Walmart Will Take Away Your Sad, Meager Benefits For Daring To Say The Word ‘Union’

  you like me you really like me!

what if they just read it instead?Fun fact of the day: some Walmart workers get benefits and vacation time! We did not know this, but apparently some of them do, and if they’re super attached to health care and time off, well, they best not be saying the word “Union,” because it might all go away.

Walmart staves off unionization attempts in its stores by telling workers who ask about forming a union that they may lose benefits and vacation time, a potential violation of American labor law that could further inflame relations between the company and workers who picketed its stores on Black Friday and have been attempting to organize.

Nice situation you have there, guys. Wouldn’t want anything to happen to it, would you? Of course not. So just don’t ever ask to get a living wage, or for your fellow workers to get a living wage, and you can hang on to your meager vacation time and benefits. That’s fair, right? It sure is! Remember the golden rule?

Walmart has been opposed to unions since Sam Walton opened his first store in Rogers, Ark., in 1962. These days, “we have human resources teams all over the country who are available to talk to associates, and we will get questions about joining a union,” says David Tovar, a spokesman for the company. “We would say: ‘Let us remind you of all that Walmart offers, and of what might go away. Quarterly bonuses might go away, vacation time might go away.’ ”

It might just…go away. Where would it go? Not sure, but somewhere that is “away,” where you can’t have it.

[ThinkProgress]

Share This
 
Related video

About the author

Kris E. Benson writes about politics for Wonkette and is pursuing a doctorate in philosophy. This will come in handy for when they finally open that philosophy factory in the next town over. @Kris_E_Benson

View all articles by Kris E. Benson

Hola wonkerados.

To improve site performance, we did a thing. It could be up to three minutes before your comment appears. DON'T KEEP RETRYING, OKAY?

Also, if you are a new commenter, your comment may never appear. This is probably because we hate you.

99 comments

    1. widestanceromance

      If I need something I can only afford from Walmart, I refuse to need it. Damnit, I miss those cakes I liked, though.

          1. SuspectedDemocrat

            Or that guy standing in line in front of me yelling about EBT cards and how he works for a living.

  1. SorosBot

    That's not "a potential violation of American labor law", it is a violation of American labor law, one that sadly almost never gets enforced and so employers feel free to routinely violate.

    1. Baconzgood

      What what what. You mean the government sides with companies instead of labor?!???!!! When the hell did this happen? Next you'll tell Baconz that the government prefers to support an obsilete cold war military industrial complex over an effective stratigey to combat modern warfare?

      (P.s. sorry about the bad spelling and typos, I've been drinkin'. But the snark is there)

      1. SorosBot

        It will often side with companies, and the laws are primarily enforced via the employees filing complaints with the government, which usually followed by the employers firing them; which is also illegal, but very rarely enforced. Especially in a system where an employer can fire someone for any reason unless it's specifically illegal, making it very easy for the employer to make up some excuse for a firing that really was for a prohibited reason.

    2. bikerlaureate

      True "vacation" pay that has been earned cannot be retracted.

      There's probably a couple dozen lawyers crafting language that makes this "benefit" different. And conditional.

      1. shelwood46

        Vacation and sick days can expire, though, right? I've worked for a bunch of places where it reset at the beginning of every year.

        1. bikerlaureate

          Sick leave is completely arbitrary. (One hopes that the rare company that says it will pay something for unused sick leave, will actually follow through…)

          What used to be known as "vacation pay" has to be paid out if it isn't used in the required timeframe. It seems depressingly likely that the places where it was "reset" before you used it (?!?) used different terminology.

          1. shelwood46

            Wouldn't put it past them. Also too, actually using your sick days was a negative category on my evaluation at one place. Evil fucks.

        2. Biel_ze_Bubba

          Well, yes, sick days certainly "expire" – to be replaced by another year's worth. Paid vacation days are a different matter, since you gave the company more work than was bargained for. That's where a union comes in handy.

          And by the way, the boss knows who's got good attendance, and who's been out "sick" exactly 12 Mondays a year, every goddam year since the day they were hired. As one manager put it, it's the best measure of "attitude" he knows of.

  2. CrunchyKnee

    If I were an "associate" I think I'd have to burn down some Wal Marts ala Office Space. "Urmm, that's my stapler…"

  3. UnholyMoses

    If we as a nation had anything resembling a soul, Walmarts would be devoid of customers and their profits would just "go away."

    Sadly, for far too many of us, cheap Chinese shit is more important than a living wage for our fellow citizens.

    **sigh**

    I find myself once again hoping that the Mayans were correct and all this shit ends Friday.

    1. SayItWithWookies

      Why are you people goading me? There's the winter solstice that day too, you know — we could all look forward to that, since the amount of daylight starts increasing after that. And we could all use more daylight, right? We don't have to go on and on and on about Mayan calendar coming to an end and some related hype about something-or-other, do we?

    2. James Michael Curley

      Friday! Friday! Waddya mean Friday? I just agreed to have my year end bonus put off until January.

  4. Pithaughn

    Oh wow, maybe that fella that tricked Acorn could disguise himself as a union activist and get a walmart manager to say something that he wouldn't even have to edit to be incriminating.

  5. SayItWithWookies

    Gee, why are people so angry? I'm sure it has nothing to do with many of them seeing no prospects for the future besides a life of increasing hardship on a dwindling payroll at a thankless job that's just one step up from daily torture.

    1. PopeEdgardo

      Yeah, but what about the lavish retirement they'll have by putting all their discretionary income into the 401(k) plan.

  6. PinkoPopulist

    What walmart employee is stupid enough to walk up to Walmart corporate HR lackies and say "hey, I'm thinking this union thing sounds pretty good"?!?!?!

    Still though, you're probably better off without Walmart "benefits" any way. I mean I heard from some guy named Romney that they're just cold giving away free health care at emergency rooms. So there's that…

  7. Antispandex

    Walmart associates, why do you associate with these fuckers? If they could fuck you out of your fucking, they'ld fuck you out of it. Fuckers.

  8. James Michael Curley

    About ten years ago we went into the first Walmart I had ever been in. The cashiers had these badges which were somewhat temporary and had a large number on them. Ms. Curley did not have her glasses and could not read the smaller print under the number which said 'days I have cashed out without a cash drawer error.' or something like that. When she asked me what the number was for I told her it was the number of days before that cashiers green card expired.

    Years later that same store was cited for hiring undocumented workers. Of course Walmart said it was all the fault of the contractor they hired to find workers.

  9. snowpointsecret

    Seriously, Wal-Mart and all these places like it are total fucking assholes that don't deserve to be on the same planet with people with any sort of mental capacity.

    Sorry, someone just royally pissed me off and it's probably better to take it out on Wal-Mart than make the situation worse.

  10. Joshua Norton

    But on the brighter side of Walmart, you can purchase the exact same gun that was used in the latest massacre. I'm surprised they haven't used that as a promo in any of their Christmas ads.

  11. Wile E. Quixote

    I just heard that WalMart will now start to arm all of their human resource teams with AR-15s in case they have to defend their associates from union organizers.

    1. James Michael Curley

      And in all that wind there never was an accident where her habit was blown up over her head exposing he Nunnderwear.

  12. snowpointsecret

    I take it these benefits are sold in the "Fuck You, You Fucking Fucks" department. This probably means something different to us and the workers than it does to Wal-Mart, though.

  13. elviouslyqueer

    I do actually feel sorry for the Wal-Mart workers. In my current (small, Mississippi) hometown, Wal-Mart is one of our biggest employers, so if it's not here, then a lot of people are royally screwed. So these poor (literally) folks are busting their ass so that a bunch of already super-duper nouveau riche white trash get to substantially increase their net worth and/or build pretentious museums in the middle of fucking nowhere.

    In short, fuck these fuckholes.

    1. Biff

      Same situation here. I live outside a town that never really had much of a soul for the walmartians to consume, but at least we had some "other" stores to choose from. Now that we no longer have many choices that don't involve a round-trip of at least 130 miles, I almost feel bad about not supporting the workers, who had no choice in employers anymore, either.

  14. Joshua Norton

    ‘Let us remind you of all that Walmart offers, and of what might go away. Quarterly bonuses might go away, vacation time might go away.’

    Is this person not aware of how negotiations work? If Walmart unionized, those items would probably be first on a list of things that they wanted included in their contract.

    Duh.

    1. PinkoPopulist

      I had this reaction, but I also thought…why would the Waltons stop giving themselves quarterly bonuses just because some poors unionized?!?! That doesn't make much sense…

    2. bikerlaureate

      "Might" is the key word here.

      Fun fact – employers in Florida are not required to give employees an unpaid lunch break.
      So that might go away too.

    1. MadBamaJama

      Except that any discount you receive as an associate shows up on your W-2's at the end of the year as income. I found this out from my mom, who use to be a WalMart greeter. She had no idea this type of policy isn't normal.

      Just another reason to hate those fuckers.

    1. Negropolis

      You'll only be able to keep them out for so long. They'll eventually find their way into Staten Island or Queens, trust me. NYC is lucky that it is more populous than many states and thus has a law department large enough to keep them at bay, but they'll sure as hell eventually try to get one in city limits.

  15. PinkoPopulist

    Also, I love the Walmart statement "quarterly bonuses" and vacation days might go away…right…because generally when people form a union they bargain for less benefits than they had in the first place…

  16. el_donaldo

    I bought something at Walmart the other day. They had this bagging carrousel with plastic bags on three sides and they bag your stuff and give it one third turn so the cashier can be bagging the next person's stuff when you're picking yours up. Confused the hell out of me. It was like they were playing three-card monte with me.

    1. slowhansolo

      Think about how many people, totally their fault, in their rush, who completely forget to rotate that thing and leave without one of their sacks of shit.

      Tell me it's not intentional.

  17. Baconzgood

    Hmmmm. Asking, no, demanding for a living wage and 3 weeks paid vacation time after 5 years of labor will risk your earning min. wage with no paid time off job.

    Yeah wallfart. Watch these people NOT pick up union reading materal on their way to their section 8 housing leaving work.

    Jebus! Wall mart is worse than Frick and the railroad barrons of the 1800's combined. Well almost.

  18. WhatTheHeck

    So if I walk into a WalMart and shout “Marriage should be a UNION between one man and one woman,” I’ll get thrown out.

  19. owhatever

    You ask about unions? I want to remind you of possible Second Amendment remedies available on Aisle 38.

  20. iburl

    I decided I hated Wal-Mart ages ago, but still sometimes went in there, until my neighborhood tried to keep them from moving in and they did anyway, I have never since set foot in one, and if I need laughs, there is still the peopleofwalmart.com website.

  21. christianmuslin

    They are in the process of bringing not one, but six, to the Nation's capital. Currently they exist only way out in the boonies. Gun sales should be a big item since there are no gun shops in DC proper currently.

    1. Dudleydidwrong

      I think that the DC government made sure that in the contract for any Walmart in DC there were to be no gun sales. Probably doesn't mean much as I'm sure that the Walmart Legal Weasel Department has ways to get around such "formalities," including the process they used so well in Mexico.

  22. Slim_Pickins

    "The deal or the door" makes labor relations so simple, even hillbillys from Arkansas can manage it.

  23. PopeEdgardo

    A bit off topic, but from NYT front page story today:

    Wal-Mart wanted to build in a certain location in Mexico. But “the town’s elected leaders had just approved a new zoning map" that prohibited commercial development in the area.

    “But 30 miles away in Mexico City, at the headquarters of Wal-Mart de Mexico, executives were not about to be thwarted by an unfavorable zoning decision. Instead, records and interviews show, they decided to undo the damage with one well-placed $52,000 bribe.

    “The plan was simple. The zoning map would not become law until it was published in a government newspaper. So Wal-Mart de Mexico arranged to bribe an official to change the map before it was sent to the newspaper, records and interviews show. Sure enough, when the map was published, the zoning for Mrs. Pineda’s field was redrawn to allow Wal-Mart’s store.”

  24. Negropolis

    Did you see what her benefits and vacation time were wearing? They were totally asking for it. To flirt with unions makes you slutty.

    But, seriously, and the right dares to talk about union "thugs" and strong-arm tactics? I'll take a union "thug" over a very real and present Walmart thug and day of the week.

  25. Trinket

    Yes. Because "You will not get paid vacations" said no fucking union EVER.

    (I could be wrong about this. But I can make up for it by betting that any shitty-ass quarterly bonus Wal-Mart pays its indentured servants would be rendered irrelevant by the average salary of a unionized Wal-Mart work force.)

  26. Warpde

    Wal-Mart "Workers"?
    No,no, no, no.
    Jesus fucking titty Christ……
    Get it right will ya…….
    They are and will always be refereed to by Wal-Mart owners and management as "Assholeciats"
    Sorry…"Associates"

  27. ttommyunger

    The unspoken but understood contract between W. and its employees is: Let's fuck each other out of as much as possible without going to jail for it. I simply cannot believe a company can remain competitive with an arrangement like that, but here we are.

Comments are closed.