Wednesday, April 12, 2006

An Associate - Revisited

A visit to Working At Wal-Mart is enlightening. First written anonymously by 'An Associate' (so he wouldn't be fired I imagine), 23 year old Josh Smith talks about his experiences as a Wal-Mart 'Associate'.

On October 12th, 2005 I was hired as an associate at WAL-MART Supercenter #2046 in Augusta, ME. As a temporary (and later part-time) hire, I averaged 32 hours per week at $7.40 per hour, with no benefits. My hours were erratic and I worked throughout the store as a cashier and door guard, in customer service and layaway, and at times even helping the stockmen and sales floor associates. All the while I witnessed the company cheat their employees out of benefits and raises, ignore workplace safety hazards, rig charitable-giving totals, engage in gender discrimination... It didn't take much of this for me to realize how difficult a job this truly is, especially given the intense pressure, the culture of fear, and the utter lack of respect handed down by the company. But I think what makes this job nearly unbearable is that, at the end of the day, despite working for the largest corporation in the world, these workers must return home to a life of poverty.

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