Archive for the ‘Wal-Mart’ Category

Wal-Mart surveillance

April 11, 2007

Gabbard said that as part of the surveillance, the retailer infiltrated an anti-Wal-Mart group to determine if it planned protests at the company’s annual meeting last year and deployed monitoring systems to record the actions of anyone connected to its global computer network.

Wal-Mart has always had strict limits on what its employees can do while at work. Store employees are prohibited from using personal cell phones on the job. And managers receive a list of email addresses and phone numbers their employees have used as well as a list of Web sites visited, the paper said citing current and former employees.

The company also limits Internet access and blocks social-networking and video sites, according to Gabbard.

As part of the surveillance, the retailer last year had a long-haired employee infiltrate an anti-Wal-Mart group to determine if it planned protests at the company’s annual meeting, according to Bruce Gabbard, the fired security worker, the Journal said.

It is unclear whether the technician was able to sort Mr. Barbaro’s calls from those other Times reporters might have made to Wal-Mart since all calls from the newspaper’s New York office register on caller ID screens as a series of numeral 1s.

The focus of any criminal investigation might be on the text messages and the pages transmitted near company headquarters by people who were not Wal-Mart employees; the technician made those interceptions using his own personal radio-frequency equipment.

”He captured all of the text messages that were within a range of his equipment,” Ms. Williams said. ”Some of those messages had key words in them that he was watching for. Those were captured and put into a separate file or bucket from the others.” She declined to provide details of the messages or motives for those actions by the technician.

Wal-Mart wages

December 17, 2006

Wal-Mart pays an average of $10 an hour, which is more than many of its unionized competitors offer. And typically when a new Wal-Mart store opens in a poor area, it receives thousands of job applications for a few hundred openings. So Wal-Mart’s retail jobs of $7 to $12 an hour, which the unions deride as “poverty wages,” are actually in high demand.

maybe save $2,300 by shopping at Wal-Mart?

December 17, 2006

One study, by the economic consulting firm Global Insight, calculates that Wal-Mart saves American households an average of $2,300 a year through lower prices, or a $263 billion reduction in the cost of living.

Of course, you could save the most money by buying less stuff.

Hillary Clinton worked for Wal-Mart?

December 17, 2006

Even Hillary Rodham Clinton has joined in the political fun. Never mind that she served six years on the Wal-Mart board during her time in Beltway exile as an Arkansas lawyer and, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, was paid $18,000 per year plus $1,500 for every meeting near the end of her tenure. Most recently, Mrs. Clinton returned a $5,000 campaign contribution from Wal-Mart to protest its allegedly inadequate health care benefits. Maybe someone should ask her if she’s returned her director’s pay, with interest.

store manager was wrong?

December 17, 2006

The manager of the Stratford Crossing Wal-Mart, Tony Spears, referred all questions to a 1-800 number. He promised that a real person, not a computer, would handle the call. He was wrong. A prerecorded voice promised “Your call is important,” but a journey through a half-dozen options failed to yield either a human or a relevant option for a comment.

company policy

December 17, 2006

Wal-Mart management has definitely taken notice of our petition. We got their attention. They called me into the office and disciplined me for supposedly violating company policy, but I asked them to show me in the policy what exactly I had violated, and they couldn’t point it out.

Wal-Mart versus unions

December 17, 2006

Some former Wal-Mart managers say the hardball tactics are standard company policy. Jon M. Lehman says he left Wal-Mart on good terms last fall after 17 years as a store manager but now works for the UFCW. He recounts how he called a Bentonville hotline in 1997 after finding a flyer that said: “This store needs a union” in a bathroom at the store he managed in Hillview, Ky.

The response was a mini version of what occurred in Las Vegas four years later. Three labor experts swooped in from Arkansas to show anti-union videos at mandatory employee meetings, says Lehman, and scoured personnel files for dirt to use against union supporters. The labor experts grilled him and other Hillview managers about potential troublemakers, and the store trained surveillance cameras on suspect workers, he says. Now, as a union organizer, he recently noticed that a store in Scottsburg, Ind., sprouted a multitude of cameras after he began talking to workers there in July. Wal-Mart declined comment on Lehman, although a spokesman says that the 15 cameras installed in Scottsburg have “nothing to do with union activity.”

Wow, one piece of paper and one phone call seemingly caused Wal-Mart to spend thousands of dollars.

400 dollars per square foot?

December 17, 2006

Richardson said it would be a good move for Wal-Mart to shut down its fabric departments as the company usually expects its stores’ to generate $400 in sales per square foot, and fabrics generate only $100 per square foot, she said.

Maybe they could try making the fabric areas more male friendly and pulling them out of distant store corners.

Wal-Mart versus “union leaders”

December 17, 2006

Here are some quotes from
I wanted to save them here for historical purposes.

What’s At Stake

Working families choose to shop at their neighborhood Wal-Mart stores to save money, save time and to get everything they need in one convenient place. And associates choose to work at Wal-Mart because it offers good wages, solid benefits and a chance at a career. But some union leaders in Washington, D.C. don’t want working families to benefit from Wal-Mart. These union leaders want to tell us — America’s working families — where to shop and work.

The attack campaign waged on Wal-Mart by union leaders has one central goal: to unionize Wal-Mart’s workforce. Though they claim to want to help Wal-Mart become a better company, organizing the company’s 1.3 million U.S. associates, and collecting the millions of dollars in dues that would come along with such organization, is the sole motivation of these critics. That’s why they’re going after this company. With tens of millions of dollars at their disposal, they are determined to waste member dues to attack Wal-Mart. And they’re doing so while thousands of union jobs are disappearing and while union members shop at Wal-Mart in large numbers to save money. That’s wrong.

Despite this barrage of criticism, working families everywhere know what the unions won’t acknowledge: Wal-Mart is good for America’s working families. Working families continue to shop at Wal-Mart and line up by the thousands for jobs at Wal-Mart stores because Wal-Mart continues to save working families money and provide good jobs with competitive pay and affordable health care. It really is time for the union leaders to let working families decide where to shop and work.

Wal-Mart also brings much-needed jobs to America’s communities, affordable health care to American families, and generous donations to charities across the country.

blame Julie Roehm?

December 11, 2006

Here is a quote from a December 8, 2006 New York Times article by Michael Barbaro and Stuart Elliott entitled ‘Wal-Mart Fires Marketing Star and Ad Agency’:

Several weeks ago, Ms. Roehm courted controversy again when she oversaw production of a holiday TV ad, known inside the company as “Sexy,” that portrayed a husband and wife discussing racy lingerie in front of their extended family. The ad drew customer complaints and was immediately taken off the air, a person involved in the matter said.

I wonder if Julie Roehm is also responsible for the Wal-Mart television commercial that appears to show a husband using a digital camera from Wal-Mart to sneakily take a picture of his wife in the shower; and then the wife squeals.

I think that I might have seen the underwear commercial, but I don’t remember it. I would be interested in seeing any of the controversial commercials. If you know where they can be viewed, leave a link in a comment.