Saturday, September 26, 2009

The following series of documentaries has been brought to Molly's attention via the site of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW). For more on Wal-Mart see Wake Up Wal-Mart, Wal-Mart Watch and Wal-Mart Workers Canada. Here's the video show....
Five years ago CNBC's David Faber took an unprecedented look inside the world's largest retailer. Since then, much has changed. A brutal onslaught of lawsuits, intense criticism and a plummeting stock price have resulted in re-invention at the largest company in the world. Today there’s new leadership at the top, major store renovations and a new found focus on environmentally friendly policies.
So far, it looks like Walmart’s new image campaign is working. While many companies are cutting back or going bankrupt in the midst of recession, Walmart continues to grow -- outperforming its major competitors.
But are the changes Walmart has undergone substantial ones… or merely slick public relations ploys? And what challenges does the giant retailer face as it continues its aggressive expansion?
CNBC's Emmy Award winning anchor and reporter David Faber investigates The New Age of Walmart.

*** The World's Largest Retailer
Walmart is the nation’s largest employer with 1.4 million workers in the U.S. and up to 30-thousand new hires annually. But the company’s low-cost operating model may be threatened by proposed legislation that would make it easier for unions to organize. A store in Miami may possibly become the first unionized Walmart in the U.S.
One on One with CEO Mike Duke

*** Walmart’s Extreme Makeover
Walmart discovered it had a big problem: it was losing up to 8% of its customers as a result of negative publicity. The giant retailer undertook an extreme makeover of its public image and its stores.
Walmart’s full scale overhaul

*** Expansion Controversy
Walmart has more than 4,200 U.S. stores and continues to expand. Often, residents are bitterly divided over what a new Walmart will mean to their community. As powerful as Walmart is, community protests can still delay plans to open a new store for years or kill a project entirely.
A Town Divided – Ellenville, NY

*** Going Global in China
China’s robust economy, growing wealth and a marketplace of 1.2 billion people present a huge opportunity for companies looking to expand, and Walmart is taking notice. There are more than 250 Walmart stores in China, and that figure could one day surpass the number of stores in the U.S.
Take a tour with the new head of Walmart International, Doug McMillon

***Scouting Expedition
Have you ever wondered how Walmart decides where to build a new store? CNBC joined one of the company teams that secretly traverse the country -- and the world -- looking for new places to plant the Walmart flag.
The search for the next Walmart

****Walmart’s CEO Mike Duke
59-year old Mike Duke is the fourth CEO in Walmart’s 47-year history and made his debut at the company’s 2009 annual meeting. Duke believes Walmart is the “largest family in the world." CEO Mike Duke takes David Faber inside Walmart
Meanwhile, here's another item from the CBC about the final court decision about Wal-mart`s decision to close their store in Jonquière Québec because their employees decided to unionize. All that I can say is that the `compensation`should be as high as possible. In criminal law- which this should be - it`s called the 'deterrence effect' on sentencing.
Wal-Mart loses Quebec Labour Board ruling:
CBC News
Former employees at a Wal-Mart store in Jonquière, Que., could be compensated for having lost their jobs after a decision to unionize.

The Quebec Labour Relations Board ruled Tuesday it was illegal for Wal-Mart to lay off 190 workers in April 2005, shortly after they sought union accreditation.

In his ruling, arbitrator Jean-Guy Ménard said the company had not justified its decision to dismiss its employees.

Ménard said Article 59 of Quebec's labour code protects the rights and working conditions of employees following their request for union accreditation.

United Food and Commercial Workers union local 503 president André Dumas welcomed the ruling.

"It shows [Wal-Mart] is ready to take whatever it needs to get the union out of one of its stores," Dumas said.

Though most of the former Wal-Mart employees have found new jobs, Dumas said it took some of them months to do so — one person still has not found work.
Wal-Mart disputes ruling
The company has already confirmed it will appeal the arbitrator's ruling.

"If Wal-Mart had just wanted to close the store … that store would have closed from the moment that it became certified by the union — but that's not what happened," said Andrew Pelletier, Wal-Mart Canada's vice-president of corporate affairs.

The employees received union accreditation in Aug. 2004, but Pelletier said the store only closed eight months later. (That`s actually fast for a managerial bureaucracy the size of Wal-mart-Molly )

Wal-Mart initiated multiple bargaining sessions after the accreditation, Pelletier said.
However, he said there was "no way" the already struggling store could meet the union's demands. ( Yeah, I'm sure- Molly )

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