Tuesday, July 11, 2006

NLRB Helps Wal-Mart Remain Union Free

Kevin Drum at Washington Monthly has some interesting observations about the decline of unions in the United States and its effects on wages.
Successive NLRB rulings, however, have steadily chipped away at labor rights and helped companies like Wal-Mart remain happily union free. That's good for big corporations who contribute to the Republican Party, but not so good for middle class workers who no longer have anyone to fight for pay raises and better working conditions. The result is the three-decade wage stagnation illustrated in the chart above.
No more well paying, secure manufacturing jobs in the USA, so no more Unions either. But there are plenty of 'good' jobs at Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart supporters will argue that Union mediated high salaries drove manufacturers out of business and this is just a result of free trade. However, anyone that has done even a bit of reading will realize there is no such thing as free trade or we wouldn't have a Federal Trade Commission or National Labor Relations Board. Many manufacturers had little choice in the matter of exporting jobs overseas. Wal-Mart all but required that they do so. Charles Fishman explains it all in "The Wal-Mart Effect". Of course no one expects a rabid Wal-Mart supporter to read such a book because they automatically assume it was written by a "Wal-Mart hater". Nothing could be further from the truth. Fishman is a reporter and he tried to get Wal-Mart and it's suppliers to provide input into the book. Obviously they were not interested.


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, Wal-Mart supporters only talk to people who tell them what they want to hear. Have anything negative about Wal-Mart? They won't talk to you and if they do they won't believe you.
I once tried to tell a Wal-Mart supporter that approximately 630,000 Wal-Mart workers have no health coverage. They are covered by the state in which they work, and that comes at TAXPAYERS EXPENSE. This person while walking away proceeded to tell me that that simply wasn't true.
When you try to tell them that Wal-Mart has approximately 350 empty stores in the United States, they don't believe that either. Wal-Mart calls them "dark" stores, but an empty store is an empty store.
Wal-Mart supporters have been brainwashed into thinking that "cheap goods" must be good for everyone. They are getting a bargain because they are paying less for what they want. Unfortunately, that "bargain" has other expenses tied to it. Cheaply made goods overseas, workers without health insurance and paid poverty wages, suppliers being squeezed and some going out of business or filing for bankruptcy, etc, etc. The list goes on and on.
But don't try to tell any of this to a supporter. This is not what they want to hear about their place to shop. And if Wal-mart is so good for me, then it will be good for where I live.
Fishman knows what he is talking about in his book. So does Bill Quinn, Bob Ortega and Al Norman. Too bad Wal-mart supporters can't handle the truth.

Anonymous said...

the above comment would make a good letter to the editor - but then the Wal-Mart suporters will bury their heads deeper in the sand and cry "it's not true, it's not true"