Reblogged from : Motley News and Photos
Gawker has published several stories told by various Wal-Mart workers about the conditions, treatment, and incidences they have endured at the Sam Walton-founded store. The store that was – in it’s early years before the children took over – a place one would be proud to work at and stocked with American-made products as well as promoting family-values and ethical work treatment.
Not any more. I’m sure Sam Walton has turned over in his grave a thousand times by now.
Here are a few tales pulled from Gawker’s “Life at Wal-Mart: The Workers Speak” Vol. 1, Vol. 2, and Vol.3. I have edited some only due to length so that this post does not turn into a novel. Please check out the Gawker articles for more details and stories. All stories are completely anonymous, including the location.
For my mother
I am leaving this in it’s entirety. What a loving child had to watch her mother endure all because it was about the only job in their small town.
“I am emailing this story of behalf of my mother, who worked at Wal-Mart in a small town in Texas for 25 years. She recently retired, and is the happiest she’s ever been.
In addition to the anti-union stance, no overtime pay, and the newly instituted salary cap (for cashiers, stockers, etc, not management), and declining-to-the point-of-uselessness health benefits (cost goes up, benefits go down), I watched Wal-Mart suck the soul out of my mother.
“My mother was a single parent, and in our small town, Wal-Mart is about the best one can do to support a family. For a while, it paid the bills. Then the cut in hours came. My mother, usually scheduled 40 hours per week, was cut to 25, and was told it was because “Wal-Mart isn’t making any money.” She and her co-workers would work five hours per day, and still be expected to do the same amount of work they would normally do in eight hours. Then came the threats: “If you don’t do what you’re supposed to do I WILL fire you and find someone who can,” said the store manager.
“Sprinkle on top of that some of this: ‘You know, you’ve been here so long, I could fire you and pay two people for what I pay you,’ said a manager directly to my mother and some of her co-workers who had been there 20-plus years.
“Another younger employee at this Wal-Mart, also cut to 25 hours, was forced to work multiple departments in her 5-hour shift, and was told if she didn’t she would be fired. This young woman, also taking care of her children by herself and fearing being fired, attempted suicide. She survived and was asked to sign a document saying she wouldn’t sue.
“If you could make it through the day either not being harassed or withstanding it, the job itself was horrifying. My mother worked in softlines (clothes) and would have to take care of/dispose of/clean up the following: used tampons in the dressing room, piles of clothes people urinated on, baby diapers, dirty underwear, dirty clothes switched out for newer ones. And that wasn’t even the worst. Grocery recently had to deal with a massive rat infestation, and the stockers were told they couldn’t use anything other than a damp towel to wipe rat turds off the produce. (I’ve heard this problem was fixed, but still, nasty.)
“No one says anything. Everyone fears being fired. And if they are fired, they don’t have any other options for work in this small town. Even if people finally find courage and complain to the head office, and a ‘clean-up crew’ comes to visit the store, things always go back to the way they were before the higher-ups paid a visit. That’s what Wal-Mart does: wipe out the other businesses, scare people into submission, reinforce the idea they have no options, reap the profits of low-cost labor.
I don’t know if you’ll even get a chance to read this, but I know my mother never felt she had a voice, and it’s nice to let someone hear her story. We’ve heard people say that complaints about Wal-Mart are unfounded. They aren’t. This is the life people are sometimes forced to live.”