Sunday, August 17, 2008

Wal-Mart death watch.

It’s just a matter of time (via that evil, leftist media whore the CBC).

A Quebec arbitrator has imposed a collective agreement on Wal-Mart for the first time in the world's largest retailer's history.

The arbitrator released the decision Friday on the contract for eight workers at a tire-and-lube garage at a Wal-Mart store on Maloney Boulevard in Gatineau, just across the river from Ottawa. The workers are represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers Canada.

Guy Chenier, head of the local representing the workers, said the union is delighted with the deal, which gives the workers raises averaging 35 to 40 per cent effective immediately, as well as more vacation.

One would normally think this is good thing, yes? Workers being paid what they're worth and all that rot but in the corporate mindset of Wal-Mart — not so much.

A spokesman for Wal-Mart said the company is unhappy with the decision and it is "incompatible" with the company's way of doing business. Wal-Mart is the biggest company in the world, according to the Fortune 500 rankings, and recorded nearly $13 billion US in profits in 2007 — yet its front-line employees make less than $20,000 US a year, on average, and the company has been cited for union-busting tactics by government agencies and independent watchdogs.

Friday's precedent-setting contract is the first ever imposed on the Arkansas-based retailer by an outside agency.

In 2005, Wal-Mart closed a store in Jonquière, Que., the same day Quebec announced an arbitrator would impose a collective agreement. Wal-Mart said the decision to close the outlet was unrelated to the government announcement, but the incident has led to the union's speculation that the Gatineau Wal-Mart store will close in the wake of Friday's decision.

Anyone want to start a pool on when the Gatineau store gets shut down due to some trumped-up unfortunate reason like "poor profits"?


deBeauxOs said...

You mean, as in betting on which day in the coming week the announcement will be made?

Okay. I say Friday, August 22.

Oh no, scratch that. They won't want to close that store until October, to make sure the locals buy all their back-to-school crap for the kids at Wal-Mart. That's the strategy. Leech as much as you can from the local economy, then invent some trumped-up story, fire all the staff and close the store.

Paladiea said...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008.

Dr.Dawg said...

Too soon. They want to be able to disclaim such connections. October 30.

Paladiea said...

But if they're going to wait that long, then they might as well get the Christmas rush in, so Jan 2 becomes a viable date.

Dr.Dawg said...

You're right. January, after the sales.

deBeauxOs said...

I stand by my October date, early October to be precise. There's likely a timeline attached to the court-directed order and I'd be surprised if it gave Wal-Mart much leeway to block the installation of the union shop. They'd want to avoid stocking that store with Xmas merchandise if they want to shut it down.

A much larger Wal-Mart opened last January just off Autoroute 50. When they close their Maloney Boulevard location in October, they'll likely claim that their customers will be better served by the newer store.

Noni Mausa said...

I dibs a fire, mid-November. Thus they get the insurance, AND get to "fire" the staff ha ha.

What do I win?