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Author: spl241 Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 883927  
Subject: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/16/2012 2:25 PM
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“I work full-time for one of the richest companies in the world, and my kids get state health insurance and are on food stamps.--Sara Gilbert, striking WMT manager in Seattle. WMT's hatred of "anything union" is well-documented. Despite that.....

.....Ms. Gilbert has been joined by a large number of WMT employees doing the unthinkable. Protesting low wages, spiking health care premiums, and alleged retaliation from management, workers have started to walk off the job this week. On Wednesday, about a dozen workers in WMT’s distribution warehouses in So. California walked out, followed yesterday by 30 more from 6 stores in the Seattle area. The workers are part of a union-backed "coalition" called Making Change at Wal-Mart, who say this is the beginning of a wave of protests and strikes leading up to next week’s Black Friday. A thousand protests are planned in Chicago, Dallas, Miami, Oklahoma, Milwaukee, LA, MN, and D.C.

Until now, the company has crushed attempts by employees to organize. So it’s unusual that Making Change at Wal-Mart has been able to organize these strikes—the first in the company’s history, they say. The first one occurred in LA in October and spread to 28 stores in 12 states. The strikers are undoubtedly aware of what happened to a Canadian WMT a few years ago. That one simply slammed its doors shut and said good-by to the rogue employees.

In 2013, Wal-Mart plans to whack its contributions to workers’ health-care premiums, which are expected to rise between 8-36%. Many employees will drop the plan. One worker in Lancaster, TX, making $8.90/hr. after 3 years, said he's going to have to forgo his plan.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/wal-mart-workers-black-friday-...

Six Waltons are on the Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans. Christy Walton, widow of the late John Walton, leads the clan at No. 6 with a net worth of $25.3 billion as of March. She is the richest woman in the world for the 7th year in a row, according to Forbes. Here are the other five:

No. 9: Jim Walton, $23.7 billion
No. 10: Alice Walton, $23.3 billion
No. 11: S. Robson Walton, oldest son of Sam Walton, $23.1 billion
No. 103: Ann Walton Kroenke, $3.9 billion
No. 139: Nancy Walton Laurie, $3.4 billion

= a grand total of $102.7 billion for these 6.

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2012/jul/...

The Waltons' wealth totals more than the bottom 40% of American families combined. Besides the totals above for family members, here's a stat that boggles my mind: in 2011, the Waltons sat on their privileged 1% butts and enjoyed $2.5 billion in stock dividends. Just dividends on shares with a 2.5% yield. And that 2.5% dividend yield by itself made the Waltons $2.45B richer.

WMT is our largest private employer with 1.5 million workers. With all the family's glitzy numbers above in mind, I've got an employee-centered, PR-restoring gesture to suggest. It's simple (and I admit, very far-fetched and improbable.) Grant each of the 1.5 million workers a $500 lump sum to cover 2013's increased premium costs--probably more than enough, and let each employee carry over any extra to 2014. This would cost the Waltons $75M and would be paid out of their sit-and-collect stock dividends only. Employees would be on Cloud 99, and the Waltons?? .003% poorer.
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Author: MetroChick Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868770 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/16/2012 4:17 PM
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I think it's a bad move during Christmas, since most retailers hire extra staff during Christmas, do inventory in January, and then cut excess staff members at the end of January. So a lot of those workers going on strike will probably be happily replaced by others who were recently hired. And it's not like Walmart is known for great customer service or extensive product knowledge - so how much are they really losing to replace more experienced workers for less?

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868773 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/16/2012 5:18 PM
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I would be surprised if such a strike amounts to much.


Employees are usually very reluctant to strike, and the article makes it sound like a poorly organized, improvised effort. That's not likely to inspire much support by employees asked to place the livelihood of their families on the line.

And you organize unions by talking to employees on the inside, not in newspapers.

Perhaps there's more to this than is apparent from the newspaper article, but I'm not impressed based on that.



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: desertdaveataol Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868776 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/16/2012 7:43 PM
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In 2013, Wal-Mart plans to whack its contributions to workers’ health-care premiums, which are expected to rise between 8-36%. Many employees will drop the plan. One worker in Lancaster, TX, making $8.90/hr. after 3 years, said he's going to have to forgo his plan.

Er... isn't so-called "ObamaCare" supposed to take over then?

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Author: malaoshi Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868777 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/16/2012 8:41 PM
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I never never go to a Walmart on principle.

They behaved so badly...locking in employees, and now I'm hearing about such lousy wages...

SPl241...I am with you . I really hope the ones that have found spines can survive and start a movement. The Waltons should be really really ashamed of sitting fatly on so much wealth.

Look at what the Gateses and Warren Buffet feel about having wealth....it's there to help others.

Thanks for telling us about this..

Big Momma

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Author: Commodore64 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868783 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/17/2012 4:36 AM
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The Walton heirs can do whatever they want with their money. I don't really care.

But I hope Walmart doesn't become unionized, because that will cause prices to rise.

Sooner or later, the unions will do to Walmart what they just did to Hostess Twinkies and the like- drive them out of business.

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868785 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/17/2012 10:06 AM
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So when will Trader Joes and Whole Foods be unionized?



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: malaoshi Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868786 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/17/2012 11:14 AM
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Trader Joe's treats its employees so well that they don't need to unionize...even part-timers get health benefits and most of them really enjoy working there. People unionize when conditions are bad, not when they are good!

Check back to when most of the unions started. There was a real NEED for workers' rights.

And Commodore64, it wasn't the unions that messed up Hostess.

Big Momma

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Author: vkg Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868787 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/17/2012 11:25 AM
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And Commodore64, it wasn't the unions that messed up Hostess.

Over capacity in the industry is going to result in business failures. There is competition for a decreasing market. Hostess has been struggling with market share for years, including a previous bankruptcy in 2004.

2 billion in unfunded pension liabilities doesn't help either.

The hedge fund was its only chance for survival or it would have liquidated soon.

Unions played brinkmanship and lost. They need someone to blame, therefore; it must be the evil investors.

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Author: joelxwil Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868788 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/17/2012 11:31 AM
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I am glad to say that I have never even been in one of their stores.

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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868789 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/17/2012 12:23 PM
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They need someone to blame, therefore; it must be the evil investors.

Plenty of blame to share with everyone. When GM was teetering management said it was the fault of the unions (and definitely unions had pushed demands past the safety zone, but they have elections just like Congress has elections, and union management has to come up with something new each contract or they get voted out) and some of the investment writers pointed out that management had put too much of its focus into the finance side of car buying and wasn't paying sufficient attention to its market.

I think in most of these situations you can put some blame on both sides. Union leaders want to keep their jobs, so they keep pushing for more and more pay and benefits, and management is playing to the stockholders by focusing on short term results to keep the stock up, and not putting enough energy, money and time into Research and Development.

Plenty of blame.

Nancy

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868790 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/17/2012 12:28 PM
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<< Trader Joe's treats its employees so well that they don't need to unionize >>


<< And Commodore64, it wasn't the unions that messed up Hostess. >>


Liberals have no end of excuses.



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: ishtarastarte Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868791 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/17/2012 12:32 PM
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They were losing market share for years in the trend toward more healthy snacks.

Despite creating a line of 100 calorie packs of some of their popular products, they didn't do much to try to recapture that market share.

That's not the union's fault. While the strike may have pushed things over the edge, it wasn't the only cause.

Ishtar

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868792 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/17/2012 12:36 PM
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<< Plenty of blame to share with everyone. When GM was teetering management said it was the fault of the unions (and definitely unions had pushed demands past the safety zone, but they have elections just like Congress has elections, and union management has to come up with something new each contract or they get voted out) >>


Yes, that's exactly right. The United Auto Workers was a junior partner to the auto companies it bargained with, and the admirably democratic nature of the UAW and the skill of the union leadership gave them more power than was good for them, which they couldn't keep from using too much for internal political reasons.


<< I think in most of these situations you can put some blame on both sides. Union leaders want to keep their jobs, so they keep pushing for more and more pay and benefits, and management is playing to the stockholders by focusing on short term results to keep the stock up, and not putting enough energy, money and time into Research and Development.

Plenty of blame.

Nancy >>


Yep. I think that's fair.

The idea that unions are never at fault is, of course, bogus. Personally I like unions, and used to work for them. But they have their weaknesses which should be recognized as well, like any human institution and particularly like any human political and economic institution whose aim is acquiring and using power.

My liberal friends like to jump on abuses by business, which is fine and appropriate. But the weaknesses and abuses of your friends, such as unions and environmental organization should be recognized as well. Too often you guys turn a blind eye to them.



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: JonathanRoth Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868793 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/17/2012 12:53 PM
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Let's see, it is the management's responsibility to run the company and the union's responsibility to provide labor.

The role of each is clear and essentially the same:

- management: maximize shareholder value
- unions: maximize member value, however the union chooses to define it (loosing you job over a strike may be the best possible decision)

2 billion in unfunded pension liabilities doesn't help either.

Cash management is a management responsibility. Failure to fund pensions may be a good strategic management decision:

- it's a free loan
- it gives you negotiating leverage (fold or you'll never see your retirement)

So when a company fails, it is usually from bad management:
- failure to change with the market
- failure to manage costs

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Author: Lea77 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868794 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/17/2012 1:30 PM
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now I'm hearing about such lousy wages...

I dont' really understand what people think Walmart should be paying for people who work basically retail. This is a low skill job, and often they are in small towns where they are generally better than the other options, or one of the only option.

This strike is pretty much some employees deciding not to go to work. They'll probably all get fired, just like I would be if I decided to up and not show up to work during the busiest time of the year.

Trader Joe's treats its employees so well that they don't need to unionize...

If Walmart employees wanted to unionize they could. They don't. They don't have the votes.

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Author: Brooklyn1948 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868797 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/17/2012 2:08 PM
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Trader Joe's treats its employees so well that they don't need to unionize...even part-timers get health benefits and most of them really enjoy working there.


I have spoken to several women who work part time in Trader Joe's and they are both former Wall St. types who now work at TJ's for the benefits. They always have a smile on their faces and appear to be happy. They are both in their 60's.

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Author: vkg Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868798 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/17/2012 2:15 PM
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That's not the union's fault. While the strike may have pushed things over the edge, it wasn't the only cause.

Ishtar


The strike was the final blow. Even the Teamster's union publicly stated that the strike (by a small number of employees) would likely cause liquidation of Hostess.

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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868799 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/17/2012 2:33 PM
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My liberal friends like to jump on abuses by business, which is fine and appropriate. But the weaknesses and abuses of your friends, such as unions and environmental organization should be recognized as well. Too often you guys turn a blind eye to them.

I don't like unions. I don't like laws stating that people have to support them even if they don't want to belong to them. I don't like the demands that seniority should be the only guide in determining promotion, I don't like situations where people can refuse work and still get paid (longshoremen) and I think most unions could be safely disbanded and employees would be just as well off.

I could go on with my list for months. I know a lot of people who don't like them, voting choice notwithstanding.

Nancy
and don't get me started on police detail work!

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868800 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/17/2012 4:10 PM
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<<I have spoken to several women who work part time in Trader Joe's and they are both former Wall St. types who now work at TJ's for the benefits. They always have a smile on their faces and appear to be happy. They are both in their 60's.>>


I'm sure the number of people happy to have a job at Wal Mart is vastly larger than the number of happy TJ employees.


The simple fact is that both Trader Joes and Wal Mart aren't organized by labor unions. I suspect that's true for Whole Foods too.

All three are equal in that they have no unions. Of course, many liberals dote on Trader Joes, so they don't care about union representation there. That's true for Whole Foods too.

It's the grocery store union that has been conducting a hate campaign against Wal-Mart for years, and liberals just buy into that campaign.



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: LOTROQueen Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868801 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/17/2012 8:03 PM
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But I hope Walmart doesn't become unionized, because that will cause prices to rise.

They could just cut back on stock dividends and executive compensation.

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Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/17/2012 8:29 PM
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Sooner or later, the unions will do to Walmart what they just did to Hostess Twinkies and the like- drive them out of business.

Really? The unions installed 6 CEO's in 8 years, took the company private, sold it off to hedge funds, gave the top executives raises of up to 300%, awarded the CEO and others bonuses just before the sale, loaded up the company with debt, and then told their own members to cut their salaries, benefits, and pensions twice?

I didn't realize unions got a vote in any of that.

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Author: desertdaveataol Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868805 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/17/2012 9:28 PM
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But I hope Walmart doesn't become unionized, because that will cause prices to rise.

They could just cut back on stock dividends and executive compensation.


OR the employees could buy stock and collect the dividends. :-)

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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868806 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/17/2012 9:54 PM
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the employees could buy stock and collect the dividends. :-)

Not on the wages they're making now.

Nancy

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Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/17/2012 10:33 PM
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<< the employees could buy stock and collect the dividends. :-)

Not on the wages they're making now.

Nancy>>



Actually, there are thousands of Wal_Mart employees who received stock from the company stock plan and became millionaires if they held onto it.


That's true of many other companies as well, such as Home Depot. One of the founders of Home Depot talked about employees who bought million dollar couches for their homes. He was talking about employees who received company stock but sold it immediately to buy consumer stuff, stock that appreciated enormously in subsequent years.

Shucks, I worked for a gas utility and made out very well by buying stock through the company stock purchase program. Some stock was given to me as part of the company stock program at no cost, and I bought more through a stock purchase program that allowed employees to buy stock on very favorable terms --- below market cost.


Seattle Pioneer

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868808 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/17/2012 10:37 PM
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<< Workers at contracted Walmart warehouses in Southern California went on strike yesterday, and this morning, 30 associates from six Walmart stores in Seattle walked out, according to Sarah Gilbert, one of the striking workers. >>


http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2012/11/15/walmart-protests-for...



Wow---- five employees per store.



http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2012/11/15/walmart-protests-for...

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Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/17/2012 11:32 PM
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Actually, there are thousands of Wal_Mart employees who received stock from the company stock plan and became millionaires if they held onto it.
That's true of many other companies as well, such as Home Depot. One of the founders of Home Depot talked about employees who bought million dollar couches for their homes. He was talking about employees who received company stock but sold it immediately to buy consumer stuff, stock that appreciated enormously in subsequent years.


This was the company line where I worked--don't sell your stock too soon! Well, we all wished we'd sold sooner. Except the executives, who sold most of theirs as soon as they got it every year.

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Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/18/2012 12:19 AM
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I have spoken to several women who work part time in Trader Joe's and they are both former Wall St. types who now work at TJ's for the benefits. They always have a smile on their faces and appear to be happy. They are both in their 60's.

So what you're saying is Trader Joe's hires people with decades of past professional experience - who are probably mainly there as a way to get health insurance until they qualify for Medicare, and probably could have stayed longer in their past professional careers if they couldn't find an employer like TJ's offering health insurance.

Comparing Trader Joe's to Walmart is apples and oranges. TJ's is typically in more urban areas, while Walmart started in rural areas. In urban areas there's more competition of employers for employees. So even if one starts at Walmart with little benefits, if they're great at their job, with experience they have a chance at moving on to another company. And anyone in a rural area is always going to be at the mercy of an employer - how many small mom & pop stores offer health insurance to employees these days?

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Author: LLRinCO Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868811 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/18/2012 12:53 AM
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Except the executives, who sold most of theirs as soon as they got it every year.

Interesting. I thought stock options either couldn't be exercised for one year or had to be held on to for one year, at least by the board members......

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868812 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/18/2012 1:28 AM
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<<And anyone in a rural area is always going to be at the mercy of an employer - how many small mom & pop stores offer health insurance to employees these days?>>



That didn't used to be the case in rural Washington and Oregon, where logging, fishing mining, milling timber and other industries created tens of thousands of family wage jobs.

But the war on the working class waged by liberals, Democrats and environmentalists has indeed eliminated most of those good jobs in recent decades.

Now lefties have the nerve to complain about the economic devastation their own policies have created! What nerve.



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868813 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/18/2012 1:32 AM
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<<This was the company line where I worked--don't sell your stock too soon! Well, we all wished we'd sold sooner. Except the executives, who sold most of theirs as soon as they got it every year.>>


Sorry if that didn't work out for you. Holding on to stock given to Microsoft employees created thousands of "Microsoft Millionaires" around Seattle. And of course Bill Gates and Paul Allen famously held onto their stock, not being as foolish as the executives at your company.


Seattle Pioneer

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Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/18/2012 2:27 AM
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Yethe employees could buy stock and collect the dividends. :-)

Not on the wages they're making now.


Yes they can. As has been pointed out here several times Walmart pays comparable wages. Walmart has a stock buying plan for employees. It's up to them to decide if they want to better their future lives or buy cigarettes.

If you insist on going out on the town and wearing the latest fashions instead of saving and investing no one can stop you.

No one said it would be easy, but to portray all Walmart's adult employees as helpless victims is to call them all stupid. And they aren't.

If you haven't the job skills don't expect to be hired as a VP.

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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868815 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/18/2012 2:33 AM
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Interesting. I thought stock options either couldn't be exercised for one year or had to be held on to for one year, at least by the board members......

Well, I don't think he was talking about stock options. One large company where I used to work handed out stock from time to time, and employees (including executives) were allowed to buy company stock directly through payroll. The company really pushed, hard, for employees to own stock.

Of course, under the rules at that time the company controlled the stock, including how it was voted in case of an attempted takeover. They also pushed for their vendors to own large blocks of stock ("you don't want to see us taken over and moved to Texas, now do you?"). At one time, between what the company controlled through employees and vendors and other friendly holders, they controlled 55% of the stock.

So the rules changed, and employees could vote their own stock, and the company merged with another company and moved to California.

Nancy
but it's still one of the best holdings I have

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868816 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/18/2012 6:41 AM
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<< No one said it would be easy, but to portray all Walmart's adult employees as helpless victims is to call them all stupid. And they aren't.

If you haven't the job skills don't expect to be hired as a VP. >>


And of course Wal - Mart famous promotes from within. MANY of their store managers and executives began as hourly employees.




Seattle Pioneer

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Author: Lea77 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868817 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/18/2012 8:00 AM
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OR the employees could buy stock and collect the dividends. :-)

Well Walmart first started out, many secretaries and other assorted employees bought stock. They all made out like bandits.

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Author: GardenStateFool Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868818 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/18/2012 8:01 AM
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In 2013, Wal-Mart plans to whack its contributions to workers’ health-care premiums, which are expected to rise between 8-36%. Many employees will drop the plan. One worker in Lancaster, TX, making $8.90/hr. after 3 years, said he's going to have to forgo his plan.

Er... isn't so-called "ObamaCare" supposed to take over then?

No, it means that he's making $8.90/hr after three years of employment with Wal-Mart, and because the premiums have been rising so much, due to his low wage, in 2013 he has to forgo the health plan.

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Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/18/2012 11:10 AM
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It seems in no small way ironic that those who hold the most acid, most destructive tones regarding unions count themselves among the most patriotic. This despite that fact that our Founding Fathers themselves not only favored but created a union -- the very union under whose flag you now live.

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Author: Lea77 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868820 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/18/2012 12:00 PM
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This despite that fact that our Founding Fathers themselves not only favored but created a union -- the very union under whose flag you now live.

This is sort of silly.

There is no doubt that unions served a purpose at one time, but now much of what they worked for is codified into law, as far as working conditions etc... and there is no doubt that when unions push to far with an ailing company they are likely to do their workers more harm them good. You don't want to kill the golden goose.

None of this applies to Walmart at this point, because they are not unionized. They are not unionized because they don't have the votes. Respect the majority of Walmart employees decisions and work somewhere else if you hate Walmart so much.

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868821 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/18/2012 12:31 PM
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<< It seems in no small way ironic that those who hold the most acid, most destructive tones regarding unions count themselves among the most patriotic. This despite that fact that our Founding Fathers themselves not only favored but created a union -- the very union under whose flag you now live.>>



Nice try, Blue Grits. But of course labor unions and national government are two quite different breeds of political cat.

And in any case, I frequently happen to like unions, which often provide useful services to their members. However, they are often a mixed blessing for their members and the country.



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868822 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/18/2012 12:35 PM
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<< There is no doubt that unions served a purpose at one time, but now much of what they worked for is codified into law, as far as working conditions etc... >>



It is ironic that labor unions and Democrats have been putting unions out of business by enacting much of what is commonly in a union contract into law, and thus sharply reducing the incentive of workers to form unions.



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: Brooklyn1948 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868824 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/18/2012 3:46 PM
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So what you're saying is Trader Joe's hires people with decades of past professional experience - who are probably mainly there as a way to get health insurance until they qualify for Medicare, and probably could have stayed longer in their past professional careers if they couldn't find an employer like TJ's offering health insurance.


I was just commenting on the fact that they appeared to be "happy" working there. One of the women had been laid off from corporate jobs several times. One company was taken over by another and she left with nothing after ten years of service. They got no pensions either. I am sure they are working just for the health benefits and as you say, until Medicare kicks in. I suspect they consider themselves lucky to be working at all in this economy.

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Author: Brooklyn1948 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868825 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/18/2012 3:51 PM
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But the war on the working class waged by liberals, Democrats and environmentalists has indeed eliminated most of those good jobs in recent decades.


How refreshing that you are not blaming the Republicans!!!
Almost everyone in my neighborhood is a Democrat. The other day I was standing on the street corner and soon joined by two other people who live in my apartment building and one of them remarked "this is a Republican Convention".

I find it interesting that in this wealthy neighborhood so many of my neighbors are retired school teachers who retired with over one million dollars in their 401k's and pension plans. Another retired from the ironworkers union with over one million dollars. It boggles the mind.

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Author: wecoguy Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868826 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/18/2012 4:36 PM
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I find it interesting that in this wealthy neighborhood so many of my neighbors are retired school teachers who retired with over one million dollars in their 401k's and pension plans. Another retired from the ironworkers union with over one million dollars. It boggles the mind.

Why would that be unusual? Particularly in a "wealthy" neighborhood? Without knowing past family histories, inheritances, and hmm, in this day and age both husband and wife working, making decent wages, it's far from unusual to have built a $1M+ portfolio, savings... Congratulate them, they earned it!

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Author: desertdaveataol Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868827 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/18/2012 6:55 PM
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This despite that fact that our Founding Fathers themselves not only favored but created a union -- the very union under whose flag you now live.

Er... please explain to me how a union of state governments equates to a labor union.

Thanks in advance
Desert Dave

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Author: desertdaveataol Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868828 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/18/2012 7:13 PM
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...are retired school teachers who retired with over one million dollars in their 401k's and pension plans. Another retired from the ironworkers union with over one million dollars.

Er... maybe 'cause unions and employers can't get their hands on 401k's?

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Author: Donna405 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868829 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/18/2012 7:28 PM
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SP, I beg to differ. First, the Waltons are known to be Republican. Second, the Hedge Funds are responsible for much of the loss of jobs, i.e., Bain Capital, and whatever hedge fund it was that managed to throw the Twinkie's bakery in front of the bus, while paying the executive over $1M for doing nothing.

Donna

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Author: MetroChick Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868830 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/18/2012 7:29 PM
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I was just commenting on the fact that they appeared to be "happy" working there. One of the women had been laid off from corporate jobs several times. One company was taken over by another and she left with nothing after ten years of service. They got no pensions either. I am sure they are working just for the health benefits and as you say, until Medicare kicks in. I suspect they consider themselves lucky to be working at all in this economy.

There's lots of retailers where people are "happpy" - but that doesn't make them all comparable to Walmart. What exactly are they supposed to get after "10 years of service"? If they were corporate and worked on Wall Street, than they probably were 401K eligble. Whether they contributed or not is their choice - but most US workers under 50 do not work at a place with traditional pensions and know that if they're laid off or fired they're not talking any company bennies with them.

And it's not JUST the economy - if they're 60+ like it or not ageism comes into play, since coverage by ageism laws starts when someone hits 40 (seems pretty young these days, doesn't it). Do you see workers protesting in the streets about it - no, because when everyone's younger they don't think it will happen to them.

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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868831 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/18/2012 7:32 PM
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maybe 'cause unions and employers can't get their hands on 401k's?

It sounds to me as though he thinks union workers should retire on a tiny amount of income, and should live in old age poverty. They shouldn't do without things, they shouldn't put as much money as possible into their retirement accounts, they shouldn't read about investing and making good choices.

Nancy
SP, you know I'm teasing you, right?

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Author: Donna405 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868832 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/18/2012 7:38 PM
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Trader Joe's offer more than one would expect.

<<Because we know that quality benefits play a vital role in promoting the health and well-being of our Crew Members and their families, Trader Joe's offers medical, dental, and vision coverage to eligible Full Time and Part Time Crew Members. We also have a great Paid Time Off plan, a generous retirement plan, and a fabulous 10% Crew Member Discount on everything in our store. (Yes, you get 10% off our already amazing prices!)>>

http://traderjoes.com/careers/benefits.asp

Donna

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Author: vkg Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868833 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/18/2012 10:56 PM
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SP, I beg to differ. First, the Waltons are known to be Republican. Second, the Hedge Funds are responsible for much of the loss of jobs, i.e., Bain Capital, and whatever hedge fund it was that managed to throw the Twinkie's bakery in front of the bus, while paying the executive over $1M for doing nothing.

Bain Capital buys sick companies, and attempts to turn them around. If Bain had not bought Hostess, it would have folded sooner.

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Author: Donna405 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868834 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/18/2012 11:07 PM
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Bain did not buy Hostess, it was Ripplewood Holdings. Bain's name was used as an example, thus, the "i.e."

<<In short: the smart money guys larded Hostess with too much debt and never figured out a real plan for fixing its business. They're coming out with a loss as a result.

As far as the unions go: You can blame them for not making enough concessions. You can blame the bakers for administering the final death blow. But you can't blame them for management's strategic incompetence, or the decision to try to run a flailing company on debt, hope, and empty calories.

There's more than enough blame in this story for everyone involved to have a taste. >>

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/11/whos-to-...

Donna

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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868835 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/19/2012 1:03 AM
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One of Hostess's major problems for several years has been the change in American eating habits. More people are avoiding the snack cakes, and more people want whole wheat bread. Even when Hostess came out with a brown bread to go with their white bread, it wasn't the kind of whole grain bread people were looking for. There are areas of the country where if you put a Hostess cupcake in your kid's lunchbox you'll get a letter from the school about obesity rates, and a list of suggested snack ideas.

What they needed, and either couldn't find or didn't look for, was a set of new products pitched to sell to people today. And they needed to start looking for those ideas ten or fifteen years ago. It takes a long time to bring a new product to market.

I think that's where the major problem was. Poor market research.

Nancy

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Author: Rael137 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868836 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/19/2012 1:14 AM
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What they needed, and either couldn't find or didn't look for, was a set of new products pitched to sell to people today.

That's a good point. In many of the threads discussing Hostess, people keep writing "I love Twinkies but haven't had one for years."

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Author: Brooklyn1948 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868837 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/19/2012 6:24 AM
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Congratulate them, they earned it!

My point was that they were in unions. Some are retired teachers. Some worked as ironworkers. They bought their expensive apartments after they retired. I know many former bank execs who have not done as well.

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Author: Brooklyn1948 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868838 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/19/2012 6:25 AM
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Er... maybe 'cause unions and employers can't get their hands on 401k's?


Thanks. I hadn't thought of that.

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Author: Brooklyn1948 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868839 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/19/2012 6:26 AM
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And it's not JUST the economy - if they're 60+ like it or not ageism comes into play, since coverage by ageism laws starts when someone hits 40 (seems pretty young these days, doesn't it). Do you see workers protesting in the streets about it - no, because when everyone's younger they don't think it will happen to them.

Thanks for the info. You seem very informed.

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Author: alstroemeria Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868841 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/19/2012 9:28 AM
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I find it interesting that in this wealthy neighborhood so many of my neighbors are retired school teachers who retired with over one million dollars in their 401k's and pension plans. Another retired from the ironworkers union with over one million dollars. It boggles the mind.

How many of those millionaire teachers moved into the neighborhood before it became a wealthy enclave? How many of those teachers are married to lawyers, CPAs, executives, Wall Street investors, real estate brokers? Not to mention that more than a few people who've "saved" a million bucks had a nice boost from an inheritance or two.

The only wealthy teacher I know is married to a tax accountant.

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Author: Brooklyn1948 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868842 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/19/2012 9:31 AM
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How many of those millionaire teachers moved into the neighborhood before it became a wealthy enclave?

You have a point. A few people moved into the neighborhood decades ago when no one wanted to live here. But the two women I spoke of are not married and to my knowledge have never been married. Maybe their unions
invested their money wisely as one of the women told me that she is
still getting at least 7% interest on her money.

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Author: alstroemeria Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868843 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/19/2012 9:38 AM
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Bain Capital buys sick companies, and attempts to turn them around.

Bain is a company of financiers, not business managers. They are experts at devising and implementing strategems to leverage struggling companies to the max, extracting exorbitant fees for managing the joint, whether into bankruptcy or success--it's all the same to them as long as they get their huge payoff. IMO they make userers look good.

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Author: Ringfinger Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868844 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/19/2012 9:41 AM
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Have not read the entire thread but this whole Wal-Mart thing sure is getting a lot of publicity.

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Author: MetroChick Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868846 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/19/2012 10:44 AM
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and empty calories

Don't tell that to Frito Lay ;)

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Author: MetroChick Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868847 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/19/2012 10:49 AM
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How many of those millionaire teachers moved into the neighborhood before it became a wealthy enclave? How many of those teachers are married to lawyers, CPAs, executives, Wall Street investors, real estate brokers?

All I want to know is how many of these teachers were good or great at their jobs versus sub-par. Those good/great at their job deserved everything they got (and possibly more). Those sub-par got to cheat students, parents, and taxpayers through a system where rewards aren't based on performance.

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Author: Brooklyn1948 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868851 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/19/2012 1:25 PM
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Those sub-par got to cheat students, parents, and taxpayers through a system where rewards aren't based on performance.

Thanks for this. Whenever I read the local newspaper that exposes teachers in "rubber rooms" it makes me crazy.

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Author: vkg Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868860 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/19/2012 2:55 PM
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I think in most of these situations you can put some blame on both sides.

There is a third side, the government. Sugar import duties are damaging the US candy industry.

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Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/19/2012 8:56 PM
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There is no doubt that unions served a purpose at one time, but now much of what they worked for is codified into law, as far as working conditions etc...

Rather like arguing that medicine is "good enough" so no more medical research is necessary.


and there is no doubt that when unions push to far with an ailing company they are likely to do their workers more harm them good.

Agreed. The problem is when labor and mgmt aren't working together, e.g. mgmt giving themselves enormous benefits while telling workers the company is in horrible shape.

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Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/19/2012 8:59 PM
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But of course labor unions and national government are two quite different breeds of political cat.


I'm not saying they are equal, just that unions are groups of people united for a purpose and that such unity is not inherently evil as some here seem to feel.

Unions and mgmt work together in other countries; one wonders what it is about this country that makes a difference.

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Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/19/2012 9:02 PM
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Er... please explain to me how a union of state governments equates to a labor union.

But of course I didn't say they were equal.

What I said was that people the very people who are against unions seem unaware they are part of one.

You also need to re-read the preamble. It is "We, the People" who are forming the union.

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868896 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/20/2012 12:35 AM
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<< But of course I didn't say they were equal.

What I said was that people the very people who are against unions seem unaware they are part of one.>>


You took a breathtaking leap toward conflating labor unions and the Federal government.


That was about 99.9% unjustified, in my opinion.



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: desertdaveataol Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868897 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/20/2012 1:30 AM
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You also need to re-read the preamble. It is "We, the People" who are forming the union.

"We the People" were not forming a labor union.

There is no comparison.

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Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 11/20/2012 8:59 AM
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The Waltons' wealth totals more than the bottom 40% of American families combined. Besides the totals above for family members, here's a stat that boggles my mind: in 2011, the Waltons sat on their privileged 1% butts and enjoyed $2.5 billion in stock dividends. Just dividends on shares with a 2.5% yield. And that 2.5% dividend yield by itself made the Waltons $2.45B richer.

WMT is our largest private employer with 1.5 million workers. With all the family's glitzy numbers above in mind, I've got an employee-centered, PR-restoring gesture to suggest. It's simple (and I admit, very far-fetched and improbable.) Grant each of the 1.5 million workers a $500 lump sum to cover 2013's increased premium costs--probably more than enough, and let each employee carry over any extra to 2014. This would cost the Waltons $75M and would be paid out of their sit-and-collect stock dividends only. Employees would be on Cloud 99, and the Waltons?? .003% poorer.


I agree that would be a nice gesture. If I were in their shoes I would strongly consider just such a move. But I think it's a horrid thing for anybody to expect it or feel entitled to it. The standards of behavior surrounding the possibility of a gift do not change just because the gift giver is wealthy.

xtn

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Author: ataloss Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 870168 of 883927
Subject: Re: WMT Workers Getting Spines for Xmas Date: 1/5/2013 7:04 AM
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Of course the wave of protests didn't occur, the workers cling to their jobs because they need the money and Walmart gets away with taking advantage of workers. Maybe their should be a charitable organization for people who want to do something for WM workers? A small donation from each of (for example) 10% of shoppers could really add up. Isn't this more practical than telling ourselves what the Waltons should do?

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