28 September 2005

Why I Don't Shop At Wal-Mart

So a lot of you know that I don't shop at Wal-Mart. Some of you may not know this. I make noises about Chinese labor laws and children suffering and the poor here and there. But I realized today the real reason why I don't shop there. It's personal for me. They union bust. The corporate heads at Wal-Mart hates unions. And for me, that's personal. You see, my grandfather was a Teamster. Not only was he a Teamster, but he was framed for his union building activities in the 1930's (when my father was just a small boy) and put in jail for a year. My father spent that year in an orphanage. Eventually the fact that he was framed became public knowledge, my grandfather was pardoned by the governor of Massachusetts, and my father's family was reunited. People who bust unions do all sorts of evil things and I will not support them in any way. It's that personal.

P.S. For some reason I feel compelled to add this ... that because I'm against union busting, does not (in a weird way) make me pro union. I'm in favor of people organizing themselves to protect their interests, but I think that the time when unions were able to be effective at the national level has passed.

3 Comments:

Blogger Schuyler said...

I think the reason that unions aren't that effective any more is directly related to their intransigence, stubborness, and refusal to make sacrifices for the common good. At least in the auto industry. How can a company compete globally when they are paying forklift drivers 6-figures? I drove a forklift for $12/hour. Of course, you good argue that global competition is just driving us all to the bottom. But still, the unions are going to have to realize that something's gotta give.

9/29/2005 09:19:00 AM  
Blogger aBhantiarna Solas said...

I agree with that. I just hate the activity of union busting. The refusal of a company to allow workers to organize and protect themselves. However, on the other hand, I recognize that the large unions (the Teamsters, the AFL-CIO, etc.) have rendered themselves useless by (as you say) their intransigence and stubborness. Yet another great example of a large institution completely outliving its usefulness and continuing on to exist only for the purpose of its own existence.

9/29/2005 09:26:00 AM  
Blogger kate said...

Union stuff aside -- and you both make good points -- WalMart IS evil. (full disclosure -- I was there last night, but under protest, and the significant other's wallet came out, not mine.) It's dismal on the face of it -- ambiance, anyone? -- but it's just plain evil. They bust entire COMPANIES.
http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/77/walmart.html

9/29/2005 02:01:00 PM  

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