around peoples schedules, try to keep employees happy, don’t treat them terribly), and most importantly they promote from within.
That means its a job that can become a real career for you if you try hard and stick with it.

Timin203 on November 23, 2012 at 6:15 PM

They think it’s a good trade off for a reason.

Timin203 on November 23, 2012 at 6:12 PM

They think they will be the more equal than others, when socialism takes over.

They are so ignorant, they don’t know what happens to the rabble that follow socialists on their rise to power.

cozmo on November 23, 2012 at 6:17 PM

But to your second point – you’ve pretty much conceded the point that Walmart goes into a place to “dominate”, which was my point. What is domination *except* to cut off at the knees and put other places out of business.

kim roy on November 23, 2012 at 6:04 PM

Also, there are a lot of small businesses in my city, as well as big box stores. The small stores specialize in mostly higher end / higher quality stuff while the big box stores carry cheap Chinese-made plastic stuff. Sometimes I don’t care if what I’m buying is cheap, sometimes I want something well made that will last a while. Neither store is “dominating” they just serve different segements.

Timin203 on November 23, 2012 at 6:17 PM

Wal-Mart is a trade-off.

On the good side they’re non-union and are a one-stop shopping venue.

On the bad side their willingness to go for the cheapest bidder (particularly after Sam Walton died) so often and for so many years was a big boost to the ChiCom economy.

The mom and pop stores gave communities clear advantages over lowest price. By paying a bit more one could get a toaster which would last thirty years instead of one which can’t outlast a Hollyweird marriage.

viking01 on November 23, 2012 at 6:21 PM

A couple of thoughts. Walmart in some ways is evil if you like smaller, more specialized retailers, like what you would see in a downtown area. Walmart goes into a town and because it has very deep pockets and that store can operate at a loss for a couple of years in order to grow its roots, it can effectively kill any competition (small mom and pop businesses) as no small business can lose money and customers for very long.

kim roy on November 23, 2012 at 5:35 PM

Any proof that has really happened? Was the cause actually proven to be Wal Mart? I imagine Krogers was just as responsible for putting some Mom and Pop grocers out of business or Lowes/Home Depot when it comes to hardware. Even if : The prices and selection are better.

Another is that low prices come on the backs of lower wages. That’s something that society needs decide whether it’s important or not. It’s like a $2 apple, which would be the cost if it weren’t picked by migrant workers.

So society chooses ? Just how do they do that?

CW on November 23, 2012 at 6:24 PM

AZfederalist on November 23, 2012 at 6:12 PM

I sorta made that up (and left of the sarcasm tag) because Jonah Goldberg and others have discussed how the WaPo is now playing another race card for Susan Rice’s long stream of lies for Zero.

viking01 on November 23, 2012 at 6:25 PM

If a particular township doesn’t want a mega store, then that’s the community’s choice, especially if they have a vote. Those who feel strongly about it one way or another will show up.
….

kim roy on November 23, 2012 at 6:04 PM

Ahhh the American way…..

CW on November 23, 2012 at 6:26 PM

Timin203 on November 23, 2012 at 6:15 PM

I agree. My mother used to work at the local Walmart part-time during the holidays as a “greeter.” She really liked the people there, and would do it to pick up some extra money for the holidays – and . . . well, she just enjoyed “greeting” folks.

TarheelBen on November 23, 2012 at 6:27 PM

Hahaha while you people have been doing cut and paste, I have been doing cut and taste.

SparkPlug on November 23, 2012 at 6:33 PM

If a particular township doesn’t want a mega store, then that’s the community’s choice, especially if they have a vote. Those who feel strongly about it one way or another will show up.
….

kim roy on November 23, 2012 at 6:04 PM

Weird how all of a sudden property rights go out the window.

The nimbys kill me as they come over here to the Walmart to do their shopping while fighting it in their township.

CW on November 23, 2012 at 6:34 PM

I agree. My mother used to work at the local Walmart part-time during the holidays as a “greeter.” She really liked the people there, and would do it to pick up some extra money for the holidays – and . . . well, she just enjoyed “greeting” folks.

TarheelBen on November 23, 2012 at 6:27 PM

Yeah, I mean I never worked at Walmart, but when I was younger I worked similar jobs making the same amount of money. Then I got a degree, and work experience, and got progressively better jobs, and now I have a decent white collar job. And I expect to have a better job then this one in a few years. Kind of how life works. I didn’t expect to make $60,000 a year punching buttons on a cash register, and no one should.

Timin203 on November 23, 2012 at 6:34 PM

Hahaha while you people have been doing cut and paste, I have been doing cut and taste.

SparkPlug on November 23, 2012 at 6:33 PM

I am doing both. Some of us can walk and chew gum at the same time…
/

CW on November 23, 2012 at 6:34 PM

Walmart is not the store it once was. A while ago they dropped the “Always the low price” motto, and their marketing and merchandising strategy became much more dishonest and manipulative. Now they rely more on loss leaders to get people in the door, and over-charge (or deliver extremely inferior but cheap products) to get customers to fill their carts on the way out the door.

The Walmart price match guarantee? Pretty much worthless, because they insist on products being delivered in odd sizes that no one else carries, or with features missing that a casual, or even moderately diligent consumer would not notice.

I don’t like being played. Used to be that Walmart was like Costco — I couldn’t get out of the store paying less than $200. Now, I shop at the big store across the street instead, and only occasionally drop by Walmart for the one or two items that they carry that I know are still a good deal. Although what is funny is that they are frequently out of them when I do stop by — I thought one of their strengths was supposed to be distribution?

HTL on November 23, 2012 at 6:42 PM

The other day on The Five” Bob Beckel grumbled that Wal-Mart employees making 11 bucks and change an hour “can’t live on that.” That’s the problem with having NY-DC corridor people commenting on national programs: they have no clue what life is life outside of that corridor. For your information, Mr. Beckel, there are millions of Americans who CAN live on that because they don’t reside in that stupid city with the 25 dollar hamburgers you call home.

radjah shelduck on November 23, 2012 at 5:46 PM

^^THIS!

Out here in Flyover Country, $10/hr is a pretty good wage. A family of three or four living in a small town and making a combined income of $40,000 is middle class.

Walmart actually treats its associates pretty well and rather than keeping them locked into some rigid hierarchy where they have no control over their jobs or futures (as is the case with unions), Walmart associates actually have opportunity for career advancement — and the potential to earn lots more money. That’s probably why you don’t see them walking off the job in protest. This is a company where it’s still possible to rise from part-time cashier to senior vice president based on actual merit. A quaint notion, I know.

NoLeftTurn on November 23, 2012 at 6:50 PM

We don’t go to our local Walmart Superstore on Black Fridays…or any other days.

Save your LBE and plates. Live Better and shop somewhere else.

CorporatePiggy on November 23, 2012 at 7:03 PM

When I owned C-Stores we paid over minimum wage as the competition allowed. Our best employees were high school seniors and college freshmen. They would work for us usually a year or two and learn what a job was. They would all eventually come to us and say they had a better job because they had experience and a greater education from school. It was never a career for them but it helped us which we appreciated and them to a real career. Win, Win.

BullShooterAsInElk on November 23, 2012 at 7:05 PM

This is a company where it’s still possible to rise from part-time cashier to senior vice president based on actual merit. A quaint notion, I know.

NoLeftTurn on November 23, 2012 at 6:50 PM

I’ve had it with you haters.

And don’t give me that ‘But Carly Fiorina went from admin assistant to CEO of HP’ line.

She was recruited by the vast right wing conspiracy / illuminati / Zionists.

CorporatePiggy on November 23, 2012 at 7:05 PM

Hey, if you don’t like wal-mart, no one is forcing you to shop there….

That’s the beauty of the free market…

nazo311 on November 23, 2012 at 7:07 PM

Every product WalMart sells is manufactured by some company somewhere that employs people.Every store they have built is by contrators that employ people.All of the material to build a store down to the last nail comes from manufacturers that employ people. WalMart has 1.5 million employees but how many millions have jobs because of WalMart?

docflash on November 23, 2012 at 7:23 PM

Fiorina should have stayed admin assistant. She spun off one of HP’s most profitable divisions (analytical and scientific equipment) as Agilent and went el cheapo on power supplies and time-bombed printheads / ink tanks for both the business and home PC lines. People were getting a 135 watt power supply in the box to power a graphics card, HDD several drives and the CPU. That many of those became charcoal briquettes about five minutes after the warranty expired is not suprising.

She would be preferable to Barbara Blockhead, Whinestein and Governor Moonbeam…. but not by much. Too bad Meg Whitman is bearing the HP legacy of Mark whatshisname and several others of the turmoil three or so years ago. Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard would not be amused.

If there’s a Wal-Mart division which could use improvement it’s Sam’s Club…. which at it’s start (1980s) was called Sam’s Wholesale Club before the “wholesale” part became non-applicable. From the business standpoint one would get used to buying a particular line or brand of products there only to see it discontinued. Nowadays it’s cheaper to get half as much at as good or better the price at the WalMart next door with no membership fees necessary. For items like dairy products Aldi has bested them both.

viking01 on November 23, 2012 at 7:29 PM

Want to know what Wal-Mart employees think? Go to Glassdoor and look up reviews.

Charlemagne on November 23, 2012 at 7:30 PM

HTL on November 23, 2012 at 6:42 PM

I never really shopped much at Walmart until these last couple years. I have to say I’ve been pleasantly surprised with many of the products in their groceries, especially some of the more unusual items such as almond butter or a certain brand of long grain wild rice that I also see in our local UFCW grocery chain at double the price. Whereas I’d walk right by them in the UFCW grocery, I will almost always buy those same products at Walmart because of their lower prices.

PatriotGal2257 on November 23, 2012 at 7:39 PM

In Coos Bay today (which played an historic role in the development of the American labor union, earlier in the twentieth century) there was exactly one Wal-Mart employee with a picket sign out front. There were half a dozen union hacks from the hall down the road standing there ‘in support’ of her.

I crossed the parking lot to the door she was standing near and told the union hacks that I’d just gone out of my way in order to cross their line.

The hacks were stony faced. The poor girl thanked me for shopping at Wal-Mart, and added that she was trying to move around a lot to keep out of anyone’s way.

Scribbler on November 23, 2012 at 7:40 PM

As for the small stores being put out of business, that’s the way retail has always been…competition. They could adapt by offering different products and utilizing the internet, and many do. Retail is about the customer and what they want. Companies come and go, it’s nothing new.

True. I remember in the late 80s early 90s when blockbuster video came into town. All if the mom and pop, local video stores got closed down. People were pissed and upset. Now with Netflix and the Redbox those same Blockbusters are gettin pushed out, and closing. It’s called the market place.

MoreLiberty on November 23, 2012 at 7:58 PM

Another is that low prices come on the backs of lower wages. That’s something that society needs decide whether it’s important or not. It’s like a $2 apple, which would be the cost if it weren’t picked by migrant workers.

kim roy on November 23, 2012 at 5:35 PM

Actually that isn’t true. The majority of the cost in food that is labor intensive to harvest is in packaging, middlemen and transportation.

chemman on November 23, 2012 at 8:02 PM

chemman on November 23, 2012 at 8:02 PM

Yeah I understand if it was a legal worker that cost for produce would only go up 10-20 cents per pound. To me that is not too bad. Then again you get rid of some of the over regulation and then that would help lower the price.

watertown on November 23, 2012 at 8:37 PM

If 1 million workers at Walmart joined a union it would bring in about $40 million a month in dues at $40 per head. The demonizing of Walmart is nothing more than a money grab by the unions. If Walmart only had a couple hundred employees it wouldn’t even be worth their time, they are looking at the numbers and want their share.

Russ86 on November 23, 2012 at 8:39 PM

…so where do you “look for the Union label” ?

KOOLAID2 on November 23, 2012 at 9:14 PM

Yep…It boils down to the unions needing all those million plus Wal-Mart employees as dues paying union members to help fund very underfunded union pensions.

I love Wal-Mart. My husband and I buy our medical prescriptions there for $4 bucks a month.

StarLady on November 23, 2012 at 10:01 PM

When I lived in the SF Bay area there was a tremendous public uproar whenever an “evil” Wal-Mart wanted to open a new store. Stories about unfair competition with local merchants were often cited. In this same area there is an abundance of Target stores with no issues from the locals when a new location opened up. Where I lived in Fremont there were two Target stores less than 5 miles apart. I knew of only 2 Wal-Marts in the area.
Now for the real difference: the Target stores did poor to average business but the Wal-Marts were always jammed. I remember going to a Wal-Mart at 10pm on a Thursday and had trouble finding a parking place.
What is the real difference between the two chains other than price? Is it perception or politics?

mad scientist on November 23, 2012 at 10:52 PM

The only thing unions are interested in is UNION DUES.

GarandFan on November 23, 2012 at 11:11 PM

Of course one of the late local news shows decides to run a segment on a local protest of Wal-Mart here.

I’m generally neutral on Wal-Mart as there are no stores near me.

22044 on November 23, 2012 at 11:16 PM

If a particular township doesn’t want a mega store, then that’s the community’s choice, especially if they have a vote. Those who feel strongly about it one way or another will show up.
….

kim roy on November 23, 2012 at 6:04 PM

Weird how all of a sudden property rights go out the window.

The nimbys kill me as they come over here to the Walmart to do their shopping while fighting it in their township.

CW on November 23, 2012 at 6:34 PM

What I meant by that comment and it seems that it was misinterpeted by some and that’s probably my fault is that sometimes there are zoning issues, perhaps the land is owned by government or “the public” or what have you.

I know in the case of zoning, yes there is nimbyism because there are traffic concerns, population issues, possible other uses for that land (if it is a government/public land), etc. Quite often a lot of homeowners don’t want a 24 hour Walmart across the street from them. Or down the block. Then the ensuing construction, road work, massive increase in traffic, noise.

That’s what I meant. There’s a lot more than just plunking down a Walmart. Neighborhoods change. Not all Walmarts are in the boonies by a freeway. Some are in the middle of residential areas.

kim roy on November 23, 2012 at 11:34 PM

Another is that low prices come on the backs of lower wages. That’s something that society needs decide whether it’s important or not. It’s like a $2 apple, which would be the cost if it weren’t picked by migrant workers.

kim roy on November 23, 2012 at 5:35 PM

Actually that isn’t true. The majority of the cost in food that is labor intensive to harvest is in packaging, middlemen and transportation.

chemman on November 23, 2012 at 8:02 PM

Sure the major costs are other things because the labor is so cheap. If it costs 25 cents to package/transport/middlemen an apple and 5 cents to pick it with migrants, then bring in a “walmart worker” who would get 25 cents to pick the apple and then add in the other costs and you’ve gone from 30 cents to 50 cents for that apple. Rough numbers, but you get the idea.

That’s why the migrants do the work – most people wouldn’t – they’d want more money, possibly benefits and would refuse to do the work otherwise.

kim roy on November 23, 2012 at 11:45 PM

kim roy’s regurgitation / recapitulation of the anti-Walmart tropes distracts and erroneously focuses on ‘the Evils of Walmart’ – but slyly does so without a buttload of negative-word loadings.
But I don’t give a whit about ‘kim roy’s intentions or motivations. I’m pointing out what’s being IGNORED in its comments and in Erika’s posting – the outright union thuggery of their attempting to impose an enterprise wise ‘job action’ / interruption of services upon a huge enterprise that is utterly anti-union and where unions have NO BUSINESS being. There are NO ‘union’ employees at Walmart stores. Yet somehow these scum have sought to interfere with their chain on their biggest money-making day, and done it openly and without contest. Their union scum should be getting their heads busted, their picket lines scattered by force and force of law, for their attempted financial harm to those locations and their TRESPASS. The unions’ attempt to cloak their brownshirted actions with a fig leaf of lemming employees should be the focus of our opprobrium, NOT THE MERITS OF WALMART.

But no, the Left’s narrative obtains and we foolishly argue THEIR arguments for them. Instead of plotting the unions’ and marxists’ demise.

rayra on November 24, 2012 at 2:16 AM

The “labor dispute” is NOT a dispute between Walmart and its own employees. It is a dispute between a successful corporation INCLUDING its employees and greedy and jealous unions who cannot convince anyone, including REAL Walmart employees, that unions are entitled to a cut of Walmart’s business.

There is a need for part-time jobs. There is a need for part-time employment opportunities for older workers. Walmart fulfils these needs, and union-controlled businesses cannot.

landlines on November 24, 2012 at 10:55 AM