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story.lead_photo.caption Protesters outside of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. headquarters in Bentonville on Wednesday hold cardboard cutouts of shirts with the number 1,239, the number of garment workers killed in Bangladesh recently during a factory fire and a building collapse. The protesters wanted the retailer to sign an accord to improve worker safety in Bangladesh. photo credit John Magsam

FAYETTEVILLE — “A line has been crossed,” Gisel Ruiz, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Wal-Mart U.S., said Wednesday to some 6,000 of the company’s U.S. employees attending a preshareholders meeting at Bud Walton Arena. Ruiz was referring to the presence of members from the union affiliate OUR Walmart, or Organization United for Respect at Walmart, during the week of activities leading up to Friday’s Wal-Mart shareholders’ meeting. The group is made up of paid representatives from the United Food and Commercial Workers International union (UFCW) and Wal-Mart employees who have joined. OUR Walmart has conducted two protests so far this week, one Monday and another at noon Wednesday, both in front of Wal-Mart’s home office in Bentonville.

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Business, Pages 25 on 06/06/2013

Print Headline: Union ‘plain wrong,’ Wal-Mart exec says

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  • LevitiCuss
    June 6, 2013 at 7:49 a.m.

    Ethically-run businesses don't have protesters walking up and down the sidewalk in front of their home office. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. For those who maintain unions are not necessary, may I point out the recent garment factory fire that killed 112 people in China. The union movement in this country was started due to a garment factory fire here. Same as it ever was...same as it ever was...

  • MenLR2
    June 6, 2013 at 8:12 a.m.

    It is all about money .... United Food and Commercial Workers International union (UFCW) is looking to make money if they can make WM emp's union. United Food and Commercial Workers International union (UFCW) does not give a Rats Butt about anyone unless they can make money off of them. So the world turns.

    "The union movement in this country was started due to a garment factory fire here" .... No longer an issue, as labor is over priced in America and those jobs are sent overseas. So the union did a great job helping the employee's, lose jobs.

  • drs01
    June 6, 2013 at 8:37 a.m.

    Just like buggy whips..unions have served their purpose and are now just run by a bunch of fat-cats who are preying off their members. See the story about the $156,000 NY fat-a@* union boss who got voted out of office. he's the face of union leadership. We live in a country where everyone is subject to protests, even the funerals of our dead soldiers. So it's unfair to paint WalMart with such a broad brush.

  • NoUserName
    June 6, 2013 at 8:49 a.m.

    I worked UFCW growing up. Did nothing but take advantage of us part-timers for the easy dues. I also recall seeing those that were getting close to being considered full time get hours cut to avoid it. And I also recall that my grandmother was a greeter @ WM at the same time. Odd, then, that she was actually treated better than I was. That's union for ya.

  • Whippersnapper
    June 6, 2013 at 9:39 a.m.

    LevitiCuss says... June 6, 2013 at 7:49 a.m.
    "Ethically-run businesses don't have protesters walking up and down the sidewalk in front of their home office."
    ~
    That's rich. We live in the United States of America, where anybody can protest anything. Using your logic, all of the businesses anywhere that had Occupy protestors near them are unethical.
    ~
    Ultimately, life is a pendulum. In the 1800s, worker rights were non-existent. The workers organized and the result was better working conditions. By the 1980s, it had gone so far in the other direction that companies couldn't compete if they used union labor. Product quality and productivity were so low at unionized U.S. factories and the companies had no way to correct the problem. Companies started having trouble, and power has been swinging away from the unions in the interest of keeping the companies alive. I have worked union and non-union jobs and I prefer non-union.

  • DeeMacLady
    June 6, 2013 at 10:10 a.m.

    “A line has been crossed said,” Gisel Ruiz, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Wal-Mart U.S.,
    Those at the meeting were handpicked.
    Handpicked indeed ... a bunch of hogwash ! I remember when I was hand picked by the associates 2 years in a row to attend and they based it on my standing up for them and being a dedicated employee for the company and customers . If you thought in your mind that I didn't get to go, then you're correct. The employees never has the final say about who goes. It should be based on stock share owned(assets) as an associate, not about how many you can kiss.
    Ruiz continued,“ They’re paid to disrupt this week’s activities, and that is just plain wrong.”
    Really! "Everyone is paid to be there Ruiz."
    Wal-Mart brainwashing technics comes from the government military. As an associates you are made to do CBLs (Computer Base Learning) about why Unions are bad and against everything the company stand for, then you must sign a document stating that you agree with Wal-Mart and you can be terminated if you talk Union.
    OUR Walmart contends, among other things, that the retailer doesn’t pay its employees enough for them to live without government subsidies, doesn’t provide predictable and dependable schedules and tries to silence workers who speak out about work practices
    ~All of the above is certainly true. The company helps to contribute to the down spirals of America. " I watch them do this thing call 'hire and get paid' from the poor on a regular bases". It starts off during the application process. They ask if you have received or getting any public aid such as SNAP(food stamps for the old timers), Medicaid, Unemployment, and or TANF( Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) in the past 2 years? If you answer yes to any of them, you're then called in for an interview. Guess what? If you pass the drug test and the criminal background check ...You get the job. That all sounds great.... Then you go to work everyday on a sliding schedule as a part-timer on paper but you're doing more hours then told, after which you must then cut them at the end of every pay-period to stay off overtime. (doctors hours on call). If you keep that up and you can pass all your CBLs and you're lucky... after 90 days ... you get a permanent position. This all sounds so good.. You are a contributing member of society. You pay taxes now and you have just helped the rich get richer.. Ding dong..
    This is how... The company gets a "Big" government tax break for hiring you because you were on one those programs I mentioned above. Last I checked it was twenty-five hundred dollars($2500) per associate. The company only gets the money if you stay 90 days. Can you imagine how much that is for Wal-Mart? With a turnover rate so high...it's a perfect crime against humanities . It's legalized stealing and welfare for "Big" businesses. If this loop hole is closed,the 'hire and get paid' will save the taxpayers billions.

  • DeeMacLady
    June 6, 2013 at 10:23 a.m.

    The United Food and Commercial Workers International union (UFCW) is a joke, as well as any other Union when corruptions is involved. They didn't help the workers in El Dorado, Arkansas to keep their jobs when the poultry industry decided to close the plant in-order to drive up chicken prices. All those families are still suffering behind that one. No good representation in that area at all from government elect officials. Sad... They were mostly ...you got it right if you sad, "Black".

  • DeeMacLady
    June 6, 2013 at 10:31 a.m.

    OUR Walmart, or Organization United for Respect at Walmart will only be effective for the workers if they can pay their bills out of their union dues when they lose their jobs @ WM . "Money talks and bull crap walks in my book... you can trust any of them".

  • MenLR2
    June 6, 2013 at 10:43 a.m.

    Library must have opened..... She's Baaaccccckkkkk

  • DeeMacLady
    June 6, 2013 at 10:48 a.m.

    Bill Simon, president and CEO of Wal-Mart U.S. - and mentioned as a possible contender for Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s job as CEO - threw out some numbers at the meeting that painted the life of a Wal-Mart associate in a more favorable light: 300,000 workers have been with the company 10 years or more, 75 percent of the store management started as hourly employees and the company promotes about 160,000 people every year.

    “There’s no more free shots at us this year,” he said.“There’s no more free shots at you. We won’t stand for that, so we’re doing something about it.”

    He then played a commercial from the company’s new national television and digital advertising campaign. The spot featured a 19-yearold hourly associate named Nathanial who planned to continue working at Wal-Mart after college and hopefully manage a store someday.

    “People shouldn’t just assume that you’re not smart enough to know what a good job is,” Simon said, referring to the anti-Wal-Mart coalitions. “There’s nothing wrong with having entry-level jobs.”

    Simon’s first job, at age 16, was washing dishes at a Mexican restaurant in Hartford, Conn.
    This all sounds good.... Hogg (double g)wash!!!
    The sad thing is now, WM have cut a deal with the Obama administration to hire "military" service people who can't get jobs. The company will get more money if they hire these brain washed men and women. This is more governmental waste and welfare for Corporate American giants like Wal-Mart. Ticking time bomb just waiting to explode... BOOM!

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