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Don’t tell me that Wal-Mart is a giant Scrooge to the 1.3 million Cratchits who work for it.
Well, yes, the world’s largest retailer has been caught again and again using child labor, getting its products from grotesque sweatshops, forcing employees to do “off the clock” work, discriminating against women, and even denying workers their 30-minute, unpaid lunch break. And, yes, Wal-Mart top brass has recently imposed new workforce rules that cap the already-low wages of the rank and file, while doubling the number of workers reduced to part-time status and cracking down on workers with “unexcused” days off (such as having to tend to a sick child).
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And, yes, the new rules also require thousands of workers to be available for duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with no fixed schedules, meaning employees can’t plan for family time, church, or other personal time. And, yes, Wal-Mart executives have even decreed that cashiers and other floor workers who have back or leg problems can no longer use stools to ease their pain.
These are not nice things. But, wait – Scrooge has heard the howls of protests from workers and has had a sudden change of heart, offering an exciting new employee reward program to show a little corporate love to its Cratchits. Is the reward to be cash? Of course not. Time off? Get real. Well, what then? Close your eyes and hold your breath, for here it comes: workers with 20 years or more service to Wal-Mart are to be given a special polo shirt with their years of service stitched right on front!
As one Cratchit put it, “They are going to spend $15 on a polo for you after 20 years? Give me a break. We would rather they lift the wage caps.”
This is Jim Hightower saying… To keep track of Wal-Mart and to battle it’s scrooginess, go to walmartwatch.com, or call 202-557-7440.