Wednesday, December 17, 2008

War on Wal-Mart Worthless

There is a war being fought right here in Canada and the States. There are no guns, no anti-tank mines, and no one – as far as I know – has died.

It is a war against one of the largest retail giants in the world – Wal-Mart.

Those against the mighty retail box store chain, claim that when Wal-Mart moves into an area, all the other retail outlets either go out of business, or are forced to cut prices so low, they just can’t make a profit and they too will eventually die out.

They claim Wal-Mart mistreats their employees, discriminates against women and minorities, and won’t let them form labour unions to ensure they are treated with respect.

I think this war is worthless.

I have never worked for Wal-Mart and I don’t know anyone who does. Though I’ve been a customer of the mega-retail giant for some time.

If anything really is dangerous about Wal-Mart, is that shopping there is highly addictive. Because they have so much of the things I want or need, and the prices are always exceptional, I always end up coming out of the store with far more than I had originally intended too. I may go in thinking – THINKING – I just need item X, but I often come out with items X, Y and Z.

Maybe it’s just a show, but all the Wal-Mart employees I’ve encountered in my many visits seem happy and good natured.

Being the person that says: “welcome to Wal-Mart” isn’t the most glamorous job in the world, so it shouldn’t be any surprise that it doesn’t pay like a that either. Though that’s one of the biggest complaints about Wal-Mart – that they pay their staff minimum wage, and don’t treat their employees with much respect.

Retail jobs in general don’t pay much more than minimum wage – most people who do work these jobs are those still in high school, or those without any education whatsoever.

One of the anti-Wal-Mart ads I saw in the States shows an employee on one side, and the CEO and President of the company on the other. It shows his salary, and poses the question to this employee – how long will it take her working at Wal-Mart to earn the same salary as the CEO?

The answer was over 1,000-years – which made the employee cry.

Though this was a clear manipulation of emotions and tactics, similar to what you’d see in a political campaign full of smearing and name calling – which makes sense, because those who created the ad are former political campaign directors for some major U.S. political figures.

Very rarely do the employees ever come close to earning what the CEO earns – the day the guy working the mail room starts making what I do, it is time to look for another line of work.

No one holds a gun to your head telling you where to work. If you don’t like where you work, can’t earn enough to support yourself or do want to make as much as the top executives – change your life. Go out and get a better education, a better job, a better income.

Don’t attack the people that did hire you just because they pay you the lowest of the low. You knew what the wages were when you applied for the job. You knew what the job was – or should have – before applying to do it.

I’ve worked for many companies over the years, and I know the good from the bad. If Wal-Mart really was mistreating people to the extent these anti-Wal-Mart nut bars claim, there would be far fewer Wal-Marts, because there would be far fewer people willing to work at them.

Now if we could only lure those so hell-bent against Wal-Mart to use their protest skills somewhere needed – like ending this nonsense about bailing out the auto sector, or even ending the so-called collation government take-over planned in the New Year. That would be time well spent on a worthwhile cause.

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