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--dedicated to rolling back the curtain on the Bentonvile Behemoth's corporate disinformation and other flackery--
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Angela Gunn Tech_Space, USA Today.
Rep. Paul Gillmor (R-Ohio).
[Venanzi Luna was one of 530 employees told Monday that the store is closing for six months] says that as a member with the Organization United for Respect at Walmart, a group funded by the Food Workers Union, she has led strikes and sit-ins. Pico Rivera has been a hotbed for worker activism as protests took place there for higher wages. Luna wonders if Walmart was targeting the workers who spoke out. “This is the first store that went on strike. This is the first store in demanding changes for Walmart,” she said.The question becomes, if this is the case, who blinks first? How many stores would Walmart be willing to shutter to convince workers that protest will not be tolerated? Jeff Hess: Have Coffee Will Write.
Today Walmart launches the spring Fight Hunger Spark Change campaign, a nationwide initiative inviting the public to take action in the fight against hunger. Working with some of the nation’s leading food companies---Campbell’s, ConAgra Foods, General Mills, Kellogg Company, Kraft, and Unilever---Walmart is offering the 140 million customers that shop at its stores each week three easy ways to help families in need in their local communities. Through the campaign, Walmart aims to donate up to $3 million to Feeding America based on customer participation in the #WeSparkChange social media challenge and Walmart’s suppliers aim to donate enough to help Feeding America secure 75 million meals for affiliate food banks across the country.If you have continuing doubts about whether or not Walmart workers are actually hungry, pop over to Walmart Hunger Games. Jeff Hess: Have Coffee Will Write.
Walmart.com is technically a seperate entity from walmart. The prices online are competing with other online retailers(note - amazon) where as in the store we are not competing with a brick and mortar amazon. Strange, walmart matches walmart.com prices as long as its not a third party vendor, so you should have gotten the item for that price. Is this a turtle beach headphone by chance? One of my guys in electronics had a customer with turtle beach headphones that were cheaper online(i believe its the price point you are talking about). To get a price match from walmart.com, the item has to be IN STOCK for store pickup AND to be ordered to YOUR house. If it is OOS for either options we can not match the price. The walmart # doesn't HAVE to match... because I'm sure guys in electronics know this very well.. The walmart item # online VS what the telxon will tell you could very well be different. Armed with this knowledge, you should head to the store and try to get the price matched. When they say they can't, call them on their bullshit. If they still refuse, get an assistant manager or above. If they state that the policy I have given you is incorrect, ask for a higher up manager until you are dealing with the store manager. If by that point they haven't just given it to you for the price because they want you gone(and you are in the right/they are in the wrong) - you'll want to get the information to contact their market manager. Now if you threaten to contact their MM and they STILL haven't given it to you for that price, let the MM know(nicely or not, doesn't matter at this point) about the policy Walmart holds on matching walmart.com and store # XXXX and CSM X, ASM X, CO MNGR X, AND the Store manager X all denied you the price(or if you got the item, were denying you the price because the policy you have is wrong and they just wanted to get you out). The MM will NOT be happy to here that not only did they fail to follow policy, they wasted much, much more time dealing with you when they should have just done it to get you out. Of course, you don't have to take it this far... But it's nice to play games with people who play games with you. As an employee, I can't talk shit to you or anything. But I can have AP trail you, be extra nice, spark up some bullshit conversation to get you more mad. As a customer, you can make our(well, upper management lol) world a living hell by having the MM come bitch at us.Clearly, if you're making a significant purchase, say more than $20, then you need to check online, possibly print out the price and take the copy with you to the store. Jeff Hess: Have Coffee Will Write.
When Walmart sided with gay rights by saying that Arkansas’s religious freedom reformation act sends the “wrong message”, it surprised many. The nation’s largest employer is more commonly associated with low wages and red-state religious values than with LGBT rights. But in working with Bob Witeck, the DC-based head of the gay and lesbian-focused communications group Witeck Communications, Walmart addressed charges by critics that it ought to put its money where its mouth is, and lobby to avert dangerous anti-gay legislation in its own backyard.I think the backyard angle was critical here. Walmart might have taken a lower, or no, key approach to the issue in other states (as the company did do in Indiana), but to stand by in the Arkansas just wouldn't do.
An early reason corporate America waded tepidly into these fights was because they “wanted top talent”, which often includes gay executives. After Massachussets made same-sex marriage legal more than a decade ago, it was an outlier to be able to have a recognized gay union. It “didn’t become palpable until the last five years”, Witeck says of corporate America, that they could be losing talent all over the country to queer families who won’t give up their legal protections easily where they have them. Corporate America has, improbably enough, been stepping in as state legislatures roll back rights for LGBT workers in increasingly aggressive ways: the “boldest” move, Witeck notes, was Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff offering employees $50,000 relocation packages to move from Indiana if they feel uncomfortable. But not all LGBT employees, especially Walmart workers who live in Arkansas, are executives who can pick up and move to a new state. Witeck says that when he first started working with corporations on these issues, he had to help them understand LGBT rights don’t affect only gay versions of Don Draper, but “chambermaids”, people for whom English isn’t their first language, and blue-collar workers. Walmart’s workers, gay and straight, are notoriously known to be among the most economically exploited in the nation. Yet Walmart recently announced it is modestly raising its wages, though not by nearly as much as the Fight for $15 would like. Witeck gives Walmart a lot of credit for understanding this “movement among employees about wages and benefits”. Walmart and McDonald’s are moving, if too slowly, to reflect how voters are acting. “There was big support for wage increases everywhere, during an otherwise Republican wave,” he says.What this fight demonstrates for me is that Walmart will act progressively when to do otherwise costs the company, and shareholders, cash. Don't think for a moment that Walmart is getting all warm and fuzzy, that will never happen, but to bring change to Walmart you have to prove that change means protecting existing, or increasing future, profits. Jeff Hess: Have Coffee Will Write.
A decision Tuesday by a federal judge in Texarkana, Arkansas, has left [Delaware shareholder lawyer Stuart Grant of Grant & Eisenhofer] enraged. The ruling, which tossed a derivative suit against Wal-Mart’s directors and officers for allegedly covering up bribes paid by the company’s Mexican subsidiary, has left the fate of Grant’s long-running Delaware investigation of Wal-Mart’s board in serious doubt. He blames Wal-Mart and its lawyers at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher for delaying his case so the company could litigate in Arkansas instead. But Grant also says the plaintiffs’ lawyers who brought the Arkansas derivative suit made a big mistake in their handling of the case. And if Delaware judges ultimately decide that the Arkansas dismissal precludes Grant from bringing Delaware claims against Wal-Mart’s board, he told me Tuesday, he may file a malpractice suit against the plaintiffs’ lawyers who litigated the Arkansas case. “If I were them, I’d be letting my malpractice carriers know,” Grant said.So, what has Grant in an uproar?
That story begins in 2012, after the New York Times broke the news of Wal-Mart’s alleged coverup of bribes paid by the company’s Mexican subsidiary. The Times revelations were blood in the water for the shareholder bar. In addition to a securities fraud class action based on the company’s supposed misrepresentations to investors, shareholder lawyers initiated derivative litigation against Wal-Mart directors and officers in two different jurisdictions, Delaware, where Wal-Mart is incorporated, and Arkansas, where the company is headquartered.(For those wondering why Walmart is incorporated in Delaware, that state offers a sweetheart deal on taxes for companies who take that path.) Is Grant a white knight tilting at the Bentonvile Behemoth or a rapacious pirate seeking plunder? I can't tell. Anyone know how to translate this into English without making me nod off? Jeff Hess: Have Coffee Will Write.
After Decimating U.S. Manufacturing, Wal-Mart Takes Aim at t he Information Technology Sector On Wednesday April 1, the U.S. Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) will receive a flood of Labor Condition Application (LCA) petitions from employers---the first step in the annual H-1B visa process that allows U.S. companies to bring high-skill “guest workers” to the U.S. for up to 6 years. At the same time, corporate lobbying groups like FWD.us will likely be making the rounds on the Hill, aiming to almost triple the number of H-1B visas allotted annually. New research reveals that Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, has quietly joined their effort---and the company has itself become a major user of the H-1B program. Summary of Key FindingsSo, where can you get a good curry in Bentonville? In other headlines today: Church Mutual to move into Vacant Merrill Walmart Building Wal-Mart's Wage Hike Insufficient to Keep Workers Off the Dole Wal-Mart exec: Credit card upgrade a 'joke' Jeff Hess: Have Coffee Will Write.
Walmart is lobbying for a massive increase in the number of H-1B visas. Walmart or Walmart principals back FWD.us and Compete America, the major lobbying groups working to triple the availability of H-1B work visas. Walmart filed 1,800 petitions (certified LCAs) for H-1B visas in IT-related occupations between 2007 and 2014. These H-1B visa holders work for Walmart in areas like software development, collaborative applications, data management, system maintenance, and other IT fields. Between 2007 and 2014, IT contractors have filed almost 15,000 petitions (certified LCAs) for H-1B visas for work placed in Bentonville, Arkansas, home to Walm art’s headquarters and information technology center. Walmart is a known client of these controversial outsourcing contractors, including Infosys, Cognizant and Wipro. Walmart is driving down standards in the tech industry in the U.S. by using H-1B visas and contractors excessively, and violating the spirit, if not the letter of the visa program. This keeps costs low and allows for IT guest workers to be paid less. Walmart and its outsourced IT operations at contractor s do not hold up their end of the immigration bargain: they rarely apply for green cards for H-1B visa workers. In some years, they submit no green card applications at all. Walmart and its IT contractors have made Bentonville, Arkansas, a high H-1B visa-density area for IT guest workers. Walmart and its IT contractors are clearly availing themselves of high quantities of H-1B visas for tech workers in Bentonville, suggesting that Arkansian STEM graduates, and STEM students generally, are likely overlooked in favor of IT guest workers that are paid below market wages and have few rights. Walmart’s key vendor Infosys was prosecuted for committing visa fraud in 2013—for using B-1 instead of H-1B or other visas. Infosys paid $35 million in a settlement with the U.S. government.
In the Converse trademark-infringement saga’s most recent development, retail behemoth Wal-Mart is taking on the maker of the Chuck Taylor All-Star sneaker. While a number of brands have chosen to settle, including Ralph Lauren and Aldo, Wal-Mart filed a complaint on Monday against the Nike Inc.-owned Converse with the International Trade Commission. In the filing, Wal-Mart argues that the toe caps, toe bumpers and stripes that Converse claims to own are “actually or aesthetically functional” and therefore “they are not subject to trademark protection.” The company cites advertising in which Converse seems to acknowledge that it doesn’t own the rights to the features. The Wal-Mart complaint stems from when Converse — in a surprise move last October — filed suit with the International Trade Commission against more than 30 companies for infringing on the trademarks of the classic Chuck Taylor All-Star. Virtually no one in the industry was spared — Walmart, Kmart, Skechers, Fila, Aldo, Ralph Lauren and more were named in Converse’s suit. Since then, many of those companies have settled out of court, including Zulily and Tory Burch. And in a high-profile settlement in late January, Ralph Lauren agreed to destroy all of its remaining footwear that resembled the Converse shoes and not produce the styles again. The settlement amount has not been disclosed. As brands continue to weigh their options in terms of settlement versus letting the case drag out, it looks as though Wal-Mart is in the fight for the long haul. Wal-Mart’s complaint accuses Converse of using the suit to “extort monetary settlements” and says it “will fight Converse’s anti-competitive actions to preserve Every Day Low Prices for Wal-Mart customers.”Oh, and profits for shareholders, of course. Jeff Hess: Have Coffee Will Write.
Two wage-and-hour lawsuits, one brought as a class action and the other as a collective action, are proceeding against Wal-Mart. The company had moved to dismiss both suits, which allege that assistant store managers weren't paid for their overtime hours, but a federal judge in Pittsburgh denied the motions and allowed the suits to proceed. U.S. District Judge Mark R. Hornak of the Western District of Pennsylvania declined to combine the cases, as had been requested by the plaintiffs. "In each of these cases, former assistant store managers of the defendant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. sue to recover allegedly unpaid overtime pay," Hornak said, outlining the basis of the suits, one of which was brought under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and the other under the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act. Andrew Swank brought the case under the state law. "The principal thrusts of the defendant's efforts to dismiss Swank are the assertions that plaintiffs have failed to plead that assistant managers across Pennsylvania work more than 40 hours in a work week, and that under no set of circumstances could the Swank case ever be certified as a class action pursuant to Rule 23," Hornak said, referring to the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure that governs class action lawsuits. Wal-Mart had argued the case should be dismissed. "But courts grant motions to dismiss class allegations before class discovery only in 'the rare few [cases] where the complaint itself demonstrates that the requirements for maintaining a class action cannot be met,'" Hornak said, quoting from the Eastern District of Pennsylvania's 2012 opinion in Goode v. LexisNexis Risk & Information Analytics Group. If discovery could show there is a viable class, then a motion to strike that class is to be denied, the judge said.Granted, Walmart has deep pockets, but I like to remember the story of two factories near Parkersburg, West Virginia. The first, where my grandfather worked, was unionized and there was a constant batter between workers and management over what always seemed to be petty offenses. The second, a few hundred yards away, where my father worked, was not unionized and workers were a content lot and there was seldom any problems and those few were quickly and fairly dealt with. The difference was not the union, however. The difference was the management in the first place treated workers like dirt and they had little choice but to unionize to protect their lives and livelihood. The chemical workers union tried time and time again to unionize my father's place of employment but never succeeded because the workers, well paid, treated and regarded by management, saw no benefit in unionizing. I don't know the numbers, but I would wager that the first operation paid out more in legal fees and lost productivity over the years that the second ever did treating workers like people. Now if Walmart could be that enlightened perhaps these pesky suits would stop. Jeff Hess: Have Coffee Will Write.
Wal-Mart is asking suppliers in the United States to cut back on advertising spending in its stores as it seeks lower prices on goods that it sells to its own customers. The request comes as the world’s largest retailer, based in Bentonville, Arkansas, looks to reclaim its position in the U.S. market as the low-price leader amid stiff competition and perk up sluggish sales in the U.S., which accounts for more than half of the discounter’s total sales. Historically, makers of consumer products like laundry detergent spend money marketing their products at Wal-Mart, whether by online advertising on social media or store displays. Wal-Mart’s U.S. division told suppliers in February they would rather have them cut their advertising budgets and instead “reinvest” some of that money into cutting unit prices. Deisha Barnett, a Wal-Mart U.S. spokeswoman, confirmed the strategy to the Associated Press, and said that the discounter has made that request in the past but described the recent overture as more of a “reinvigorated focus.”Why do I think that Barnett's vision of reinvigorated---literally restored to life---is more in the line of using electrical shock, and not in a kind way? Jeff Hess: Have Coffee Will Write.
The U.S. Senate’s Democrats, under prodding from Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., are moving toward supporting a $12-an-hour national minimum wage, higher than the $10.10 plan put forward by President Obama. An increase in the federal $7.25 an hour minimum wage---a level set by the bipartisan Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007---has been blocked from a vote by Republican leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives. “The $10.10-an-hour proposal is one we advanced two years ago this summer,” Murray said in an interview. “We were looking at where we should be, had that passed, and where we should be going with wages in this country. “I know from my own experience, when you pay a livable wage people have increased buying power and can take care of their families’ needs. Businesses get more income and succeed. It is good for everyone.” The proposals for a higher minimum wage may be stalled in Congress, but a tighter labor market has caused major retailers to increase wages for their lowest paid employees. Wal-Mart announced last month that it will hike minimum pay to $9 an hour starting in April, and to $10 an hour a year from now, a move expected to boost paychecks for 500,000 of its 1.3 million “associates.” Target has announced a similar move, as has TJX, owners of the T.J. Maxx and Marshalls discount chains. “We don’t want Wal-Mart ahead of us,” Murray joked.No, Senator, you don't. Jeff Hess: Have Coffee Will Write.
Twenty-eight percent of subscribers in our most recent annual supermarket survey said they had fired a nearby grocery store. Forty-six percent did so in search of lower prices. Three in 10 gave a store the boot because of poor selection, long lines, lousy food, or cleanliness concerns. Around one in five stopped shopping at a particular store because of rude employees. In describing the ratings chart, Consumer Reports wrote: Ratings are based on 62,917 responses to the Consumer Reports’ 2014 Supermarket Survey, reflecting readers’ 111,208 shopping trips between March 2013 and July 2014. The results don’t necessarily mirror the experiences of the general population. Stores are ranked based on reader score, which reflects overall satisfaction with the shopping experience and isn't limited to the criteria listed in the table. A score of 100 would mean all respondents were completely satisfied; 80 would mean very satisfied, on average; 60, fairly well satisfied. Differences of fewer than 6 points are not meaningful. Scores for perishables (the quality of meat and produce), bakery, store-prepared food, service (a combination of employee courtesy and checkout speed), cleanliness, price satisfaction, price paid (natural/organic options), selection of healthy options, local product quantity, produce variety, product variety, and store brand quality are relative and reflect averages on a scale from Completely Satisfied to Completely DissatisfiedThe good news is that Walmart will need to work really, really hard to drop any lower. The bad news is that Walmart will need to work three times harder to begin the long slog to climb out of the hole so diligently excavated. Jeff Hess: Have Coffee Will Write.