Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Wal-Mart hates families

Specifically, the families of their employees. What is the nation's largest retailer doing now? Putting their employees "on call" with random schedules determined by "real-time" customer flow. Check out the article.

Wal-Mart claims to be pro-family. If they were pro-family, they would use their position as the nation's largest employer to set an example instead of treating people like crap.

How are people supposed to live if they don't know when they'll work or how many hours they'll get in a week? This system will be used to weed out tenured workers, workers with families, and workers needing full-time employment.

What Wal-Mart wants is a bunch of cheap, disposable employees that it won't have to worry about achieving higher wages or needing benefits. No wonder so many people think of Wal-Mart as the Evil Empire.

6 Comments:

Blogger Sherri said...

It's not just WalMart. My current employer uses Kronos to measure the volume of calls into our call center, then schedules employees accordingly. If you're lucky you may have 2 weeks notice of what shift you'll be working, but there no continuity in the shifts. One day you may be 8-5, the next 11-7, etc. Also, employees are considered exempt employees so they don't even get a shift differential for the crappy shifts. Yet another reason why I got out of tech support.

2:04 PM  
Anonymous Liz said...

Companies just don't care about their employees anymore...With a (very) few notable exceptions (Costco, Southwest Airlines), people aren't worth sh*t...I was reading an article today in an industry publication about the new computer system they are implementing at work...One of the supposed benefits to this new system is that it will reduce headcount...

7:30 PM  
Blogger Falconsword said...

We also need to be realistic about this outcome. The relationship between employees and employers have been in a steady decline since unions became nothing more than organized shakedowns of employers, employers have trimmed back benefits to make lifetime jobs a thing to look forward to, and employees have zero loyalty to companies, even the great ones that bend over backwards to keep their people happy. The increase in the sideways flexibility of careers in general (being able to move to another career path without years of education) is another huge contributor to these phenom. I shop at walmart almost daily, and will continue to do this. I have quite a bit of sympathy to them. At this point the 'blame big business' crowd wouldn't be happy if they gave all their employees 10 hour work weeks and $20 per hour raises. If walmart caves and begins to collapse as a company they will turn their focus to sears, or home depot. I admire you for your consistent walmart hating, but sometimes it seems a tad like windmill tilting. Especially when I recall all the tales of how best buy has screwed you over the years.

10:21 AM  
Anonymous lbfh said...

We also also need to be realistic about what being realistic means. The employee + employer relationship cannot be so flatly defined, especially since not every workplace even has a union. Mentioning unions in terms of Walmart is just silly, since Walmart doesnt have any American unions, and preemptively closes stores that start to unionize.

Lots of companies care heavily about their employees. I haven't worked for one in my career that did not do just that.

Walmart, however, paints their own workers into a corner, where they can't get out. I will be happy when the Democrats get the new minimum wage going, though I think most walmart workers are over 7.25 an hour.

Walmart exploits Chinese workers. Walmart exploits its own workers. Walmart will never see a dollar from me. I walk in their stores, and I just feel bad about myself... So I walk out.

12:50 PM  
Blogger Oz said...

But I like tilting at windmills.

I'm not a big union fan either, but the notion of "on-call" employment for a workforce that includes a huge number of near-poverty families is just evil, and I don't mean in a cool Darth Vader way.

Not only do I not shop Wal-Mart, I would never work for them, and I can't imagine how people with kids could cope with something like this. It would really serve WM right if this blows up in their face and they suddenly have trouble staffing their stores.

5:30 PM  
Blogger Falconsword said...

It's called capitalism. Walmart owes nothing to society in general. That's not how it works. Every time I see some jackass crying on TV that they need to 'give something back to the community' I feel the bile rising in my stomach. Likewise nobody holds a gun to the employees head and says they have to work there. I've known a lot of people who worked and work there, some were relatives. Some liked it, some didn't. This is supposed to be a free marked economy. Don't like the way your employer is treating you? Leave. I did, that's why I left FedEx (FedUp). The treat a lot of their employees like shit, but I don't blog on it because they paid me, and I accepted it.
If and when Walmart reaches the point that it has mistreated employees past tolerance, an amazing thing will happen. They will quit, and Walmart will have no choice but adjust or suffer the consequences. As for them closing stores when they try to unionize? So what, its been hapening for years in the country. Walmart didn't invent that strategy. Unions forced a grocery chain out of business with their rediculous demands a few years ago. Frankly, I don't blame the store at all.
I've been at the bottom of the employement feeding chain, and still looked down at a grocery bagger. You get what you pay for, and deserve what you are paid. All things being equal, I'd rather work at FedEx.

10:44 AM  

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