General discussion

What IS that giant sucking sound?

http://money.canoe.ca/News/Economy/2005/02/09/925527-cp.html

Wal-Mart Canada places ad in Quebec newspapers to vaunt strength of employees

MONTREAL (CP) - Wal-Mart Canada took out a full-page ad in several Quebec newspapers Monday, telling its employees they are the "cornerstone" of the company.

The retail giant's move came after its decision last week to close a Quebec store where unionized employees were seeking a first collective agreement.

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Comments
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(NT) (NT) Wal-Mart management?
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(NT) (NT) YOU are Correct, Sir!
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It sounds more like

Canada's union scrambling to figure out how to tell those employees that the union cost them their jobs.

TONI

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I guess I was mistaken

I thought Wal Mart placed the placed the full page ads.

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They did.....but

>>>>>The union representing the 190 employees at the Saguenay store blasted the ad, saying it is insulting to talk about the company finding the last few days hard when workers are losing their job.

"They've been threatening this closure ever since we got the accreditation," said union spokeswoman Marie-Josee Lemieux.

"How can they now say they (employees) are its biggest strength?>>>>>

Unions don't like having to eat crow over the fact that they pushed for something that they thought would 'break' WalMart.....and start the ball rolling for the USA unions to do the same. They didn't figure on WalMart shoving back.

WalMart's ad clearly, to me, indicates that they blame the unions and NOT the employees in this.

TONI

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Response
WalMart's ad clearly, to me, indicates that they blame the unions and NOT the employees in this.

They blame the union so they are going to put their "cornerstone" employees out of work.


What's WalMart taking about the "unions fault"

The store is not profitable I thought thats why they were closing the store.

Or is it JUST A COINCIDENCE that the workers happen to be joining a union?
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(NT) (NT) well your a union lackey how else would you see it
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(NT) (NT) Is that you Mark?
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not me i never was a union memeber

your the one waiting for them to let you wrok.
so as i see it your trying to show us how great they are .
i worked all the time i wanted never had to worry about strikes and such.

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I was wondering if it was you because
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Zingo, JP. C'est bien vrai et le mot juste ici.

Mais il est un laquais de la droite.

Rob, my forebears were French but that was in the 16th century, Boyter

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Say, Rob...
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(NT) (NT) No problem Angeline, happy to.
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Zingo JP, Its quite true and the right word

But he is a lackey of the Right.

Rob, mes aieux etaient Francais mais ca c'est dans la seizieme siecle, Boyter

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One more time....
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I was teasing Angeline, I translated the French from the

first message into English but translated the English from that same message into French. I was just playing.

Rob

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That's why Walmart doesn't want unions.
I work 16 weeks a year because I can't earn enough in 15 weeks to get by on.

That really helps the Canadian economy doesn't it? Of course, if the government pays for everything, the natural inclination is a permanent vacation.
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Wondering

If working only 16 weeks out of the year qualifies you to collect unemployment benefits for the other 36 whereas 15 weeks doesn't? And if you are paid by the union, are unemployment benefits covered by the union paying into it (like USA companies have to) or are they exempt in Canada?

TONI

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Response
http://www14.hrdc-drhc.gc.ca/ei-ae/ratesc.htm

Specific information on regular benefits for the period of
February 6, 2005 to March 12, 2005

Number of hours needed depend on unemployment rate in your region.

I've been many weeks without Unemployment benefits or a job.

Unemployment is paid 1/2 by the individual and 1/2 by the company that they happen to be working for at the time (not the union)
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But if you are working

for the union and not specifically a company on that company's payroll, does the union who issues your paycheck pay into the unemployment benefits program?

I'm really trying to understand how you believe that unions are a good thing based on your experience with them and how many weeks out of the year that you are unemployed. How can anybody have job security, backed by a union, with only three months of employment during a year and honestly think this is a good thing?

TONI

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Response

When I'm working the employer pays me directly weekly. Each check,I pay into the unemployment fund (run by the government) a certain amount based on my wages. The employer pays the same amount to the government. The employer sends to the government my Unemployment decuctions along with his amount.

When I am laid off the employer isssues a paper stating how much I paid into UI and the number of hours I worked. I file for UI with the government and they process my claim.

In todays world there is no job security. As I stated in other posts, many other union brothers and sisters have travelled across the country for work. I have also travelled for a job. The union has found jobs for us across the country working out of other union halls.


Some people live to work, I work to live.

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But wouldn't you

e better off to take a non-union job if one was available working nearly or all fulltime hours rather than only working 16 weeks out of the year with a union pay scale job? Even if you took a non-union job that offered more steady work (even 26 weeks or part-time is 6 months or better rather than 3), you could still maintain your union status by continuing to pay your dues. Are you able to take another union represented job at a contractor's company if one was offered to you? Or are you locked into working only through the union 'company' as you are now?

TONI

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Response

When you work construction work the contractor usually has a few people that they try and keep working. Sometimes (often) they don't have enough work for their regular employees and these employees have to take "time off". Which means they go home and sit around and wait for the employer to call them. These people are in the union, but are being sneaky, by not reporting back to the union hall and saying they are out of work. The employer has these people work overtime when the work is busy and they bank their hours so when there is no work they draw pay from their overtime.

I am not supposed to "find my own job" however the company is allowed to hire a number of individuals to be part of management and direct the work force. So the company could call the hall and ask for a specific person to be dispatched.

part time jobs are not guaranteed

Construction work in my area is "Feast lor Famine"

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I spend

the rest of the year spending the money I earned in the 16 weeks I worked.

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As I said, that's why Walmart doesn't want unions. The steel

industry in the US gave in to that kind of union demand in the 60s. The steel industry in the US is essentially out of business.

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Wasn't part of the problem
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It wasn't so much that they didn't keep up

with technology....they processed the steel for screw manufacturers, car parts, etc. and those jobs were going overseas with cheaper labor costs way back in 1973. The steel industry were heavily run by unions, demanding more and more salary increases and more and more benefits until the industry couldn't keep up financially and still keep business coming in that wasn't being demanded anymore. It's just like the furniture industry now (and the garment industry just a few years ago).....it's cheaper to import finished furniture and garments made overseas than it is to make those products here anymore.

And nearly all of the garment industry (except a few here in a south) and nearly all of the furniture companies are unionized. The garment industries are actually importing goods to do the 'finishing' work on them, like sewing name brand labels on......when they used to do the whole job start to finish.

Even a low paying job that used to include healthcare benefits and a retirement plan was better than no job at all when you unionized, got that high dollar paycheck (who knew it would only be a temporary situation at the time?), lost everything else the company used to provide for you, then lost the job itself because now you are priced right out of the market.

I can't believe that a union such as you describe actually puts you into a position to where you can't even LOOK for another job on your own though....Sounds like it used to be (and may still be) in some foreign countries where the government decides at your birth what you will be when you grow up and gears your entire education around that decision......and puts you to work when it's time.

How can you praise a union that stops you from working 36 weeks out of the year??? I'm scratching my head trying to understand how that is a GOOD thing.

TONI

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Response

you can't even LOOK for another job on your own though...

As I stated in another post, union members and companies are not abiding by the contract so both sides are hurting the other when the work situation is bad.

It doesn't stop me from working, many times there is no work in the trade I'm qualified to do. If there was work I could work if I wanted to.

Many of the other members of the union work for themselves at the trade when they are not working for a company. This upsets the small contractor as union members are taking work away from companies.


IIf I wanted to I could get my contractors license, an start my own business and work for myself .

As I stated I don't mind only working a few months a year, I've always enjoyed that fact.

Mind you, a couple of times I did work for up 16 months straight.

How long do you think an employer would keep me employed if I told him, when he hired me, that I would like to take 6 or 8 months a year off?

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(NT) (NT) just to let the people know why stores closeing
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NOT
http://money.cnn.com/2005/01/13/news/fortune500/walmart_critics.reut/?cnn=yes

The company spent $500,000 to help defeat a California ballot measure requiring larger employers to pay for health care coverage for workers. But California lawmakers have said they will hold hearings to investigate allegations that Wal-Mart burdens the state with an unfair portion of the retailer's employee health-care costs.

A company spokesman declined to say how much Wal-Mart is spending on the new advertising campaign, which is designed to boost the morale of employees who face criticism for working at the giant retailer.

http://money.cnn.com/2004/10/05/news/fortune500/walmart_meeting/index.htm

"What am I doing? I'm walking through stores every week, understanding what's happening at the customer level," said Scott. "In addition, I don't meet with fans. I have meetings with people who don't particularly care for us to understand why. We're going to run great retail stores, but we also have to address the social issues."

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