Wal-Mart, $640 million in back wages, would never have happened if the employees were represented by a union

<--Martin Luther King died in the midst of supporting workers in a struggle to form a union
Had the employees of Wal-Mart been represented by a labor union, the company wouldn’t be forced to pay $640 million in back wages to employees who were cheated out of that money. It never would have happened. Period.- David Macaray

http://img356.imageshack.us/img356/6936/walmartstompvk7.jpgI've noticed that Wal-Mart has been pushing it's advertisements every 10 minutes or so here in New York, could it be the Black Friday death at the local Valley Stream store? Or could it be the fact that unbeknown to many, Wal-Mart got caught cheating it's employees out of $640 million US dollars and quietly settled without much ado.

Good olde' Wal-Mart, it wouldn't want any bad publicity , but our friend David Macaray has posed this note, that the very employees that Wal-Mart brain washes into their team mentality would have never gotten ripped off if they were represented by a union, so heres a clip from a David Macaray article at CounterPunch called "The Economics of Cheating: Wal-Mart Caught Stealing" from 1/9-11/09:
But there’s one thing we can be absolutely certain of. Had the employees of Wal-Mart been represented by a labor union, the company wouldn’t be forced to pay $640 million in back wages to employees who were cheated out of that money. It never would have happened. Period.

Things in the workplace fall through the cracks all the time; they get dismissed, put off, overlooked, rescheduled, piled up, mishandled, etc.. But in a union shop, no one—and that means no one—fails to get paid. You can ask union people to work harder, to work safer, to work quicker; you can ask them pretty much anything, and they’ll do it. Just don’t ask them to work for free.

Predictably, even though Wal-Mart clearly got caught with its hand in the cookie jar (the settlement was the result of 63 class-action lawsuits), the company has tried to put a happy face on it, claiming that the whole thing was rather “complicated,” and that the incidents in question occurred “a long time ago” and are in no way indicative what the company stands for today.

An employer trying to cut corners by cheating workers out of their pay isn’t really that “complicated” a concept to grasp. It’s pretty basic, actually. Moreover, it’s a form of what is commonly known as “theft.” And Wal-Mart did it knowingly and for the basest of reasons: they wanted to save money, and thought they could do it without getting caught. But they got caught. That’s why they’re paying $640 million.

Of course, the biggest shocker in all this is the fact that, despite Wal-Mart’s history of stinginess and deceit, the company’s employees are still independent. The world’s largest retailer, with over 1.4 million employees, remains immaculately non-union (at least in the U.S.). Given that labor unions, across-the-board, offer superior wages, benefits, and working conditions, that circumstance is absolutely astonishing. Over 4,000 stores in the U.S., and not one of them is unionized? That is mind-boggling.
David continues:
After all, look at the facts. If a company spends millions of dollars trying to keep the union out, and preaches to its employees that unions are bad—that they’re unnecessary, that they’re a hindrance, that a union wouldn’t help them—and then turns around and steals wages from the very people who are loyal to that company and who can barely make a living on the wages they’re already being paid, what does that tell us?

Corporations cheat all the time. They cheat the competition by engaging in illegal or unethical business practices, they cheat the public through false advertising and poor quality, and they cheat Uncle Sam by not paying their fair share of taxes. The public has become inured to it

But when a corporation steals from its own people—especially ones as fiercely loyal as Wal-Mart employees—doesn’t that cross the line? Doesn’t that totally blow their minds? What’s it going to take for these Wal-Marters to realize they’re being exploited?
I really don't understand it at all, are they that fucking stupid? It amazes me how many of these employees in big box/corporate structered chains consider themselves associates, team members or partners.

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