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Thread: Walmart workers demand better wages

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    Re: Walmart workers demand better wages

    Quote Originally Posted by The Mark View Post
    So no such organization exists for "unskilled" labor?
    A trade club for unskilled labor would be like a church for atheists.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Mark View Post
    Actually, I’m kinda wondering if “unskilled labor” is a valid description…I mean any job requires SOME level of skill…You’re better at shoveling gravel than that guy over there, you have better shoveling skill…granted the difference in output may be less significant than that between a competent vs. a brilliant computer programmer, but I’d think that someone looking for 10 gravel shovelers for a construction job might still want the 10 best gravel shovelers they could find.

    Then again maybe not…
    Unskilled labor means you don't need specialized training; basically anyone who walks through the door can be taught how to do that job in a very short time.

    Skilled Labor Vs. Unskilled Labor | eHow.com

    Skilled labor is the portion of workers in an economy that have specific, technical industry skills relating to business and the production of goods. Engineers, welders, accountants and scientists are a few examples of skilled labor. These individuals bring specialized skill sets to the marketplace and are essential in advancing industries through developing new techniques or methods of productions.

    Unskilled labor is the cheaper and less technical portion of the workforce that makes up a large part of an economy's labor market. This workforce plays the important part of performing daily production tasks that do not require technical abilities. Menial and repetitive tasks are the common workplace of unskilled labor; some unskilled labor tasks may include customer-service positions that help consumers when purchasing goods from a company.

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    Re: Walmart workers demand better wages

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry View Post
    A trade club for unskilled labor would be like a church for atheists.


    Unskilled labor means you don't need specialized training; basically anyone who walks through the door can be taught how to do that job in a very short time.
    But you can be good or bad at even unskilled labor. Work ethic comes into play there, I think, and depending on the job, mental/physical ability...

    Perhaps I'm misunderstanding the trade club bit, but are you saying it would not be possible to have some form of "unskilled labor" trade club?


    Edit: Then again, if you have the ability to form a trade club, you have the ability to do more than unskilled labor, I suppose...
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    Re: Walmart workers demand better wages

    Quote Originally Posted by The Mark View Post
    But you can be good or bad at even unskilled labor. Work ethic comes into play there, I think, and depending on the job, mental/physical ability...
    Sure anyone can have a good work ethic, but that's the point: anyone can have a good work ethnic. Not just anyone can be taught how to set up and maintain a collage intranet. You need to already be proficient with various computer languages, operating systems, modern hardware, etc, before you even fill out the job application.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Mark View Post
    Perhaps I'm misunderstanding the trade club bit, but are you saying it would not be possible to have some form of "unskilled labor" trade club?
    A tradless trade-club. SkillsUSATM that doesn't require any skill; SkillessUSA? You have to be in a trade in order to be in a trade club. You have to practice a skill in order to be skilled-labor. There are basic safety courses out there which are not trade-specific, such as the OSHA10hr, but those aren't chartered clubs who collect dues, hold minutes and agendas, and conduct regular events.

    A trade club is industry-specific. Unskilled labor is not industry specific. Every industry has unskilled labor, but unskilled labor is industryless. An unskilled worker would have to choose an industry in order to find a trade club. For these Wall-Mart workers, there may very well be retail trade-clubs out there for Wall-Mart workers to join, but that would be a *retail* trade club, not an unskilled trade club. I imagine a retail trade-club would train it's members on the art of customer service, the different inventory systems respective retail stores use, the science of price-pointing, etc. But that's all content specific to retail, and would help only unskilled laborers who are working retail, and probably wouldn't help that same worker in a non-retail unskilled job, such as a UPS box thrower.

    Also, a retail trade-club would solicit members from every retail store in the aria, unlike unions who embed themselves in a specific company. A retail trade club would be made of Wall-Mart cashiers, the HR manager of Target, the cart pusher from Toy-r-Us, the small-business owner of the tiny pet store in the mall and all the tweens who work there part time after school, the Radio-Shack guy who never has a solution to your problem, and the guy from Lowe's who delivered your new dishwasher. Members of a retail club would go to that club to look for a job from among it's members who are hiring because those members (ie, a Wall-Mart HR manager who's hiring) pay the industry standard for the type of job they want to fill. There's no unusual cut in pay or expectations. A cashier is a cashier, so through a retail trade club someone looking for a cashier job can expect to be paid about the same regardless of if they're hired at PetCo, Family Thrift or Scheel's. When the member presents themselves as an applicant, their membership would be a key talking point because of the *skill* and enhanced ability at retail which is assumed through membership. Likewise the main reason to look for a job through the trade club as opposed to Monster.com is to assure the applicant reasonable pay and expectations for the work they're applying for.

    When any member, employee or employer, screws up (cutting hours, or walking off a job), they lose face within the club, they lose their marketability. It will become harder for a retail store to find quality workers. It will become harder for a bad worker to find a good job.
    Last edited by Jerry; 11-30-12 at 02:04 AM.

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    Re: Walmart workers demand better wages

    Another thing trade-clubs are good for, is recording and validating your apprentice/juryman/master status in your trade. These are actual skill levels with requirements, such as 10,000+ verified hours and certain certifications in your trade to attain Master level. An electrician must maintain his license to practice for 2 years to become a Journeyman, or 4-5 years to become a Master. A 2-year vo-tech degree can automatically promote a beginner to Journeyman. Becoming HVAC certified, or becoming a licensed inspector, or logging a certan amount of houres with heavy equiptment can earn one a promotion as well.

    These are not job promotions. This status exists throughout the industry, everywhere the club(s) who certify you are honored. These statuses translate into more money because an employer will specifically word the job add to say, for example: "
    Journeyman level electrician with experience in commercial and industrial, for new projects and service work.....Reads and understands conduit drawings, schematics, electrical drawings and specifications. Diagnoses malfunctioning systems, apparatus and components...

    Journeyman Electrician Jobs, Employment | Indeed.com
    When you walk in to apply, the first thing the employer will want is validation that you're a Journeyman electrician. This is where the applicant would present their member card from their trade club and give a couple references.

    So how would we certify that someone is unskilled? How to we verify that the applicant indeed has no specialized training at all? A certified Master-level unskilled worker is someone who dropped out of HS and never bothered to do anything with themselves (because Master level assumes you can document 10,000+ Hrs of unskilled work...that's about 4 years working 50-hour weeks without vacation).
    Last edited by Jerry; 11-30-12 at 04:08 AM.

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    Re: Walmart workers demand better wages

    Quote Originally Posted by Kal'Stang View Post
    So if you put an item on a shelf you think that you have a right to "vote" that you get paid more than the person that invested the time and the money and the hundreds of work hours to start up a company. Do you have any idea how insane that sounds?
    Except thats not how it would work, because we see in cooepratives people that have more responsiblity generally get paid more ... just not rediculously more, I mean we have tons of examples of this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kal'Stang
    Actually yes it does.
    No it isn't ... they pay themselves, what gives them that right is not mental labor, its control of capital.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kal'Stang
    It is only the best way because it provides force. But it certainly is not the right and moral way to go about it.

    But you're right, you're not saying that the CEO SHOULD do something. You're whole arguement is based on the premise that the CEO HAS to do something. That the workers should have more say because they do something that a monkey can do. (stock shelves)
    Of coarse it is the right and moral way to go about it ... It is right and moral to take responsiblity for yourself and your well being, and not accept being a wage slave.

    I'm saying the workers should have a say.

    Also having a part in the decision making would make them part of the management .... any argument you make against that is the same that monarchists would make against democracy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kal'Stang
    Actually that arguement has nothing to do with democracy or monarchy or any other form political ideology. It has to do with plain simple fact and reality. There will always be someone that drives a honda and someone that drives a porsche. Not everyone can have the same thing.
    And what? 50 years ago you didn't have the saem wealth disaprity you have now ... I'm not saying everyone has to be equal, I'm saying everyone should have the same say in the decisions that effect their lives.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kal'Stang
    Actually Capitalism is the one thing that has been around as long as man has. You see dictators come and go. You see democracy come and go. But capitalism has ALWAYS been around. You call yourself a socialist but what you don't understand is that socialism never ever works. It is a political ideaology that fails the moment even one person takes advantage of that system.
    Nonsense, Capitalism HAS'NT always been around, infact socialist forms of organization existed before capitalism.

    As far as socialism never working ... thats nonsense, the system that can be taking advantage of more is Capitalism, infact it happens all the time, which is why now its basically run by a couple bankers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kal'Stang
    Sounds like a capitalistic idea right here folks. Thought you were against capitalism Rgacky3?
    ... Its not a capitalistic of socialistic idea, its just a fact on how capitalism works, I'm not for or against it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kal'Stang
    No he doesn't. If he did then every paycheck that he got he would have to dole out money to help pay for those things. And he is already compensated for the labor he does. By being paid the money that he agreed to be paid the moment he got hired. If he thought that his labor was worth more than that initial agreement then maybe he shouldn't have agreed to that amount when he got hired.
    Workers will never get their labors worth, because they are in the disadvantage of not holding capital.

    The point is the workers will get fired, pensinos cut and so on before the CEO's compensation gets cut.

    BTW, I Have a question, over the last 20 years executive compensation has risen 300% ... have CEOs gotten 300% better?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kal'Stang
    It has nothing to do with power. It has to do with ownership.
    Semantics ... Ownership is power.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kal'Stang
    A democracy cannot work when running a company. Take a look at our government. The very thing that you are argueing for to run a company is done in the House and the Senate. If our government was a company it would have failed by now. People argue all the time. People have different opinions on how things should be. Things which do not need to be done is done and things which should be done are not done. THAT is democracy for you. And is why no company would ever succeed if that company was a democracy.
    Except IT DOES WORK .... you have many many examples of extremely successful cooperative firms ... infact the richest region in Europe is run mainly by cooperatives ... You're just talking out of ignorance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kal'Stang
    No actually he doesn't. Those items that he puts on a shelf are not his. The building is not his. The land is not his. The company is not his. He has no right to help decide anything that the company does. He has no more right to it than a guest in your house has a right to help you decide what carpet you should put in your living room.
    You're assuming that capitalist property is a natural right ... it isn't ... its a social construct.

    My living room is not a social construct because it does'nt affect other peoples lives.

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    Re: Walmart workers demand better wages

    Quote Originally Posted by OpportunityCost View Post
    Which I could agree with, but it was your breathtakingly pro union stance of "they are part of management". They advise, they make workers opinions heard on strategy, they dont run the companies. Its a nice backpedal but try to make sure you are factual next time.
    They take part in the running of the companies ... having a vote on the board makes a difference ... BOTH boards, you also have different systems in different countries that have co-determination.

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    Re: Walmart workers demand better wages

    Quote Originally Posted by OpportunityCost View Post
    Only going to address two points of this mess.

    No they dont. Of course they pay an enormous amount of taxes that builds that infrastructure. The institutions would not be present without the businesses. From the first few settlers here to today its always been business paying the majority of the bills to make the infrastructure happen. The problem is government currently misuses an enormous amount of what they take in. Cronyism is rampant at every level of government. Government has entirely too much power and it shows in the way they deal with the public.

    Under Capitalism which works better than anything else we have found so far.....Keep that in mind.
    Not only the infastructure, also the whole institutino of property, the whole system of private capitalist ownership and so on, the whole capital market system, the whole system of regulation making sure that people are not cheated.

    Saying its always been buisiness paying the majority of the bills ... no **** ... thats like saying its the king that pays most of teh bills, because buisiness controls all the capital and resources.

    Government being corrupt is a problem of buisinesses having too much power ... and in countries where you have a stronger public sector and less powerful corporations you don't have that kind of corruption, but corporatism is the natural outcome of capitalism (as Marx predicts).

    Capitalism has been the best system so far ... but capitalism is riddled with self contradictions that lead to its collapse, so we have to find a better solution.

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    Re: Walmart workers demand better wages

    Quote Originally Posted by Kal'Stang View Post
    In the case of Hostess...yes they are responsible. They KNEW that if those workers did not get back to work then Hostess would have to liquidate. Yet they didn't let thier workers go back to work and because of that they lost thier job. So yeah, those union bosses were responsible for 18,000 employee's losing thier jobs.

    I will agree that there is more job security for people with a union. Including for those that are crappy workers and should be fired. But the hassle of getting them fired is so damn onerous that it takes a lot to do it. Meanwhile that crappy worker is costing the company money.

    Oh and btw, working hard is a form of job security also as they are much less likely to fire you than a crappy worker. Especially during rough times. Indeed if you are a hard worker and follow company guidelines you will never get fired.
    Ok after reading about Hostess ... you're full of **** ... Hostess went through 7 CEOs in 10 years, they had missmanaged for years, loosing income, the workers ALREADY took a hit while executives were taking pay increass ... the company would have gone under with or without the strike ... You cannot seriously blame Hostess on teh unions ... when you get ever increasing pay increases for executives while running the company into the ground .... you can't blame the union for wanting to put a stop to that.

    As far as the crappy worker ... the other workeres would'nt wnat a crappy worker in either ... so chances are in a democratic workplace he'd be out. However we have examples of strong union countries, in scandanavia and germany ... are those countries unproductive???? Nope ... emprical evidence always works best.

    Working hard helps, but without collective power, the boss will ALWAYS put losses on the workers and take gains for himself ... being a good slave won't change that, the boss will ALWAYS pay himself the most he can and pay the workers the least he can.

    This shows just how little you know of our system. Stocks are not just imaginary things. They are investments in a company. The more you have invested in a company the more you are able to have a say in what goes on in that company. If you own 51% of the shares of a company you can literally shut that company down and liquidate it. Doing this is often called a "corporate hostile takeover" because the person that was in charge gets ousted.
    No they arn't other than IPOs the company doesn't see any of the money when a stock is bought. Most people buy stocks to get capital gains ... not for long term investment, shareholders actually have very little long term interest in a company, which is one major problem with capitalism.

    No, I claimed that they lie like politicians. Even politicians tell the truth when it suits them to. I've also never said that the CEO of Wal-Mart never lies.

    Now...no comment on anything else I said in that post?
    So then its irrelevant.

    What else did you say that you want me to respond to?

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    Re: Walmart workers demand better wages

    Quote Originally Posted by DVSentinel View Post
    Better for whom? The union worker? Sometimes. Society, never.

    How good of job security is there for the Hostess employees now that the company has been forced into receivership and is being sold off due to the failure of unions to work with the company? How much job security is there for the union employees in various industry when their jobs are outsourced because labor costs are too high and quality of product too low?

    Is it better for society that job security for a steal worker causes us not to adopt lighter weight, more efficient materials for construction, such as carbon fibers, carbon nano-tubes and ceramics which requires a higher skill set than those working with steal? Is it better for society that "job security" in existing technologies stops the advancement to newer technologies?

    My cousin drives for a large company. His current truck has over a million miles on it and the company wants to by newer trucks. However, his union demands that the company buy from only a union manufacturer. Is it more cost effective for the company to continue maintaining that old truck instead of buying a new one from a Union shop? The company is going to do what is most cost effective for it. From an environmental or safety standpoint, the a new truck would be better, but by forcing the company to pay higher costs for a truck built by a union, it cannot replace the older trucks at a very high rate. This may be great for the guys and gals at the union plant building the truck, but what is the cost to the rest of us because of the policy?
    Yeah ... the society and the workers ... as evident by countries with storng unions vrs those with non, and when the US had storng unions with now.

    As far as Hostess ... Hostess was missmanaged for years, going through 7 CEOs in 10 years, loosing profits cutting wages AND increasing executive compensation, it was gonna go out no matter what. Blaiming the UNion for that is rediculous and just Fox News nonsense.

    As for as outsourcing that happened AFTER UNIONS were destroeyd in the 80s. Unions actually hold jobs at home ... againg we have tons of evidence for this ... The US destroyed its unions and then outsourcing happened, germany did not.

    There is nothing about strong unions that stops technology, infact it helps it by encouraging public education and an educated workforce.

    As far as your cousin ... It ends up helping society as a whole since you have higher employment, thus more aggrigate demand, meaning higher wages, its an upward pressure on wages, which in aggrigate is higher than any inflation.

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    Re: Walmart workers demand better wages

    Quote Originally Posted by LaMidRighter View Post
    What I am saying is that it is arrogant to demand more from an employer. You either earn more and ask for it, or move on, it is the employers business, they took the risks, including hiring the employee. If a business goes under the employee finds another job, the owner may never recover. If the employee wants to make the rules he can open a business, if he wants more money it's up to that employee to prove it, this is what modern employees seem to forget.
    I can't read the minds of these Wal-Mart workers but you and others have repeatedly attributed their protests to selfishness or at the very least you're saying they just want more money they haven't earned. While I can't deny that thought may be exactly what's going through their head, a lot of protestors and a lot of unions are working to ensure that everybody gets a fair deal. To ensure that if you work hard enough, you will be able to get by so long as you are dedicated, resilient, and able. Yes, Wal-Mart hired these employees for whatever wage and yes, they agreed to it, but that doesn't mean it's fair.

    I used to know a guy who came to the US from India and got a job at this Indian restaurant where they paid everybody less than minimum wage and had a dozen or so of their employees live in an apartment together. They agreed to it, so it's fair, right? They couldn't change it, though, because they were getting paid under the table (as fair as I knew) so they had no say. This is the result of employees losing their voice. They will be exploited and used to further increase the billions of dollars Wal-Mart is pulling in, so long as they cannot be heard. If I were in the Indian chap's position, I would have demanded fairness, but I wouldn't do it out of selfishness or the conquest for wealth and power. I'd do it to help every one of those poor guys stuffed into a two bedroom apartment.

    These days, people are struggling just to tread water and every day they go to work and every day they get paid the same amount as the slacker kid who works the register once a week. They agreed to it, but that doesn't mean it's fair. I think you were talking about Wal-Mart's benefits being pretty standard and comparable to those offered by smaller businesses. The only reason for that is the employees and American citizens who demanded better treatment. Rosa Parks didn't ask everybody if they were cool with her sitting at the front of the bus. Kennedy didn't say "we will go to the moon within ten years if you guys feel like doing it."

    Every thought of yours begins with the same premise, which is that Wal-Mart employees are already receiving a fair amount of money. But why is $8 an hour fair? What is that based on? And if you had a job for $8 an hour and weren't making ends meet, why wouldn't you demand to get what you think is fair. The whole "if you don't want the job, go find another one" is only a small step removed from "if you don't like [the current president] you can move to Canada."
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