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STORE WARS: When Wal-Mart Comes To Town


Talkback Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Read the transcript of the June 8, 2001 online chat with filmmaker Micha X. Peled, Al Norman, founder of Sprawl-Busters and Keith Morris, Community Relations Manager for Wal-Mart, Inc.

This comment area is closed to new submissions. Visit to continue the conversation about this film.


For those of you who think that Wal-Mart is a great store, you need to do some research. I'm currently a college student and I'm working on a final report that deals with business ethics. I wanted to do a 10 pager report on Wal-Mart's ethics and I have found so much negative information that it literally outweighed the positive facts. Watch this video: Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price. Here, you'll see facts about the company. There is also another video that speaks positively about the company but comparing both videos on what is says is real easy to distinguish. Very little was said about how it helps your community and what it has done to contribute to needy families. Here's one fact; One year, the Walton family gave less than 1% of their earnings to help families in need. Bill Gates (owner of Microsoft) gave 53% of his earnings to needy families. How does that sit in you stomach? Another fact: Because Wal-Mart employees can't afford healthcare due to their low wages, several o f them are on some sort of Government aide. This costs the American taxpayer over $1,557,000,000 to support Wal-Mart employees. That's just the tip of the iceberg. So for those of you who think that Wal-Mart is a good company, think again and do the research. Don't be lazy, just surf the internet and find facts.


With all the problems in the world and especially the kind we have in Ashland, Va. WalMart should be the least of our worries. Why can't we redirect our thoughts and minds on the kids in Ashland who are not getting the correct education that they should because they are not as good(wealthy) as another child, they don't play sports for the school and lets not forget because there parents don't kiss up. I realize this sounds harsh and apologize if it offends anyone but the facts are there. We get so worked up on the little things that you cannot change and neglect the things that we can. What about the poeple living in the woods. Yeah, don't act like you don't know about them. What about the kids that live in apartments that need major repairs and the landlords don;t have to fix them. What about the high taxes that we have to pay. What about the small business retailers that can't put up a sign on there sidewalk on in front of ther business to promote themselves without Ashland/Han over charging them by the day or a flat fee to do so or just tell them no. We talk about WalMart hurting our small town businesses add yourself to same list you have them on. I think we really need to start giving WalMart a break because I was aroung when the pink Flamingos were around and guess what. I see most of the members shopping at WalMart. Give me a break. WalMart has done nothing to you. Start working on things in your own back yard that you are neglecting to see. What about real issues.


I work at walmart and am honestly confused by some of the things that were said against this company... not being allowed to take breaks, huh? Well, I am usually a garden center associate, but I also know how to be a cashier and to work in hardware. Just last night I was called from the garden center to check ppl out... well, I was approached by a CSM (customer service manager) who asked me if I had my second 15 min break of the night. When I hesitated a little bit because I couldn't remember right away (I was quite tired) if I had gotten my break or not, she said take another 15 just to be sure! That really sounds like not letting people take their breaks to me! Hello? As far as wages, I'm making more here than @ my last job which I TRULY hated! That was a locally owned business and the owner was one of the meanest, most snotty woman that I have ever met!

Kerry S

Unfortunately I have been hired in at walmart, not because I want to...I dread the thought. I live in a small southern town, I can only work at night...that only leaves walmart. I have to help with our mortgage. The only good part? I won't have to be there very long, I do photography & hopefully business will pick up FAST because I nearly want to vomit at the very thought of working at such a horrible place with such terrible business practices. I do not shop there and will not, just very sorry to have to work there.


I live near 2 communities which Wal-mart has invaded.They have destroyed the local business districts in both towns . The one thing that people have got to realize is that Wal-mart is nothing but a giant conveineance store.America doesn't like going to more then 1 store to get their shopping done. They have broken the backs of the small business men not to mention the suppliers of these businesses.What on GODS green earth gave them the aurhority to set the prices that their vendors must sell to them at??? If their vendors would band together and not sell to them at their set cost Wal-mart would be in a bad way. I have a very simple outlook on this matter,"If things look to good to be true they probably are going to bite you in the ass some day",,, SO AMERICA BEWARE!!!


I live near 2 communities, which Wal-mart has invaded. They have destroyed the local business districts in both towns. The one thing that people have got to realize is that Wal-mart is nothing but a giant convenience store. America doesn't like going to more then 1 store to get their shopping done. They have broken the backs of the small businessmen not to mention the suppliers of these businesses. What on GODS green earth gave them the authority to set the prices that their vendors must sell to them at??? If their vendors would band together and not sell to them at their set cost Wal-mart would be in a bad way. I have a very simple outlook on this matter, If things look to good to be true they probably are going to bite you in the a-- some day" SO AMERICA BEWARE!!!


I just finished reading Sam's autobiography Made in America. It really is quite inspiring to read his point of view. He addresses a lot of the arguments made against Walmart such as the killing small business criticism. It seems quite obvious that Walmart has gone downhill since Sam's death--maybe not in profit margins, but definitely in the way that employees are treated and the volume of imported goods. If you know anything about Sam's background, you know that he remained a humble man, never extravagant even after he became a multi-billionaire. He stressed being equals with his employees--not only theoretically, but also in practice. For example, he always rode in coach. Reading Sam's book, you can get a good feel for the kind of guy he was. He wasn't in the business for the money. Rather, he enjoyed keeping busy and treating his customers and employees right. It seems to me quite obvious that the current CEO (Sam's son) and the rest of management have lost sight of that goal upon which Walmart was founded. Walmart needs to get back to its roots, or else, as Sam vows in his book (as his main reason for writing the book), that he will come back to haunt the greedy/lazy rich of his future generations. Read the book for is quite enlightening as far as entrepreneurship goes!


I have worked for wal-mart stores for a long time and still do I was hurt there almost 3 years ago while I was pregnant. The type of things wrong happened over time from heavy lifting and all came together while I carried my child and got worse. I went to the doctor found out what was wrong tried to tell my employer and they told me because I could not give them an exact date they would not help me. i explaned to them my injuries could not have been known with an exact date they happened over time they did not care and did nothing. I was also in management at the time and my manager told me do to my injuries that i needed to step down and also that a woman with children did not need to work that type of positon and I needed to learn my place. Then he told me to try and prove what he said that no one there would belive me and he was right they didn't he also said he would do anything in his power to take my position away so I could either step down or he would do it for me. so I reluctantly steped down and went on leave. When I came back I required certian hours for my new child and my other 2 children and light duty for my injuries they worked with me at first then began cutting my hours saying that they needed me when they needed me and if I could not work that then they didn't have any hours availible for me.

Jennifer J. Garets

If you don't like the sales practices of Walmart or box stores, don't shop there. If you don't like the employment tactics of these companies, don't work for them. But don't take my right away to choose these stores to shop at. It is business and if you choose to shop at a store that charges more for products then do it but don't stop me from finding the best value for my hard working dollar. We are opening a Walmart locally and I am so happy. Yes traffic needs to be worked out but in our area in California there isn't many large companies hiring. What was it like when Safeway/Kroger came in and took business away from the small independent grocers. Get over it people. I know many people who work at Walmart, enjoy the work, pay, and benefits. Is it for the person out for the hightest paying, highly benefited employment - no. So don't work there.

Scottsboro Alabama

There is so much to talk about when it comes to walmart and its service that I would need several hours to tell you! But long story-short.....trashy,bathrooms always filthy and when they do clean them its at prime shopping time when they are needed worse!Bad service~1/2 checkouts open and the store full,bad service,wait 10 minutes at deli to get waited on and still have not, bad service,poor employee attitude~put my card in as credit, when I told her I wanted cash, she told me I could go to ATM for that! Double prices>sign says one price, watch your receipts cause they charge another(higher price). Sign in Service area and around says satisfaction guaranteed or your money back...YEAH RIGHT! Yes I can go to another store and shop and I do "I dont mind paying higher price" for better American made products!!!!!!!

Rich Kinney

(Previous message see 1/27/05)
On August 1,2006, the Ballston Town Council voted 5-0 to reject Wal-Mart's application for approval to build a 203,000 square foot/1013 parking space supercenter at the north end of this small Saratoga County town. The location borders the Village of Ballston Spa which has experienced a steadily improving retail/commercial renaissance. It is a great victory for the many residents who organized and battled this mega-retailer's proposal. At the same we recognize that this is only the first round with WM and other big box retailers. The justification for this vote was the inconsistency between WM's proposal, and the vision the majority of residence have for the future of their town, as expressed in the master plan and in a 2005 community survey.

Steve Pope

I work in a store that sells vitamins. I am paid to sell products for health . I have to battle Walmart on a daily basis. Walmart sells half of a diet product and sells it for more making people think they are getting a full month. We sell complete month at a better price. The diet and nutrition industry is only hurting themselves to allow products being sold at Walmart stores. Walmart will not stop till they takeover every item a store sells and shut everyone down!


I am an ex employee of Walmart. I was injured while on duty and was instructed by an assistant manager not to fill out an injury report because I did not go to the doctor. Six months later I was injured again and was instructed not to go to the doctor until corp. said I could. After returning to work with doctor orders to put me on light duty due to the injury and pain meds I was on, it never happened. I worked in pain for almost another year being treated like cr-- from upper managment. They cut my hours and acted as if I were faking the pain. So if you are in the situation don't give up, Walmart may be big but we can fight them and we can win. I met Sam Walton and his Grandson a few years before Sam passed away. The man I knew wanted nothing less then the upmost respect for his employees and we get nothing even close to that. If Sam knew what has become of his family store he would be flipping in his grave. God Bless you Sam Walton, until we meet again.


this new way they have of making schedules is not fair, they claim that it goes by sinority but that is not right. also they claim that the schedule is coming from Bentonville but we found out that the store manager makes the schedule, assisted by the personell manager. I have been in my store for 6 years and people who have been there a lot less time than i have are getting the hours they want when they want them. We have a lot of prejudice because we are located in the deep south and even the black people in our store dont like the black people who are in management. So its seems to be the same all over. I'm sure if Sam Walton could see what is happening to the company he built he would be very upset over the way it is being run today.

john davis

FRUIT OF THE LOOM employes 900 people in Rabon Gap GA... Walmart just canceled their contract for a couple of pennies difference in cost. The result is the 900 people are out of a job, and the community will never recover. Way to go Wally World! your a piller of the community. I never have shopped at Walmart, & never will.

Free at last,free at last,thank god'amighty, free at last. After beating my head against the beast of wal mart employment for almost 3 years, it's finally over! Of course,what passes for management in said establishment isn't to thank for it,it's me the lowly FORMER employee. Instead of 'management' correcting the problems that lead to my 'crash course' corrections, they ignored them all. And what were they, you ask? Favortism,incompetence,office politics from hell, promoting people less qualified for non-posted job openings,non-accountability for violations of store and company policies. In a nutshell, saying one thing and doing another. Always,and I mean ALWAYS, at the expense of the employee!!! But no more! Free at last! No more being ashamed of where I work. I'd sooner admit to being a meth junkie than telling somebody I USED to be a WAL MART drone. WAL MART is the single worst,two-faced,backstabbing, unethical,money grubbing company I have EVER worked for. Period. Bar none. End of conversation. But no more! Free at last, free at last, thank god'amighty, free at last!!!!!!

i think that you should not build wal-mart. i am in 6th grade and i understand that if wal-mart is built it will effect the catawba watershed. this is the watershed we live in and drink water out of and i want to drink good water not bad. This is why i think they should not build wal-mart!

I live in "Wally world", Walla Walla, WA, outside of College Place, WA where the walmart store has been built. My son worked there for about nine months. He received a write-up for reading the schedule wrong one night. He left one hour early and by the way, no one explained how to read the schedule to any of their employees. Although he did fail to call in on one sick-day, he was told he was fired; and totally was schocked. But what really shocked him was that he was being escorted out of the store and told that he could not return for 24 hours. His manager told him that walmart did this because somewhere in one of the stores, a fired employee had taken one of the golf clubs and gotten violent. There treatment of their employees is taken back to before the equal right of employees and the unions fought for overtime for everyone. That is true on the overtime. They will have to cut their time back, and then it is like not being paid for the overtime which is illegal in this country. I am thinking about getting my son a lawyer and pursing their actions of treating him like a theif or common criminal.

I believe that everyone has a choice of where to shop. If you don't like Walmart, then don't shop there! It's as simple as that. Until I can find another store with such convenience, as in hours of operation, selection, and competitive prices, I will continue to shop at Walmart. People always talk about how Walmart ruins the mom and pop stores, and the historic downtowns... well this would be the problems of the business owners and the cities. With some better hours and prices, more people would shop locally first. The average person gets od work about 5 or so. If all the stores are closed, where else are they supposed to go but to Walmart. The historical downtowns that are supposedly destroyed by big corporations should be protected by the city governments. Some beautification efforts from the owners and the city would bebefit all who visit these smaller cities.

Gordon F.
Is it really necessary to point out that only government can censor? A legal corporation exercising control over what they do or don't sell is not censorship. In other words, please find another alleged Wal-Mart atrocity to gripe about.
By the way, after reading many of the comments posted by Wal-Mart employees, a very simple observation comes to mind: if the place is so bad to work at, don't.

BOSTON - Backed by abortion rights groups, three Massachusetts women sued Wal-Mart on Wednesday, accusing the retail giant of violating a state regulation by failing to stock emergency contraception pills in its pharmacies.
The lawsuit, filed in state court, seeks to force the company to carry the morning-after pill in its 44 Wal-Marts and four Sam Club stores in Massachusetts.
The plaintiffs argued that state policy requires pharmacies to provide all "commonly prescribed medicines."
Wal-Mart carries the morning-after pill in Illinois only, where it is required under state law, said Dan Fogleman, a spokesman for Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart.
Fogleman said the company "chooses not to carry many products for business reasons." He would not elaborate. But in a letter to a lawyer for the plaintiffs, a Wal-Mart attorney said the store chain does not regard the drug as "commonly prescribed."
CVS, the state's largest pharmacy chain, stocks the pill at all of its drugstores.

Jan. 31, 2006... A former Wal-Mart Stores Inc. vice chairman who was a protege of founder Sam Walton pleaded guilty to fraud and tax charges Tuesday, admitting that he stole money, gift cards and merchandise from the world's largest retailer.
Tom Coughlin, 57, faces a maximum of 28 years in prison after pleading guilty to five counts of wire fraud and one count of filing a false tax return. He also could be fined $1.35 million.

I recently was injured on tje job at Wal-Mart and let me tell you ,they treat you like c**p! They put me on light duty being a people greeter. I was then released from there Dr. to return to regular duty, which I tried and could not do.The management makes me feel like I'm faking my injury! This injury would have not happen if we were working with a full crew to begin with!! We are always working short handed. They also have you working more then eight hour shifts and when you reach 40hrs. they have you cut your time so you don't go over, to me it's the same as working off the clock. Iknow I'm being watched to see if I'm doing anything wrong,so they can get something on me to fire me. I have heard many of horror stories on people who have been injured this has happen to. I hope I am one up on them because I contacted a attorney as soon as this happened. The only thing is they have alot more money then I do! Know anyone looking for a good manager?

Champasak Laos
I think Wall-ma-part is very cheap and very good quality for the money. I like the idea of a one stop shop. The one here is as big as Cub Foods. The only thing I don't like is there is supposed to be a spotted Tictus (catfish for a tropical aquarium)per the advertisement on the display and they never have them in the tanks. The return line is exceptionally slow. A lot are wandering around with seemingly nothing to do. Still this store almost has everything. In a few years I imagine the will have more tools and lumber and will put Menards and Home Depot to sleep also. Target and K-ma-part stink. Wallmapart seems to be the next "Bill Gates" or Microsoft of the future. All Hail to Sam Walton

Jury Awards $172M to Wal-Mart Employees
A California jury on Thursday awarded $172 million to thousands of employees at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. who claimed they were illegally denied lunch breaks.
The world's largest retailer was ordered to pay $57 million in general damages and $115 million in punitive damages to about 116,000 current and former California employees for violating a 2001 state law that requires employers to give 30-minute, unpaid lunch breaks to employees who work at least six hours.
The damages were originally tallied as $207 million after a court clerk misread the punitive damages as $150 million. The amount of punitive damages was later clarified.

Walmart supercenter on Palmdale, CA has an untasteful display of a five set of toy horses in an uneccessary position.
I entered the store through the retail doors area and turned about four aisles to the right, my daughter said "what is that" and giggle.
I am not a puritan but I believe we need to draw the line somewhere. "A place and time for everything"

As a new "associate" at WM i was appaled to find out that the highest pay raise, exceeds expectations, is not givin during the 90 day evaluations. So basically what this means is that no matter how hard you work during the 1st 90 days of your employment. . . you get a max raise of 40 cents. Thats a little something that the managemant neglects to inform new hires. . . untill their evaluations.

I think Walmart is the perfect place to shop. Walmart has lower prices than any other retailer they have almost anything you need and I never shop anywhere else. The employees in the Walmart store I go to are always friendly. I also think its wonderful that Walmart donated to the victims of hurricane Katrina. All of the stores in my area also had places for customers to donate money (I think this was a great thing because it gave everyone a chance to help). I think Walmart is a great asset to our comunities. With the holidays fast approacing you can bet I will do all my holiday shopping at my local Walmart!!!

My husband works at Sam'c Club, aka **** club. They not only treat their employees like crap, they treat their spouses the same way. My "free" membership card expired just about evey time I used it, their member services department is RUDE, and after seeing the manager I know where they get it from. You can be a model employee for years, but get hurt on the job and you will soon become the black sheep of the store. I will continue to do my shopping at COSTCO where I am treated decent, the employees have a union, and more importantly a back bone. The big box stores, Wally World aka Wal Mart and Sam's Club have brainwashed their employees into thinking they will shut their doors and they will all be out of a job if they go union. The truth is Sam's Clud would be up you know what creek without a paddle if they were union. The would no longer be able to treat their employees rudely, lock them in at night, God forbid there be a fire or emergency. They might have to kick in a little more for benefits to help get some of their employees off welfare.

Kathryn White
Hi there,
I just read that Wal-Mart contributed 1 billion dollars to the relief efforts. Absolutely amazing!

Texas Mom
I do support the grassroots group. I am the spouse of a Sam's employee. Yes they are crappy to their employees and I think it is shame that we have had to rely on government assisted healthcare for our kids because they do not provide affordable healthcare. The largest retailer in the WORLD should provide and take better care of their people. My husband hard worker that he is, has been recognized as employee of the month and year, and what did he receive? Either a $25 or $50 gift card to where else but Wal-mart/Sams. Wow, how about a raise of more than 40 cents. I have recently stopped shopping at Wal-Mart. Their prices are about the same as other stores, so why not help those places keep their jobs.

Shirley Huskey
My question is "Does Wal-Mart give to the community in proportion ot its income compared to other companies.

Sammy Ringer
Hi - Sammy Ringer from Maleny, Queensland, Australia here (pop 8000).

We have just fought a three year battle to stop Woolworths building a large supermarket (that we don't need) on an environmentally sensitive creekside block at the entrance to town. The platypus that lived there became our icon - but the larger ramifications of what Woollies would do to our village has been the backdrop to our battle. All cashed up, Woolworths are making a 'land grab' right around the country.

Not for the people of the small communities they are invading - for the shareholders.

We have lost, it seems.

But it's the battle only - Maleny is now taking on Woolworths nationally - and finding allies all around the country. Watch this space.

and I have to have it rubbed in my face everyday that is shaddred my dreams of what the city I live in could have had for fun, environment and to support the econmoy. They have 3 Super ones and 3 grocery and the Super Walmarts already sell the same products. It makes me think the people who own the store think everyone is stupid enough to not notice. There used to be one super store here built in 88 and Sams in the Central part of the city there was a big one and a small one since then also in another city south of here. They built a Super one in a city East of here and built one in a city West of here there was a Sams there to. Then they built one here and along came a new Mcdonalds, shopping Center, Chilies, and about to be a Sams. There could have been and amusement park, concert hall, park, bowling alley, arcade or something else like that. I notice two of the exact same Wal Marts with shopping centers, Mc Donalds, Wendy's, and Chilies. and a store inthe Northern part of the city now.I hope they go into Chapter 11 bankruptcy their stock plumits to hell. The innocent environment of the Earth suffers everyday and has been for the last years since they build stores left and right.

wally world and its gung ho employee policy of walmart is there for its for its workers is crap!. store #718 florida �has per shift a support mngr , assist store mngr , dept mngrs, co mngrs, and store mngrs and none of them have the foggiest idea as to what the others are doing .but let a problem arise minor or not and some poor associate will catch hell for it,while all this managment looks at one another and say's i didn't say that or i don't have any idea where that came from . you have supervisors that will tell you something �you'll get chewed for it and there kissing tail syaing well they must have decided to do it that way instead of how i told them knowing damn wellyou did it properly. also how can you control the climate ina store from arkansas our store averages 79 -82 degrees at 3am because we can't control the a/c even customers have walked out due to the heat . hey while im at it is it right to start aemployee out at 6.00 /hr at a 10.00-12.00/hr job i do floors at this store , our floors are rated best in our zone but i still cannot get a raise, merit raise , good job pin ,or anything because its not in our budget ,but our store does , �218,513.00 dollars a week in sales what doe's this say? our last bonus i got 256.00 but our store mngr got a 3 digit + bonus now who made it possible for this store to make these sales it sure wasn't the store manager soley but who got the huge bonus ?....

Richard Heckler
Wal-Mart does not support public education:

I have been an associate at Wal-Mart for over a year, and I have experienced firsthand some of its more glaring problems. I believe that these problems should be seriously considered by potential shoppers of Wal-Mart stores.

First, Wal-Mart expects you to do your job with little or no knowledge of the merchandise you sell. I have a little bit of informal knowledge when it comes to home electronics, video games, cell phones, digital cameras, and the like; electronics are a personal interest of mine. However, every single person working in the Electronics department, the Photo Lab department, and the cell phone booth in my Wal-Mart is forced to come for me for help, because Wal-Mart has not even tried to educate its associates about the merchandise it expects them to sell. One of the chief benefits of going to a specialty store for electronics is the greater practical knowledge the store's employees typically have; it's worth it to many to get a knowledgable opinion from a salesman, even if it means paying $15 more for a TV. Wal-Mart has to know this at some level, yet they refuse to educate their associates on their products to pretty rediculous levels. They have no real knowledge of features that are the major selling points of items in their store, and of course, they have no resources to glean that information from.

This flows into an interesting Wal-Mart strategy: Wal-Mart expects its employees to do everything themselves. From ordering new product to keeping up-to-date on fast-moving product innovations, all the responsibility is shoved down onto the shoulders of hourly, $7-8-an-hour associates. Wal-Mart even advertises this in employee areas of the store, with posters displaying this quote from Sam Walton: "By forcing the responsibility down in an organization, you force creativity to bubble up.."

The wages Wal-Mart pays its employees are substandard, despite the claims of the Wal-Mart manager that commmented earlier on this site. (It is interesting to note that his answer to accusations that Wal-Mart employees make $6-7 an hour was "our employees start at $8", with a total disregard for local cost-of-living expenses that differ widely across the country.) You see this phenomenon when you compare the positions at Wal-Mart to positions at other types of stores. For example, the average cell phone sales representative working at an independently-owned cellular agency makes close to $10 an hour plus commission, and many cell phone agencies are closed on Sunday. My store's booth is open twelve hours every day (nine AM to nine PM, and ten hours on Sunday) and its employees are paid less than $7 an hour.. and get no commission, of course, even though the store earns in excess of $200 for every cellphone activated (and we shoot for 4 activations a day). What this means is that in an average day for the booth, Wal-Mart spends about $168 paying three full-time employees for eight hours of work, but makes potentially $800 in commission. Sure, it spends some of this buying the actual phone; its subsidized two-year contract prices are the lowest in town. But, if other agencies pay their salespeople such wages plus commission, how are they able to do this when Wal-Mart isn't?

These two things have a very negative result for both Wal-Mart consumers and employees: every single employee in the store, from hourly associate all the way up to store manager, has an 'edge' of rudeness they cannot conceal when pushed even the slightest bit, so much so that the store is unique in this regard. Every single employee is quick to respond to someone questioning their knowledge in a negative manner, largely because the employee himself has been completely responsible for gaining that knowledge in the first place. When the hammer comes down at Wal-Mart, what results is the kind of cruelty exhibited by the desperate; it's remeniscent of the savage, uncaring children's behaviour in William Golding's Lord of the Flies. That sounds like an exaggeration, but it's all too unfortunately true, and it means the employees suffer stress maladies springing from their own cruel outbursts, and the shoppers suffer the poor customer service resulting from an unhelpful, vindictive and hyper-defensive staff.

Employees vitally need the support of their employers, for without it, they have no confidence in themselves, and are subsequently unable to support their customers.

Third, it is irresponsible on a very grand scale for that same Wal-Mart manager to claim that it doesn't make sense for the largest retailer in America to offer "industry-leading" health care benefits. The very position of BEING the number one retailer in America dictates the responsibility of the company to offer sufficient health care! Where will such low-paid employees get health insurance if not from their employer? Does it make sense, when the employees are paid lower wages, to keep COSTLIER benefits? Doesn't that constitute a one-two punch against employees seeking medical coverage?

I don't have any problems with Wal-Mart outside of the things they're actually doing wrong. But I think that the mistakes they continue to make, and their very callous, irresponsible treatment of their own employees, must be either addressed by the company or used in the decision making process of every potential Wal-Mart consumer, who may make the intelligent decision to take their business elsewhere.

mike smith
This message will be brief though I could write for quite some time. The negative news of WM has alot based on facts. I speak from personal experience. The bottom line with WM is money. Period. End of story. Any and all other considerations fall by the wayside.Ethics.common decency,courtesy,respect for the individual, 'earned' promotions and the list goes on and on.It's not what you know or how well you may in fact work. It's all about the money.

I,too, am a recent ex-employee of Sam's Club. I see this truly as an uphill fight, but have an answer, now. These types of corporations will flourish because they have the buying power to do all they do. They have the political and financial influences enough to pressure their way into communitys by promising all things that cannot politically be refused in communities. Lower prices are enough of a draw all by themselves, and one-stop shopping.When all other competition has been diminished the working force is at their mercy without protection of union representation. They squash such talk with threats of store closures(illegal as it is)but done none-the-less(Canadian and Colorado stores as examples). What employees don't realize is that they have all the power if they use it. "IF" they were to work and follow the company policy to the letter, keeping in mind workplace law easily found at local librarys, the structure of these businesses would crumble. They cannot operate doing the policy that they openly submit employees to. It would deteriorate Customer Service and force store management to an unbearable thinning of personnel. Employee non-union- union meetings could be organized to keep all hourly employees updated on what they need to do to stay out of termination offenses of company policy, and to use the Dept. of Labor as their foundation. Forms are provided to submit company offenses while employed and cannot be retaliated against punishable by the different Federal Agencies. Just be a specific "good" employee by keeping your company advised of their shortcomings in safety and laws being broken,like say being asked by management to stay past your 40 hour limit forcing them to reduce your weekly hours under 40 but paying you those hours as straight time on the following week because it was your fault that you knew you were not allowed to work over 40 hours. Or being scheduled as a one person operation in a OSHA dept requiring 2 person scheduling and penalized because there was no 2nd person quality control verification. No union dues would be needed, might even be able to pot luck these meetings, but this organized info-type meeting would save a lot of jobs and reduce a lot of the law suits in our courts in pursuit of fairness, thus saving everybody money and providing fairness in the workplace. Wish I would have known and had the common sense to do as I speak. God help them if I win my litigation. I might just take the job back to make them sweat, with the law on my side.

Ken Mills
Consumers will continue to shop at Wal-Mart due to their preferences for lower prices. If they actually had some benevolent love for their local stores, they would shop there and pay more for it.

As for employees, Wal-Mart owes them only the conditions and pay they agreed to. That is all. If you don't like the conditions or the pay, simply work elsewhere. That sounds pretty simple, doesn't it?

Everyone should feel free to "shop their consciences", but don't ask me to. Actually, I will. I will most definitely shop at stores that are staunchly anti-union.

The big box and chain stores have very much affected the way I shop. Now, I have better selection, and, on top of that, I pay less.

I have been an associate @ WM for almost 6 years. Does crap happen? Yes, all the time. Do most of us try to do the right thing? Yes, all the time.

Walmart employees outnumber any other, except for the government. That does not include the suppliers, who market their goods to WM, the trucking companies, who count Walmart Freight among some of the greater quantity they move, the City and County tax bases that receive tax payments from WM.

It's not a perfect company and we have no perfect associates. We are average Americans who for the most part give a hard day's work in exchange for a fair salary...contingent of course on our ABILITIES.

On the day I decide I do not like Walmart, it's policies, its goals and associates: I will quit and find a new job. That's what makes the country great! Freedom!

I am an x employee of Sams Club. I worked in the photo center for 4 years. due to sloppy training practices, and lousy managers, and cutting the budget, I was forced to clean out processors and printers and being over exposed to chemicals, I developed a rare disease that is caused from over exposure to photo developing chemicals. If you have worked in a Walmart or sams club one hour photo lab, and have gotten sick, please e-mail me, I can help you sort it all out.


Clyde M.
In America, consumers are generally free to choose the products and services they want. Stores like Wal-Mart offer a decent range of products at a low price due to sophisticated inventory systems and giant purchasing power.

F.W. Woolworth and W.T. Grants offered general merchandise like Wal-Mart. These chains dominated the first half of the 20th Century. However, F.W. Woolworth and Grants lost market share due to competition and mismanagement. K-Marts, Zayre's, Target, and Venture offered bigger stores in the 1960's through 80's. Most small chains are no longer around in retailing and it is generally agreed K-Mart and Sears (now one conglomerate) has lost its cache over the past twenty years. During this time, Wal-Mart excercised it competitive advantage and built market share.

As America progresses in the 21 Century, it is not merely a question whether Wal-Mart should expand into another small town. Rather, it should be how manufacturing must return to small towns. Too many towns are losing textile, automotive, durables, and food processing to Latin American and Asian nations that have substandard human rights records. Americans need good jobs at fair wages; however education must be the centerpiece. Investors must have return on their capital, thus we as individuals must seek the same in our lives. It is not easy.

In closing, Americans should realize that they get what they pay for when buying cheap merchandise. I prefer quality goods regardless to which store they are available. To succeed, mom and pop stores should focus on knowledgeable service and the best quality merchandise rather than price. Personally, I do not mind paying more at a locally based retailer provided I receive product education or additional service with or after the sale.

Sam Waterstin
Wal-Mart Escapes Criminal Charges in Case

By CHUCK BARTELS, Associated Press Writer

LITTLE ROCK - Wal-Mart Stores Inc. escaped criminal charges but agreed Friday to pay $11 million, a record fine in a civil immigration case, to end a federal probe into its use of illegal immigrants to clean floors at stores in 21 states.

A dozen contractors who actually hired the laborers for work inside stores for the world's largest retailer agreed to plead guilty to criminal immigration charges and together pay an additional $4 million in fines.

"This case breaks new ground not only because this is a record dollar amount for a civil immigration settlement, but because this settlement requires Wal-Mart to create an internal program to ensure future compliance with immigration laws by Wal-Mart contractors and by Wal-Mart itself," said Michael J. Garcia, assistant secretary for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

[Ed. Note: The full article can be found at ]

What i read on the here is right the open door policy is a joke. It sometimes works but with less of a chance unless you know people who are higher ups. We tried that approach (the cashiers in the front end) and because of the management of the front end being friends with store manager we were pretty much let to know we were not important enough to be heard. The regular workers are as much told to keep their mouths shut and just do as told. I quit walmart cause as a cashier i wasnt allowed to have breaks very often and lunches were late and often i was left on later than i was supposed to be and grumbled at when i had to leave early because i would go over 40 hours. I would not go back to walmart to work unless really desperate and most that stay either are fooled into thinking that they have it good or can't afford to quit. But unfortuately workers now day that are good employees are not cared about.

Jane Kaye
Much has been written/said/viewed about Wal-Mart, "The Evil Empire". Probably one of the best books written about it is, "The Wal-Mart Triumph" by Robert Slater. Mr. Slater authored "Jack Welch: The GE Way"

If you take the time to read The Wal-Mart Triumph, now available in paperback, you'll get an insight into how much more this global giant will shape the world for its own benefit. Additionally, you'll learn why Congress has recently acted upon a Bill that would eliminate Class Action Suits from being heard in State Courts, and would only be heard at The Federal Court level. Guess who's "buying off" our Senators and Congress Members????

Get a grip America. We are allowing all the big corporations to take the jobs from this country. It is the big corporate America that is taking all of our manufacturing into other countries and shutting down most manufacturing in America. Give Walmart some credit...they are still building in America. Gateway..overseas...textiles...overseas...any other average job that use to support many families have moved overseas. You know who is benefiting from these....corporate America. Not the working class but the ones making all the six figure incomes and getting all the government tax breaks. The middle class of America is slowly fading. All of our manufacturing is leaving this country but how much is actually coming back in. Walmart has no choice but to buy overseas...there is hardly anything left here to supply such a large chain. Here on the Outer Banks we have all the investors from larger cities coming in and buying vacation property for investment. There are no apartments or hardly any housing for the people that live here. Do we blame Walmart or Home Depot? No...we have to blame the big investors that have forced most to leave their home because their investments has made the Outer Banks the most expensive area to live in NC now. Because of rents of $1000 plus a month and the average home costs $250,000 to $300,000 to purchase now...the $10 an hour jobs can't support these families. Walmart & Home Deport helped the little guy here but still cannot hire enough help because of the big investor that came here and bought a summer home. They are shipping in foreign exchange students every year now and packing them in housing to help to have employees for our stores now. So leave Walmart & the chain stores alone. They are making money just like other companies least they have most of their stores in America.

Amberlee Jones
Is Wal*mart just living up to the American Dream? What is the American Dream anyways? I feel that is has now become to make the most money out of the least cost. Corprate america is living this dream. It's the dream of money and stomping over whomever gets in its way.In all reality for America, Money does make the world go round.

But let us look at the bigger picture, shall we? Eventually, this Wal*mart will take over the town. The people who work at walmart will not be able to afford the family owned buissnesses within the town. So thats buissness out of them, gone to walmart. Next would be the owners, due to the lack of demand and they would eventually have to shop at walmart. All the money would be sucked into walmart and the small town's ecomonmy would be corupted.

Why? It's because all the money goes back to the Walt's. It is so rare that the Walts would come to bring money back to the town, I would rather expect to die in an earthquake (I live in NE by the way). I will discribe wal*mart like a black whole, whatever goes in doesn't come back out.

And for the 4 Million that the city got, thats nothing. Let me explain. You give me 1,000 fish and I eat for a year, you teach me the trade and I eat for a lifetime. By them lacking the veiw on the bigger picture, they distroyed the town on a larger scale. The 4 million will only last for a short while.

Ok, I am done ranting about how people are distroying America... for now.




Wal-mart always brags that it gives back to the community. But does the amount that it gives equal the lost jobs of the community? WHAT HAPPENED TO "WE BUY AMERICAN SO YOU CAN TOO"? that was a great marketing strategy to get people in the store. (bait and switch). The only thing that I can find in wal-mart that's made in America is the building. And I imagine that is because they don't have a ship big enough to put it on.

I am extremely worried about the American people and how wally mart's tactics are going to hurt us. Isn't it true that they are in cahoots with home depot and major track home builders-they go in and buy land dirt cheap and then put up dirt cheap homes and franchised businesses? You could be in texas, washington, or florida and not really know where you are. I want to take a stand on stopping wal-mart and educating the public. The stupidity of the American people buying goods at a discounted discount needs to stop. I refuse to shop at wal mart. boycott walmart and spread the word

A little background on myself: I am a manager at a Wal-Mart store. I have been with the company over three years. I am only 26 years old and through five years of college and three years of heart and soul pouring work at Wal-Mart I have been promoted already twice. I deserved it because I worked tirelessly and my stores were and are successful in aspects of financials, community shopping experience, and repoire with local community as a whole. My internal associate survey scores proved to be very favorable. Wal-Mart has provided and rewarded me with nothing but opoortunities. Isn't that all what we want in a job?

I wonder if some of the statistics in this story came off of the UFCW Website or something. To say all workers at Wal-Mart make $6-$7.50 an hour is preposterous. The starting wage at my facility is $8 per hour. Very competitive for this market for retail. Associates receive fair raises based on performance (not seniority) after four months, one year from initial hire date and every year thereafter. Opprtunities for merit increases are also there for those who are deserving. Many hourly associates that have worked for me, some for as little as three years, do earn nearly sometimes more (considering overtime into account, which subsequently is often offered during peak times)than I did as a three year Assistant Manager. We get new associates all the time that left from the local regionalized chain grocery store, which is in the United Food Commercial Workers union, that started at $6, compared to our $8. Plus they had to pay union dues. They also griped about a union that, "didn't do anything for them" or "keeps that lazy supervisor around that does nothing." They enjoy the open communication with our management staff and endless opportunities. I have a guy who started unloading trucks a year ago that is already a 6-month Department Manager. You think the Kool-Aid Wal-Mart feeds these people is that strong? That it's the power of the "union-busters" that has kept Wal-Mart virtually union-free? Those statements are preposterous. Obviously there is a reason the associates don't form unions, it's because they like there jobs just the way they are. It's been proven time after time. Funny how Wal-Mart is the largest company in the world, also is not unionized. You'd think the fledgling union might want to capitialize on that? Union labor is at an all-time low, and the only way to turn it around is Wal-Mart. It's all about dollars and cents people. They don't care about the workers of Wal-Mart, all they care about is the money unionizing Wal-Mart would bring.

According to this report, Wal-Mart is the ruling conscience of China. Why should an American corporation, that is a vendor of these manufacturers, be responsible for the policies of the Chinese government. We give them the free pass because its cool and easy to bash Wal-Mart. It's the DEMOCRATIC thing to do!

Would it make much sense, from a business standpoint for a company with 1.2 million U.S. employees, to offer industry-leading heath care benefits? No, retail stores run on slim profit margins, and heath care offered by Wal-Mart is not really that bad of a deal when you trade the financial stability of the company for paying an extra $20 a month for your benefits.

Oh, and shame on all you world citizens who are able to save money on gas by going to Supercenters to do your one-stop shopping. Shame on you for being able to save on expenses because your grocery bill is only $85 instead of $125. Shame on you for being able to enjoy something extra for your child or wife because you saved $40 on groceries.

In closing, I was just told I had to work this weekend, which I was supposed to be off, because an executive is flying in to town. So trust me, the last thing I wanted to do tonight is defend the company. But I just can't resist deflating bull---- when I see it.

As carried in the Nashua Telegraph, Nashua, NH.

There is a quirky chain of local stores in New England known as Building 19. They buy fire-liquidation and other insurance goods from upscale stores, all sorts of stores, and sell it at a steep discount.

The local one in Nashua is on 'at will' land owned by another landowner, said land also including a good bit of sensitive wetlands.

Wal-mart wants to take over the property, demolish the building, and build a Supercenter, entirely bulldozing the wetland, and making fake 'new' wetland that the parking lot's oils and grease will drain into. Lovely, no?

They've even bought the Nashua city council and mayor. The mayor recently forced some others off councils for opposing this plan.

I am utterly sick of Wal-Mart's imperial destructiveness of unique local businesses, and this time, they're even willingly wanting to destroy an environmentally protected area.

Butch Easter
Walmart is the best example today of America's race to the bottom. They are masters at creating consistent shareholder wealth at the expense of working families.

This corporate behemoth uses it's shear size and marketing prowess to extract ridiculous price concessions from their suppliers which in turn, prevents the suppliers from paying a fair wage to workers. Walmart's reach is unprecedented and the net negative affect on working families has yet to reach it's peak.

A recent court case that I had read illustrated for me how this "family oriented" conglomerate will relentlessly chase the dollar. It seems that the wife of a store manager filed suit against Walmart to recover her husband's life insurance proceeds after his death. The woman had discovered that Walmart had actually taken out a life insurance policy on her husband with Walmart listed as the beneficiary. The term for this appalling practice is peasant insurance.

I have to believe that consumers will wake up to the fact that while Walmart's prices may be cheaper than most, the longer term costs to all working men and women in this country are just too high.

With the current commotion of Walmart wanting to build a 'superstore' right outside the village of Ballston Spa, comes the hope of some that this retailer will somehow miraculously turn the local economy around. To think that a retailer, with its promise of $8.00 an hour jobs, can somehow improve the communities of Ballston and Ballston Spa requires either a desperate 'stretch of the imagination' or just plain ignorance towards what Walmart will actually bring to the local communities. For those who think that this mega-retailer has any 'real interest' in the well-being of our communities or will actually benefit our communities in the long term, I would recommend taking a step back and thinking for a minute about the "big picture". Think about the quality of life most of us currently enjoy. Low crime, open spaces, a great place to raise children, friendly communities and reasonable access to many retailers just a short drive away. Should I mention a Walmart already exists in the towns of Saratoga, Glenville and Clifton Park? Now let's bring Walmart into the picture. The already busy streets of Rt. 67 and Rt. 50 will eventually become unbearable on any given weekend, thanks to the "progressive foresight" of Walmart and their narrow-minded supporters. Trips down these already busy roads will take longer and longer to accomplish. Our towns will soon inherit the intrinsic charm of an exit 15 or Rt. 146 that most of us like to complain about now. Once quite side streets in both communities will soon become new thoroughfares for those frustrated with the new found traffic nightmares, impacting the quality of life for residents on those once quite streets. More and more stores will start to pop-up along these two routes replacing homes that currently exist. Congestion will continue to worsen and the 'quality of life' that we currently enjoy in these comfortable communities will eventually slip away. Let's talk about the "economic benefit" that some feel Walmart has to offer. When I hear this argument, I'm guessing that the person who feels this way truly believes that a retailer or a group of large retailers will actually turn our local economy around. That somehow the low-paying jobs offered by these retailers will be suitable replacements for the manufacturing jobs that left our communities long ago. That someone making such a low wage will actually be able to "sustain" themselves in one of our communities. In Walmart's defense, the average amount they pay an associate is probably justified, since any "business-savvy" retailer is not going to deliberately pay higher than the going rate for a low-skilled position, especially in the retail sector.

Unfortunately, Walmart or any other large retailer for that matter will not provide the cure for a local economy that has long lost its manufacturing base. Walmart in fact, can be held accountable for a lot of the manufacturing jobs that have left our shores in the past decade and that should be "common knowledge" in this day and age. Protect what you do have in Saratoga County NY; quality of life, more than enough retailers (both small and large) to meet our needs, and local communities that are still a good place to raise a family and grow old in.

Thank you.

Philip T. O'Brien
Ballston Spa is not a place for the likes of a Wal-Mart. Traffic is already problematic on rte 50.

Business people in Ballston Spa have worked hard to preserve the history of Ballston Spa, its stores and it's wonderful buildings. The town will get burned if Wal-Mart isn't rejected. I worked for Wal-Mart and don't agree with their policies. They start out with 200 plus people to get a location opened. Then weed them out to about 50 to stay on full time. We are saturated with Wal-Marts. We need businesses that will provide good jobs for good people that want to work and make money for their families and their company. Ballston Spa, shouldn't accept another Wal-Mart!

Kat Baulu
Walmart's expansion is a global phenomenon and here in Canada we are concerned. This website highlights the resistance of some smart young Montreal-based students and their film about the process of questioning Walmart's grip.

Rich Kinney
The Ballston Concerned Citizens for Sustainable Communities, are standing with our neighors in both the Town of Ballston and the Village of Ballston Spa (Saratoga County, New York)as we embark on the fight of our lives. WalMart is about to submit plans to our town board for buidling a "Super Store" just outside the village line. Initial citizen reaction has been tremendous, although a number appear unwilling at this time to join the fight or argue that the additional traffic generated will be a good thing for other small retailers and restaurant owners. Wish us luck and I'll keep you apprised of developments.

BCCSC is in solidarity with all of you fighting for the integrity of your town or village. Our address is 29 Midline Road, Ballston Lake, New York 12019

I live in a small town ,we really have no other jobs and these stores know this they move into these small towns and hire you tell you what you want to hear a bunch of lies and pretty soon your nothing.If you aren't one of the big bosses your nothing if you aren't a customer your nothing.They treat their employees like slaves.They have computers do the scheduleing now to make certain that no one gets overtime because it is the time of year for the big bosses bonus.Now the hours you said you could work you work no more it is what this computer schedules you for.Some people can only get rides to work at certain times and some people have kid and a family and are being forced to change all this to keep their jobs at walmart in these small towns.I'm sorry walmart but family time is an important thing in life.My family is my value!We all know what your value is Money!

Pamela Hobbs
Walmart does not care, not about their employees, and not about the customers, all they care about is, the customers wallet.

I worked my butt off for them, I did the work of three people, I did'nt cut corners, I went out of my way every day, I treated people with respect, I actually loved that job, I enjoyed the people I worked with. But, one day, I got hurt, three days late they fired me, they accused me of being on drugs, they treated so badly, I was physically sick.

The morning I got there, it was good morning, how are you, all smiles, but the minute I got hurt, it was, are you sure your hurt, you do know that management will drug test you, no kidding!. I had no problem with that, Im 40 years old, 2 kids in college, I have a heart condition, I don't do drugs.

Anyway, they ruined my life, I lost my home I was buying, I lost my good name, I no longer go into thta store, I would go in there to shop, I was called names and other ctuel words were thrown at me by other employees.

So work at walmart, don't get hurt on the job, they will ruin you...

I have worked for Wal-Mart for about a year now and I truly enjoy going to work. All the rumors about low pay are just that, rumors. I get paid more than many of my friends that have been at their jobs longer than I have. The thing with people not getting breaks is a lie also. I don't know of anyone that does not get all their breaks or their lunches. The cash registers will tell the cashiers that their break or lunch is coming up and will lock them out until they take it. I think that most people are mad at Wal-Mart cause they have done so well. All of their employees get treated VERY well and are taken care of. Wal-Mart is in business to make money and that is what they are going to try to do.

Steve Gilchrist
I tend to think that Wal-Mart's positive economic influence is so diffuse that it doesn't get immediately seen and reported on, while the negatives are very visible.

The smaller store that closed because it couldn't compete with Wally's got headlines.

The thousands in the local area that had extra money to pay for things they once could not afford got there because of nickel-and-dime savings on soap and toilet paper at Wal-Mart. Those savings add up--and the money they save doesn't get stuffed into a mattress somewhere.

It gets spent.

I would never buy a pair of shoes or any article of clothing at Wal-Mart. I shop high-quality brands on shoes and clothing, stuff that fits well and looks good. Wal-Mart clothes can't be put in the washer, or they will either fall apart or shrivel to unrecognizable versions of their former selves.

Because I must wear comfortable, long-lasting shoes and clothes, it's a nice thing that I'm paying less for my pens and paper, my dish soap and underarm deodorant and vacuum cleaner bags. It makes it that much easier to go to the stores in my town that carry the quality clothing I'm looking for.

Ditto for electronics. There is not one thing in Wal-Mart's electronics department I would own. I'm more of a high-end guy--there's precious little even in Circuit City I would own. But to afford quality in the stuff that matters, you have to keep a tight rein on the costs of the everyday necessities of life.

I can't imagine supplying myself with the crap Wal-Mart sells in the Kitchen Electrics, Tool or Electronics department. But light bulbs, bread and milk, diapers and baby supplies, bullets, drugs, toothpaste...the list of commodities for which Wal-Mart is a godsend goes on and on.

Without Wal-Mart to hold those costs down, I would not be able to afford the quality I demand in the more important consumables I purchase.

So Wal-Mart has its place in my life, and I love that.

But, I've seen the stories on how Wal-Mart coerces its managers to squeeze unpaid hours out of the help. I've seen how some workers are held past their shift by locked doors--a tactic used by Wal-Mart to convince even those 'off the clock' that the fastest way to get home is to pitch in and help close the store, even if you're not getting paid for it.

That makes my blood boil. If I were one of those locked in off the clock, I'd go to Wal-Mart's book section, find the latest by Clive Cussler, head over to the cafeteria tables and start reading until the doors opened.

If anyone pressured me to get working, I'd say, "if you want to pay me overtime, boss, just say the word."

The management 'miracle' that has boosted Wal-Mart's productivity and slashed their prices is cheap and shoddy, just like their clothes and electronic goods.

Will I buy at Wal-Mart? Sure--soap, paper towels, toothpaste, hair care, drugs, food. That stuff tends to be made in America. But the foreign junk they sell there is not for me.

I have only just recently began to research facts about the effects of big box retail on communities. After watching Store Wars, I was disappointed that the psychological effects of big box retail were not discussed. So I did a little research and struggled to find much on the subject. I feel that the effect big boxes have changed how our society views retail. I'm only 22 and haven't been an active "consumer" very long, but I hope that the consumer world I see now hasn't always been this way. If I make a statement that I would rather not shop at a Wal-mart because I don't like their business practices, I am often met with hostility and I am told that I do not appreciate that other people are trying to conduct a business and make money. Well they're right, I don't appreciate it at all. It is not enough to be a hard working American. We need to be hard working American CITIZENS. Where we do what is best for ourselves and our communities.

What has big box retail done to our brains? Commerce should be an activity in our lives, not something we need to get done quickly and with little impact on our social growth. I want to know more about how the big box has affected creativity. Do I have the same connotations of shopping as my grandparents do? What's it like to go to a candy store and have the person behind the counter tell me about all the different candies and where they came from, and then getting to go back and see the same person there, eventually building a relationship. I know my mother's hair stylist still asks how I'm doing in school.

The last time I was in a Wal-mart I saw a brand new hair salon by the pretzel stand.

Whew!!! I have read a lot of liberal thinking about Wal-Mart as a bad guy. I agree that they could use a little more help in the management department but overall they have shown me to be a good company to work for. I read where a gay( i hate using the word gay, to me gay means happy) lost his job over what he claims was unjust.I read about low pay to those who have worked there for over 7 years. What I have found is that a lot of the associates working at Wal-mart do what they have done at other places of employment, they complain, are rude to customers, are loud and they are overlooked for advancement.In any other company, they would have been fired but here they are coached and good managers will work with them to see if they can change their attitudes. The Wal-mart I work for came to town and settled in an area the town agreed for them to be in. It was an area of little growth. In 2 years there has been over 20 businesses opened in and around the Wal-mart location. As for wages, I have had 4 increases in my wage since hiring on. I am a sales associate but also know that a good attitude goes a long way. Business in this area has increased and the people that come here are happy that we are here. We had a store close in a town 7 miles from here, that store will be taken over by a sporting goods company and hire more people. Walmart built another store just one mile from the closing hiring 150 more people than at the store that closed. Sometimes we want but are refusing to give. You want made in U.S.A. with union wages that drives the cost up.If you would buy those high priced items, then manufacturers would not have to move overseas. What you really want is what you can get at a low and reasonable cost. This is called world economics. China, Japan and other countries are climbing on board and their economies will get better, as they do their wages will eventually increase. By then you will be able to happily pay $35 for a $10 etch-a-sketch. A lot of people are angry at Wal-mart but not angry enough at themselves. We think companies owe us. Thats not the case, we owe us. Once you take back your own pride and confidence in yoursef and become a servant to helping others, you will become rich beyond your expectations. So for what it is worth. I like Wally World even with all it's problems, because I see people, not a company,who are working hard to be a good servant to the towns and people around them.

Kathy Stracener
In the summer of 2002, I testified on behalf of the banking industry at the Assembly Committee on Banking and Finance Committee hearings in California. At that time, WalMart was trying to get into the banking business, as well. Next would be home mortgages, and on and on. Now they sell used cars in many locations. If you don't think that they are trying to take over EVERY aspect of retail sales, think again.

I am located in Hearne, Texas, the town that Walmart killed twice. Our school district finally has bought back the old Walmart property that was abandoned in 1990, at a great increase in price from what the district sold it to Walmart for back in 1980. No, they let it sit abandoned for nearly 14 years rather than donate it back to the school. Now, as a taxpayer, I will have my taxes increased to pay for the property that Walmart ruined to begin with. Nearly all of our local retail businesses are gone, our downtown is still dead, our tax base has suffered greatly, and my taxes will go up to, once again, pay for the priviledge of once having a Walmart in my town. Not to mention the reputation that our town has as the result of Walmart's business practices, or I should say, mal-practices. The only good thing about the school district buying the building is that now I know Walmart won't have a place to come back to, which was always a greater fear than anything else.

Bjorn McCulloch
So, I'm watching Tavis Smiley on TPT (a PBS station in the Twin Cities, MN area) at about 11:55 PM, and I see one of those "this program was brought to you by these companies..." things. And then, to my complete shock, I see an ad for Wal-Mart. Not just "brought to you by Wal-Mart," but an actual 15 second ad.

I really don't see how PBS can have telethons asking for money, or how they can receive government funding when they are selling air-time.

When Wal-Mart announced they were arriving in Rutland, VT, most of the town's inhabitants were less than receptive to the idea, for reasons that have already been enumerated on this website. They were, howver,allowed to build on the site of the old K-Mart, a derelict eyesore downtown, and we watched and waited. The sky didn't fall in, and there was no great chasm opening in the earth to swallow our town. Wal-Mart has been in Rutland for several years now, and they seem to have lived up to their community-friendly advertisments. The Rutland experience with Wal-Mart has been a very positve and revitalizing one. One can even attribute them with helping to slow down and reverse the decline of a heroin-infested blot on an otherwise pleasant community. I still wouldn't hang around depot park at night for too long, but along with Wal-Mart have come other businesses to the area, and those that were already there are doing better. Wal-Mart has been a force for good in Rutland. It is a testament both to the consructive effects of capitalism, and to the good that can be accomplished when cooler heads prevail and try to find mutually beneficial solutions- instead of banging each other over the head with obnoxious placards and cutesy slogans.

More importantly, I belive that this is the experience that most of us have with Wal-Mart (or any other large business you care to substitute), an experience of joint desire to accopmplish a useful end. The entire purpose of commerce is that of exchange for mutual benefit, and that is what happens most of the time. When it doesn't, there are a myriad of reasons, but they are easy to work out if both sides would just acknowledge and try to understand the fears of the opposition, instead of exacerbating them. Some say there are two sides to everything. This is absurd. There are many more than two.


john mabry
I liked the old stores on main street USA, where you had TGY's, Ben Franklin 5 & 10, Otasco,and the local clothing,drug and food stotes. Some stores were franchises and many were "Mom & Pop" stores. Everybody shared a piece of the local pie. Now we have the "Mega store" which has a few advantages. Large,well lit,air conditioned,fully stocked with the most popular items,are some advantages. Big parking lots,huge crowds,fast checkouts, are more pluses. It seems to be what people want! Hardware,clothing, food, etc under one big comfortable roof. Wal-Mart is not the only one. We have megashoes, megaelectronics,megalumber,and warehouse this and warehouse that. These megawarehouses have developed a "good ole boy network" of exclusive ageements,volume buying schemes,kickbacks that have pushed the little guy into only the amallest towns, where the megastore has no interest. The Mom and Pop and local franchise stores were driven out. Downtown and its old interesting buildings became a maze of flea mkts.,antique malls,gift shops, flower shops,decor stores,fudge shops,art colonies and storefront preachers. Martha Stewart would sure be proud! Get out the sponges girls and let's turn these walls into marble!!!

The megastore as it wheels and deals gets bigger and bigger. The megastore is a distributors dream and he will go as far as the law will allow to make a deal. Do you think he is worried about Mom or Pop? It is also a manufacturers dream. In fact,they are all in bed together making big deals. They do not care about MoM & Pop, main st.,or you. Some megastores are buying the manufacturers. They are their own distributors and own their own trucks. One day there will be one big store,one big oil co.,one big bank and there will be 200 million Moms and Pops wth nothing to do! If you could buy Levi's wholesale for the same price as Penney'S and sell them at weekend markets for less;you could get rich. But,try to do that.... That is one of the deals well guarded by the "good ole boy network". I've seen a lot of name brand,centuries old,even historical merchandise disappear from store shelves in favor of second rate cheaper items. Back on main st. ,when I was a boy, before megastores everyone was guarding their piece of the pie. The powerful ego ruled. People looked out for ole number one, themselves. People didn't get along. Mom didn't even like Pop. Competing storeowners would not go to the same church. Bars and liquer stores were burned! I had a friend whose dad owned a furniture store and another friend whose dad owned a furniture store,but they weren't allowed to speak to each other. I've even heard of fights between store competitors. Its really hard to say. Big store or little store,that is the question.

One thing I like about the big stores are that they are impersonal. If they are out of something or I get poor service I can gripe them out. If my merchandise is defective I will return it. On main st.I would have to worry about offending a friend or someones MOM OR POP !!!

Vermont Named Among Most Endangered Places

WASHINGTON (AP) - Famous for its fall foliage, quaint towns and covered bridges, the state of Vermont - and its charm - is threatened by a corporate behemoth, a nonprofit preservation group warned on Monday. The alleged culprit: Wal-Mart.

Because of plans for several new Wal-Mart Supercenters across the state, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has placed the entire state of Vermont on its 2004 list of the most endangered historic places in the United States.

The 10 other sites on the list include Nine Mile Canyon in Utah, with its 10,000 Native American rock-art images; the Ridgewood Ranch in northern California, the home and final resting place of legendary racehorse Seabiscuit; and Pennsylvania's Bethlehem Works steel plant.

Vermont is the only state ever to make the annual list in its entirety.

Richard Moe, president of the trust, said Vermont's ``special magic'' would vanish with the onslaught of the giant stores.

``Vermont is uniquely a state of small towns, and many of these downtowns would be decimated by this,'' Moe said. ``A lot of small businesses just disappear in the face of a huge Wal-Mart.''

Moe fears one giant retail store will attract others to the Green Mountain State. ``It will totally change the character of Vermont over time, and that would be a tragedy,'' he said.

Mia Masten, Wal-Mart's community affairs manager for the eastern region, called that characterization ``dramatic.'' The company's plans will provide Vermonters with more jobs and shopping convenience, she said.

``It sounds as if we're trying to go and push our way in,'' Masten said. ``But we are asking for and getting local input. We want a project that everyone likes at the end of the day.''

The state is making a rare reappearance on the trust's list. It was first listed back in 1993, when Vermont was the only state without a Wal-Mart, and the trust worried about impending plans for construction of several stores.

``We're not telling any communities that they shouldn't have a Wal-Mart,'' said Moe. ``We simply want communities to have their eyes wide open when they make these decisions because it's within the ability of a community to affect the location, size and design of these stores.''

One alternative, said Moe, would be to persuade the retailer to build smaller chains in existing buildings that have been abandoned or are otherwise not being used, saving rural landscapes and not having quite the devastating impact that a superstore would have.

wal mart is building 2 supercenters in sheboygan (no not here)WISCONSIN! the population is 50,000 people strong, they have 1 store now but it's not a supercenter. they laid off,,, 3 or 4 employee's a month ago or so' and the city would not allow them to build with in city limits so they went to the town of sheboygan.north side were they had a town meeting to discuss their proposal, wich ment buying property from a land owner, talking to resedents, listening to concerns that they might have. well the town of sheboygan only has 400 resedents. wal-mart did'nt even have the guts to tell the town board about the meeting....... one of the board members found out about the meeting in our local paper and attended. wal-mart is so anti union BUT HAD THEIR MEETING IN A UNION HALL ( EMMAL MAZY HALL) what kind of bull-**** is this. well in march sheboygan welcomed target (part of the southside redevelopment project wich started back in the late 90's)it is located close to Home Depo off I-43 and hwy 28, wal-mart now wants to build a supercenter over their, (i spose to draw most the other business away form those places.)I for one don't want this to happen, seeing as my job went to china. why do they want to build 2 supercenters here. they have one in plymouth WI wich is only 12 mi away the money you people (save)at wal-mart could be put in your gas tank to drive to plymouth..............

A proposal is being reviewed to ban Wal-Mart from San Francisco. I'am all for it. The idiot spokesperson for Wal-Mart said that San Francisco is anti-business!

No, San Francisco is anti-corruption, and anti-exploitation. Wal-Mart is a corrupt corporation, and is hated by many.

mike longbottom
I feel from experience that employees and vendors are treated very poorly. 1/2 price goods result in 1/2 way wages. try buying a 30,000 car on 6.50 after 7 years.

D. Chase
Reading through the reactions I read that several reported that we live in a capitalist society. Which is fine with me. If I work hard for my company I expect to be paid accordingly. Do they, WM supporters, realize that we should all have that right; perhaps they have not been reading the business section of the newspaper. The Ohio Art Company recently relocated to China because it couldn't offer it's Etch-A-Sketch for less than $10.00 each to Wal-Mart. Somewhere in Ohio there are people recieving unemployment because workers in China would happily work for .27 cents an hour? Making them "better off?" Support globalization, but do so with the respect that somewhere on the other side of the world someone else would also like to be paid for what they are worth.

If you are a member of a non-profit citizen's group fighting Wal-Mart in California, you might be interested in seeing if you can use this program to raise money.

Microsoft owes customers in California 1.1 billion dollars and most of it is still waiting to be claimed. I read about it in USA Today.

My friend used their system to donate her claim amount of 75 bucks to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. It took a matter of minutes to do the transaction over the phone, and they have a toll-free number.

I think it would be great to fight Wal-Mart with money from Microsoft. One monopoly fighting another.

thomas forshey �
you may not have much at walmart butstop and look at why im their. i worked for 10 years for haines city ind inc in haines city fl ph#863-422-3096.never had a wreck speeding tic, never killed anyone with the truck,nevermessed up their equip,and by the way allways got less of a bonus than those that did''when i asked the boss man fred mcteer why he told me he didnt'FEEL'i deserved a bonus or a thankyou''at least at wal mart you have some chance to advance,at start on bottom &stay there, they will gladly lay more work on you and more hours till you break,it doesnt matter to them they feel they are paying you $7.25 pr hr WHY should they pay you $7.26 pr hr?? when they can replace you for $7.25??


The Store Wars thing was very well done. My interest in it was from the POV of someone who watched Walmart come to our town, population 25K, but a regional center for shopping, medical services, Arts & Entertainment, Walmart came to our two with hardly a ripple. Walmart offered town meetings to tell people what to expect, what not to expect.

If all we have heard about Walmart is true as to how they treat employees, then it was a mistake to let them into our area. I saw the first rash of businesses close in this community, just as Walmart said WOULD NOT happen.

At the time of Walmart's initial entry into this are, Walmart had said they were only coming in with variety, no food stores. Two years after they got their toe-hold, they also start construction on a expansion what was 79% in size as the initial store! Walmart brought in a food store, somethign they said they would NOT do. Tough luck for another for the grocery stores in our I said to my wife, "I don't see how anyone can compete with prices Walmart charges."

big red
Where to begin? So many things to choose from. A company built on,running on, and FOCUSED on: GREED! EVERYTHING comes back to the money. Period. Working there,as I do, leaves a VERY bad taste in my mouth. A store setting (weekly) sales records. Understaffed and underscheduled employees. Making money just because the doors are (always) open. I say this because the incompetent excuse they have foe management is a waste of the company dollar. WM is simply the slimiest, most unethical company I have EVER worked for. Bar none! If I don't have to spend a penny there,I won't. And if the paying public truly has a conciensce, they'll take their wallets and purses and supposed principles elsewhere. Because WM has none. I'm disgusted with myself for working there. If the paying public could see what I see, they would take their dollars elsewhere. But to this point, WM is 'winning'. They continue to grow,and more Americans scream for still lower costs. Careful what you wish for. You just might get it......

james parker �
Bad news for budget-minded celebs: Melissa Gilbert wants you to stop shopping at Wal-Mart.

The "Little House on the Prairie" alum, now the president of the Screen Actor's Guild, has sent an email to fellow actors, asking them to shun the discount store. "Wal-Mart's low prices come at a tremendous cost," Gilbert wrote, "not only to workers in groceries and retail but to thousands of workers in manufacturing whose jobs have moved out of the country as suppliers struggle to meet Wal-Mart's demands for cheaper products. We all feel the pain of runaway production -- so shop union, work union."

there own audit found major problems with their company. if the audit had been conducted by a third party, there probably would have been at least twice as many violations uncovered.

NEW YORK - An audit by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. of about 25,000 employees uncovered thousands of labor violations, including minors working during school hours and workers not taking breaks or lunches.

The audit of 25,000 employees performed by Wal-Mart in July 2000 detailed 1,371 violations of child-labor laws, including minors working too late, too many hours in a day or during school hours. On more than 60,000 occasions, workers missed breaks and on 16,000 they skipped meal times, in violation of most state labor regulations.

Dan Knous �
What is happening here is the republicans dream-come-true.. WalMart employs most everyone at near-minimum wage with no benefits. In rural areas like here in Alva, Oklahoma, they drive out every other store in the area and hold the local city council hostage with their control of sales tax revenue. This company is scary.

Sheryl Massingill �
The only thing that would stop a Wal-Mart from being put in town is for people to say one word: UNION. Wal-Mart is scared as hell of a Union for employees.

Gary Main
When Walmarts come in communities die. businesses close, employees are laid off, and forced to work for low wages in WM. The goods offered for sale in WM are ALL low quality foreign junk, touted by a Proud American Company!! if you dont like you local businesses, free trade, and a local economy, Call WM and have em cmon down. The trucks that haul the cash out of walmarts Dont come back. sure some people get to work for $7.50. but tons dont get to work for what they are worth after Walmart ruins the local economy. I detest Wm to the core. anyone that doesnt does not know the facts. I am trying to run a bicycle shop in a local town with a walmart. 2 weeks before Christmas they offered cheap chinese prison labor bikes at $49

who can sell quality with prices that low? nobody could make them and sell them for that in this country. the rims on those bikes retail for 40$ Good luck keeping WM out of your town.

Fred Fraiser
I support the rights of communities to choose whether or not big box stores like Wal-Mart build in their backyard. I live in Alaska, and I am happy to say there are no Wal-Mart stores in Juneau, the capitol city of Alaska. I prefer to support local, home-grown businesses, owned by my friends and neighbors. In fact, I would rather pay more for something, and put money into my neighbors pockets, than into Wal-Marts coffers. Naturally, in this area, there are limited choices. If I can't buy it here, I usually shop on-line, and I sure don't shop at Wal-Mart. I also restrict my purchases, as much as possible, to those items made in the USA. I'm sure you know that is getting more and more difficult to do!

Its plain and simple an unamerican! Wal-mart is creating a monopoly! By threatening companies that they (walmart) will not carry their (consumer goods companies) various products wal-mart obtains and unfair advantage over other stores! THEY ESSENTIAL CREATE their own price!! and tell the company this is what they are willing to pay if you do not like it then your product will not be carried at wal-mart!! Not only MOM and POP stores but large grocery chain stores as well thus squeezing out other stores simply by offering better prices through strong hand tatics!! Which should be illegal!! Wal-mart also severly underpays most of its employees and doesnt recognize Union workers under any circumstances!! The meat cutters in the Wal-Mart store attempted to unionize and now you can no longer get freshly cut meat at Wal-mart they just completly eliminated that service thus eliminating the MEAT CUTTERS UNIONIZING ATTEMPTS AND ALL EMPLOYEES IN ONE FAIL SWOOP!!!!!!!WAL-Mart is a plague to American consumers and workers! IS a great price and grand savings really worth such a high cost?

Bilbo Baggins
I worked for Wal Mart and I know what they do!!! They go into a small town and sell products under their cost until they drive out or put the 2nd and 3rd generation store owners out of bussiness!!

They they raise their prices so that the locals then pay higher prices for everything. There are many people in Prison today who have committed less crimes!! But, then Americans are pretty shallow when they think they are getting a better price! Watch out for the falling prices. Yeah right hahahaha

A wonderful documentary. Sad to say this same drama is happening in our small city of 12,000 in southern Wisconsin. Walmart has pitted people against each other, the likes of which we've never seen. The group trying to stop this obscene store from being built is called "Uff Dah Walmart"...we are a Norwegian community, with deep roots and a strong identity. Our city council is wavering in their determination to cap any store at 110,000 sq ft, which is too large for this city. Walmart wants 180,000 or more. Our city would be a great followup....hopefully with a better result. The last city council hearing was amazing, with a clear majority of the speakers against this travesty. You can contact us regarding further happenings. Thank you for your great work. Let's hope we are more fortunate that the community you profiled.

What normally becomes of these closed wal-mart properties? Are there any trends in there disposal? What do you believe wal-mart did wrong in there speculative demographic analysis that eventually led to closing a wal-mart? Could an educated extrapalation of these factors predict future closings?

Dustin R �
I think Wal-Mart is an overrated place to shop. Whenever I go into any Wal-Mart at any location, it's always a big mess and there are too many people(probably because there is no other place to shop) and too many unhappy employees. That's why I like a store like Target. It's usually quiet, everything is well-organized, and they have happy employees.

I use to think people against Wal-Mart were crazy but now I see there reasons for not wanting a Wal-Mart in their town.

Margie O'Neill
It is Christmas Eve. Our family is devestated and depressed. Ernie Defees, the manager of the Wal-Mart store in Baytown, TX fired my son. My son, Kevin O'Neill, has Klinefelter Syndrome. This is a rare chromosome disorder. Mainly Kevin has trouble with verbally expressing himself. He has been a good Wal-Mart employee for 2 1/2 years. He has never taken a sick day. He is always on time. He never complains. He has had several jobs and is corrently a cart boy. Today, a woman talking on a cell phone in the parking lot almost ran into him. He called her a bitch. I know this is not Wal-Mart policy. Kevin is impulsive and does inappropriate things often. She complained to the manager, Ernie Defees and he fired Kevin. I think couseling Kevin and giving him another chance was what should have happened. I just can't believe Ernie would fire Kevin on Christmas Eve! He gave him no second chance even though he had worked for the company now for 2 1/2 years! Kevin can do nothing. There is no union to appeal to. What can I do??

Wal-mart employee
To everyone who says Wal-mart doesn't pay their employees enough, look at how much these employees your talking about work. If you go in there and just show up and "look busy" then yeah, you don't get the money you want. But, if you come in, take pride in your work, and do what is needed to benefit yourself, your co-workers, and your customers then you will get the recognition and money that you want. I have been a Wal-Mart associate for 7 months, and since then I have recieved 3 raises and I am up for another one on my annual eval. in 5 more months, which will probably take me into the double digits. If you don't like what you are being paid, look at your work performance and see what you can do to improve it for yourself, not stand around and wait for your annual eval. and get a "meets expectations" do your job well, get an exceeds and make the fact that you work hard known! That's what I did, and it has been paying off, WELL!

southern U S
The wal mart comes to town video is good. I work for wal mart as a truck driver and I personaly know how the company operates. they have hired a lot of other people from other big corporations and you can bet these people have no idea of sam waltons philosophy of helping the small business owner. Now it is we take all.Also if you are a black,or orther minoroity you have it made here at wal mart. They will fire a white employee in a heart beat but a hyponated person will get any thing thay wnat simply by saying I'll sue due to you have discriminated me

After Thanksgiving, my daughter and I went shopping at Wal-mart. My daughter lost her wallet in the store. A Wal-mart female employee returned her wallet to me. I told my daughter since she could not keep up with her wallet, I would. I placed her wallet in my purse and we continued to shop.

After walking out of Wal-mart, my daughter was detained. The Wal-mart manager asked her to open up her wallet. I opened my purse and returned the wallet back to my daughter. She opened it. In the wallet there were two small tubes of lipsticks. My daughter cried and sayed, 'She doesn't know how they got in there!'

My daughter was arrested for items that cost less than $5.00. The police officer did not read Wal-mart's statement on what happen. She was escorted out of Wal-mart, in handcuffs and taken to the police station.

Two months later, a juvenile office called me. I asked him to read the Wal-mart statement to me. After the juvenile officer read the report, he stated: "He will drop the case, because no crime was committed."

To my surprise, the male Wal-mart employee did document, that the wallet was lost, and given back to me by an female employee. There was no mention in the report that I ever returned the wallet back to my daughter after receiving it from the female employee.

Since this incident, I have learned, my daughter case is not the only one. An attorney has explained to me, it is very difficult to have these cases dismiss, when Wal-mart is involved.

It has been almost a year since the incident. My daughter still has difficulty in walking into a mega-store like Wal-mart. She has had a few panic attacks in stores. I have no mental health insurance for my daughter and can not afford treatment for her. I can not locate a civil rights attorney that will take this case because Wal-mart is involved.

My daughter is one of the lucky ones!!!! I thank God every day, that her case was dismissed because a juvenile officer did what was right. This juvenile officer had the case dismissed so quickly that no attorney was needed.

Not only is Wal-mart tearing our small towns apart. It is also breaking down our trust in our children. It has taken my daughter and I several months to restore some of our relationship. However, our relationship will never be the same as it was before. As my daughter says, "You believed Wal-mart before you believed me!'

boomer sooner
I have recently made the unfortunate judgement in error to work for WM. Being desperately out of work forced that choice upon me. Continue starving or take what you can get. BIG mistake! Before WORKING there, I had regularly SHOPPED there. No more! In the time I have worked there, I have found most, if not all, the stereotyped negative aspects associated with the company to in fact be true. Low wages, understaffed shifts, incompetent co-workers, incompetent management, nonaffordable company benefits, management harrassment(of the nasty passive-aggressive variety) for airing OBVIOUS company problems or shortfalls in general or having the audacious nerve to form an independent and decidely non-company viewpoint on ANY given question,decision,problem,quandry or dilemna as might occur in any given work shift have all been common,numerous, and repeated in the SHORT time I have worked there. I DEEPLY regret the choice I made. Another contradiction in terms I cannot fail to address here in this forum is the daily store meeting.Talk about a joke! Only the handful(literally) of employees who aren't tied to customers show up. And the pathetic rendition of the 'company cheer' would make anyone's skin crawl. I truly believe that some of the renditions I have unfortunately been party to so far were conducted at such haltingly slow paces because the lead individual was having REAL difficulty in spelling walmart! I will close with just a couple more observations. When I got on the net earlier today, I really did not know what I would find. I am grateful for finding this site. The so-called WM naysayers speak the TRUTH! Keep up the effort.The last thing the world needs is global WM. And lastly, I DID NOT see the PBS program mentioned, but would like to in the future. Thank you again for this forum.

The best way to protest a company's business practices is with your money.

Eight years ago, my husband and I bought some tires at a Wal-Mart in Illinois. The tires came with a lifetime guarantee. One of the tires was bad and would make the car pull to the side. Wal-Mart's solution was to simply rotate that tire to the back wheels, and the store would not replace the tires. We decided that we would not shop in Wal-Mart again.

Since then, we have purchased items at Wal-Mart stores less than five times. This includes when we lived in rural Georgia and the alternative discount chain store was 30 miles away. Kmart, Target, Venture, Ames, etc. get our money, but not Wal-Mart.

I figure that Wal-Mart has lost about $10,000 in sales so far over a $400 set of tires.

I am a liscensed nurse, who last year, took a job at Wal-Mart because of burn out in my chosen profession. I was assigned to work in the photo lab.

I loved working in the photo lab. I hated the fact that Wal-Mart could care less about it's customer's and it's employees. IF they really cared about their customers, they would go the extra mile to make sure they have enough help to wait on these customers!

Listen up Wal-Mart shoppers... Wal-Mart only cares how much money you spend in their store and that is all!!! Oh, they do care about their competition too.... They go to their competitors daily, to see how they run their store and what ideas they can copy from.It is announced several times a day at the "meetings" where the managers try to make you believe they care how bad things are, when they really DONT!

If a co worker called in. It was "Oh well"!!!! NO EFFORT was made to get extra help. On rare occasions they would pull someone from the front to work the register only. I worked many days standing on my feet for 8 hours or more, with NO BREAK whatsoever! It was never ending to get "caught up".. and on top of all that you have customers breathing down your neck because their film wasn't ready within the promised hour.

You see managers and supervisiors walking around with hand held walkie talkies who if "Mr. Sam" was living, would be on the floor busting their butts to HELP instead of CRITICIZE you for not getting it done fast enough!

I complained to my store manager of my supervisior who I felt was harrassing me. I was given *maybe* 20 hours a week to work and no benefits. When I told them up front I needed full time status, and was promised at least 32 hours a week, which I never got.Who can live on 20 hours a week????? The girls up front get 40 plus hours and no benefits...

Wal mart is just an american sweatshop!!! It is also widely known among employees that if a certain dept stays below their budget, that Wal mart has allocated for them, then THAT dept manager gets a hefty raise and BONUS, so that means if a employee calls in, in your dept and you are the only 2 scheduled to work, guess what?? YOU get to work by yourself, so that manager can save money and get a bonus for doing so! It doesnt matter to them one bit, if they kill you in the process.

After using the "open door policy" NOTHING was done... I was treated even worse by my supervisior and my complaints were completely ignored.I quit after 4 months and went back to nursing at triple my salary of 7.50 a hour and believe me they let you know they are doing you a favor by paying you a measely 7.50 an hour!

The supervisiors show favortism, and nothing is done... Employees are NOT treated fairly, unless you are the 'chosen one". They do not know how to show respect when talking to employees, rather than choose to talk to them like children, and belittle them if they have a personal problem that needs to be taken care of.

Im sure "Mr. Sam" is turning over in his grave, just knowing how much his company has gone to pot!

I will never shop Wal-Mart ever again!!! I will gladly go to TARGET. It is much nicer, cleaner, QUIETER and NOT chaotic!, besides I can enjoy some Starbucks coffee while I shop! I enjoy my shopping experience, and lesiruely take my time! I have also compared prices and Im here to tell you TARGET does have many things lower in price but for me personally, Id much rather pay a dollar or 2 extra for peace of mind, than pay Wal Mart one red cent knowing how they treat their employees!

Wal-Mart needs a union or they need to be shut down, so America it is up to you... If you believe all Ive stated, ( I have copies of all my letters to the store manager to prove all Ive said on disc) then shop at TARGET, bring Wal-Mart to their knees, and *maybe*, just *maybe* you can help a struggling single mother of 2 or more children, make a decent living not only making more $$$ but by being able to have benefits for those children. Do as I did. Go apply and work there, and just see for yourself.

Kirk Ripplinger�
Your story on Wal-Mart was grossly one-sided and often misleading and flat out wrong. The associates that work for Wal-Mart work there because of the flexability and the benefits offered. The pay scale is in line with and often above the industry average. If the associates were to look for work elsewhere in another retail store or grocery chain they would have to take a pay cut. Yes, Wal-Mart is pro-associate, you would prefer to call it anti-union, but the facts are the associates do not believe they need a third party to represent them and really make their work place more restrictive. Wal-Mart believes in working as a team and having a family atmosphere, unions only believe in the union. Unions had their day during the industrial revelution but in today's competative work force have out-lived their usefullness. I also do not buy that very few buy into Wal-Mart stock. At a 15% return why would you not? You can not get that kind of a rate at any bank.

Wal-mart (WM) does and will continue to satuarte the retail market. They will continue to put smaller reatil chains and "mom and pop" stores out of business. They put a large low cost retail chain out of business in Jacksonville, Florida. WM's strategy is, as indicated in this news article, to compete with themselves and once competition is wiped out, they close stores--leaving dust in their wake (paraphrased version). In Jax, Fl, they were fined for offering gas below their actual cost--putting local competition at a disadvantage. That was a direct violation of FTC regulations. WM does not care what it has to do to maintain a strong compeitive advantage, including , but not limited to low wages, no benefits and questionable practices. Corporate citizenship is yet another issue, but that is another story. Those of you who have been "blessed" by WM, well GOOD FOR YOU. Frankly, I would never admit that I was associated with WM considering this news story, but that is just me. Nevertheless, that does not mean because of your good fortune, WM can continue operating unethically. They should be made an example of to deter these practices. As far as I am concerned, when you KNOWINGLY condone a situation that involves illegals that work for your subcontractors (by turning a blind eye), do not profess to be patriot when there are many Americans that need an income--especilly when being patriotic REALLY means something to some of us.

Personally, I choose never to support WM again.

Joe Wrote: "We hear over and over again that Wal Mart is putting all of the small town businesses out of business. We live in America. We all are free to choose. I choose Wal Mart! It is not my responsibility to pay higher markups at the mom and pop shop. It is ridiculous that people feel Wal Mart should go union? I applaud them for not. It's us as the consumer that is responsible for the imported goods. Put your money where your mouth is. If you want to support American workers - then buy american."

Well Mr. Wizard, a little difficult to do when 85% of Wal-Marts inventory is from overseas. And you want to want to buy everything they sell.

Brian Jones
While PBS is critical of Walmart for censoring some of their products, I see you censor emails by "selecting" which ones to post.

Any retailer is free to sell whatever product it wants to sell in a free economy. If Walmart chooses not to sell a CD with a song about children killing people with guns bought at Walmart, that is their option. Why would a singer sing such drivel and expect Walmart to handle her CD?

I have no problem with Walmart setting standards on CD content. The CD content out there is ruining our kids.

As for products from China, the fact is China can make things cheaper than Americans, so you will either have a legal market, a black market, or an isolationist overly expensive product market. Take your choice. I go with a legal global market.

You act like these foreigners are being forced to take these manufacturing jobs, truth is if they didn't have these low paying jobs they would be a lot worse off, such is the situation in third world countries. The way to help them is to slowly bring them into the industrialized world, which is happening with a global free market.

To have the isolationist USA products only market that PBS seems to advocate would be to deny the third world even these low paying jobs.

As for abandoned stores, that is a problem, but I see more abandoned KMart stores than Walmarts. Looks like the natural fall out of free trade. Communities could demand that Walmart have a contingency claus when moving in that they must destroy the store if it fails, but the community would risk that Walmart would locate in another community with no such clause, thus they could lose all the jobs that Walmart brings into the area.

Walmarts resistance to a Union is valid. Unions stur up problems between employees and employers, where no problems need occur. To the extent they restrict outsiders from taking striker's jobs, they are not a valid free trade mechanism, as they interfere with a pesons right to work.

James Davis
As a former employee, I know that most of the people who say that they "like" working there were like me, in that they had no choice. Indeed, I was garnered for management positions, but when I questioned policy, I was shown the door. Wal-mart, as it is seen, does not support a middle class. After two years of working there, I was making $7.28 an hour. Even if I were to work a full allotment of 40 hours a week, 52 weeks per year, that still makes my gross salary in the neighborhood of $15,300. On the other hand, the store managers start in the area of 40-50k, while the store manager makes a similiar salary, but is paid an additional "profitability" bonus that easily takes the figure into six digits.

The benefits are laughable, even when I started. While the programs are very sound, who can afford to have the $80 deduction from each pay, when before that, you're lucky to take home $400 every two weeks?

Wal-Mart is not going to be able to bear its own weight for long. The pyramid of compensation is inverted, in that those who do the most work are paid the least... so in many ways, Wal-Mart is a sweatshop selling goods made in a sweatshop.

Kathy M. Lee
I have several comments to make regarding the allegations against Walmart. My husband Jeff Lee is a truck driver for Walmart Transportation. He is treated well and paid very well. Yes he makes close to $60,000 per year. Any employee of Walmart can take Truck Driving Training if they so choose. Walmart has very high standards for employment including truck driving. You must have driven so many miles for the 3 years prior to applying for employment as a truck driver. So think about this. Think about what my husband had to do to get where he is today. He worked for a company as a mechanic for 4 years. Later on he decided becoming a over-the-road driver for the company was what he wanted to do. The money was a lot less than what any over-the-road , the benefits downright sucked (could not afford the insurance the company offered, layovers, washing out tanks in 0 degrees temperatures, had to be on call constantly when he did get to come home, even being called out on his days he was supposed to be home. Keep in mind he was always gone for 5-14 days at a time, sleeping in a truck, so on and so forth. Later he decided to apply to Walmart. After interviewing he got a job with Walmart Transportation. Now he has affordable insurance, he gets paid for all holidays, he has funeral leave pay, and by the way the first week he started working for Walmart my father passed away. Well guess what the company couldn't have been more understanding about Jeff needing to be off so he could be with me and my family and being there only 2 days he got paid for his time off. They also sent to my family a beautiful plant that I now have in my living room at home that is now about 4 feet tall. Yes, I have another story to tell. My nephew Brad McCloud worked for Walmart in both Elizabethton, TN and Boone, NC for about 7 years until he died from injuries sustained in a 4-wheeler accident. You would not believe the ourpouring concern and respect the people Brad worked for and with had for him. Mounds of food was placed on the table by Walmart in our time of grief, not just from the local branches but from Distribution Centers and visits with our family I cannot count. The moral of the story is this, we all have to go through a lot before we find that perfect place to work and my husband along with my nephew found that place with Walmart. With my husbands employment with Walmart we are able to put more than enough food on our table and yes we do share when we have more than enough, nice clothes on our back, insurance for when we are sick, these being only the necessities we also have a beautiful home we are able to make an $800 per month payment on, two nice vehicles we can drive daily, not to mention doing things we like to do when my husband is home and not have to worry about him being called out at any hour and not to mention the Walmart employee discount that they don't have to give. My husband paid his dues to get where he is today. Why don't you little winey brats get up off your butts and go through what my husband has had to in order to be proud to be a part of the Walmart family. If you don't like being a cashier, stock boy or otherwise, by all means the road is waiting for you. Go get your trucker license. Do keep in mind Walmarts cashiers, stockboys, etc. do get to go home and lay their head on their pillows in their own beds every night. My husband is gone sometimes 5-7 days but he is STILL so PROUD TO BE ON THE WALMART TEAM. It is all in what you want to do with your life. THANKS WALMART!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am appalled at the level of education of the people who wrote in to express their opinions about WalMart. I think WalMart is a horrible company for all of the reasons mentioned, but I also think that the schools of this nation have failed the population, judging from the level of literacy evident in these comments.

No wonder the employment situation is so bad in the US -- no one can spell or write even at a sixth grade level. It appears that the WalMarts of our economy rely on the public's lack of education and lack of knowledge of the world to succeed. Not only are most people below a decent standard of living because of their low incomes, but they are kept from knowledge that might change their lives for the better.

My elementary education 50 years ago was so much better and even the worst students could spell and write and make themselves understood. I'm sure they learned more as they matured, but now (judging by what I've read here) adults never "got" the basics of education and consequently could not improve themselves.

For example, putting an apostrophe before any "s" is widespread. Examples: "Business's" as a plural; "store's" as another plural. These are just plain wrong. And there is the almost universal use of "it's" as a possessive, when it really is a contraction for "it is". It may not seem very important to many reading this, but I feel that this ignorance of basic English rules contributes to the level of knowledge and ability to analyze what goes on in this society. Look how many people still believe Sadaam Hussein was behind the events of 9/11/2001. An uneducated public will believe anything unscrupulous politicians and businessmen will say, as long as they hear it repeated enough.

It must be in the interest of the big corporations that control our society and economy to keep Americans as ignorant and uneducated as possible. I'm sure these modern-day robber barons laugh out loud at the rest of us who are scrabbling around at the bottom of the economy, while they are sitting up in the penthouses sipping champagne, just before getting ready to go to their country homes for the weekend. They know that anyone down there at the bottom has very little chance, if any, of advancing, and they don't care. Why should they, when they've got theirs?

I used to work for a store in the Wal-Mart chain. For a couple months,things were fine,but one day I was pulled in to the office and told "we can't justify keeping you because",which I KNEW was a crock of rot,then after a bit was reinstated,and things were fine for a time after that,but after another,there was a mtg,and this co-mgr. brings up in a room full of other people "it says so in your file you've a disabililty..IS THIS SO?" which we know is an illegal question. There was also a problem picking up layaway for Christmas last year,and when they advertised pre-paid phones,I wasn't even able to get so much as a mgrs' signature. In short,don't go believing the commercials on the tv. They may LOOK all family-friendly,but look and ask around. You may be stunned at what you find out to be true.

I am a Wal Mart 'associate' at one of their many distribution centers. The same problems that go on at their stores also occour in the distribution centers. They do pay us alot better than the stores (actually I was quite surprised how little they make). Wal Mart claims to be fair but are not. I know that the management accociates are told "not to flaunt" how much money they make as to not cause conflict with lower associates. Another thing that I noticed is that there are mostly men who work there, and almost all of the management is male. People are often treated rudly, like they are beneath the management. It was written on one of my evaluations that Wal Mart did not "like my opinions". How is that fair and how can you promote diversity when most of the associates come from farming jobs. In my town, people were excited they were building the distribution center, but very, very few townfolk were even hired. They simply do not practice what they preach. Another thing, how can a company as big as Wal Mart have the worst insurance I have ever seen? You have to get really hurt bad or an incurable disease to use the insurance! Most of us are willing to take paycuts for better insurance. When we complain, we are told "If you can find better insurance, go for it" by our general manager. Shouldn't we be able to have adequate insurance at our job instead of looking elsewhere? This company needs a wake up call and solid competition. They brag about how much money the company makes and even tell us how bad other retailers are doing. They say alot of things, but do not mean what they say. I find Wal Mart to be very hypocritcal and sometimes cold to associates. Yes, they do alot of good things, but I feel like they just want the world to think they are perfect. Well I got news for them, THEY ARE NOT!

Michael Breen
I'm proud of Wal-Mart. I've been proud of Wal-Mart since I first stepped in one almost 25 years ago. Sure there are downsides to Wal-Mart (long lines being predominant) but when Wal-Mart opened a Sam's Clud in Palmdale, CA, I cut up and threw away my Costco card. I'm begging Wal-Mart to open a Supercenter in Palmdale because right now we are at the mercy of the United Food and Commercial Workers whose greedy and plain out-dated antics are causing us to have to pay almost twice as much for groceries than is really necessary. Unions force retailers to pay these higher wages for which consumers compensate by paying higher prices. Unions are a blight on this nation and have outlived their purpose. They need to be dismantled and should be illegal.

When K-Mart closed one of their stores in Palmdale, I threw a party. Dustin Hoffman said it best in the movie "Rainman" -- K-Mart sucks! K-Mart never had the products I needed and most of their stores were just plain FILTHY! I hate Target because they refuse to donate money to the Boy Scouts of America -- believing that the Boy Scouts are "not a worthwhile organization" (or so I was told by the manager of a Target store when I lived in Kansas).

People who pick on Wal-Mart are doing so because it happens to be the biggest retailer in the world. I've seen television programs about these alleged sweatshops and they are not what the left-wing liberal fruitcakes would have you believe.

I believe that we would buy only American and from what I've seen, Wal-Mart offers American products when they are available. It's not Wal-Mart's fault when the companies that manufacture clothing would rather reap profits by firing Americans and sending the work overseas.

It's all about greed. Gordon Gecko (Michael Douglas in Wall Street) was not right when he said, "Greed is good." Greed is why we still have unions today. Greed is why jobs are going overseas. Greed is why some stupid bozo is suing Wal-Mart over a video game! Greed is why another bozo here is suing Wal-Mart because he was too stupid to pay attention to what was going on around him. It's all about greed. Too many people want too much of what's not theirs.


I used to Wal-Mart and was employed for 7 years. After 7 years, I made a little under $8.00 an hour. The store was flexible with my schedule since I went to college. However, when I tried to apply for a scholarship I was told I could not even apply for one. The reason: either you have to be the child of an employee or not be affiliated with Wal-Mart at all. In my opinion, Wal-Mart wants to keep their hourly assocites down on the pay scale.

As to Open door policies and exit interviews, I never once received either of such. This was after I was an employee of 7 years. I was promised several bonus raises but never got one.

At the store I was employed with, our "shrink" inventory was way off and told we could not and would not receive a bonus check that year because of it. However, it was found out 1 month after the inventory was completed that the Inventory Company made some critical errors causing us to be way off in our inventory. Do you think that we received any of that bonus money?? No! But I found out that Management did!! What is right with that picture

Double standard with the products they carry. Sure they say the lyrics will not have curse words but have you seen the games and movies they carry? Sam Walton is probably rolling in his grave!!

Enough said...

Fred Mannheim
I worked for Wal-Mart once and came away from the experience enlightened and angered at the way they operate. I am not surprised that Wal-mart would be rated as a superior place to work by executives, since they aren't the ones getting the meager pay. Wal-Mart embodies those practices that are being employed more and more throughout America.They falsely portray themselves as extremely patriotic and family values oriented, along with So called Christian values. To my mind these are all lies that they use to sell themselves and their products to the world.

As for being the recipients of Corporate Welfare I feel that that is very true. At the time I went to work for them they were receiving at the minimum $2,500 per each employee whom they could get to report themselves as having been previously underemployed or unemployed. Given their practice of encouraging high employee turnovers by mistreating them, I would not at all be surprised that this is done purposely in order to maximize their profit outlook for investors. I don't trust Wal-mart and would rather not ever need to shop at their stores at all. The sad fact is that they do run out of town all their competition and don't leave many other stores around to buy from.

I think Wal-mart only represents the tip of the ice berg and that many other of our fine upstanding Corporations are employing many of these same tactics. Only the average American can end up paying for the ultimate cost of what is going on. I Think that if the public will not take a stand soon then we are heading to disaster. Our only hope is to unionize or support the unions other wise those Corporations bent on total domination will put us all in the poorhouse.

I currently work at Wal-Mart. I do like the work, as I have worked many jobs in the past. And most of my past jobs were stressful and hard. Granted, I couldn't survive on my paycheck. I have a 3 year old son and my husband is overseas. But for someone who just wants to bring in extra money, it is great. I do know many other associates who can't afford food and clothes for their children. Most are on foodstamps and medicaid...thank god for the help of the state. But i think it is sad to work 30 hours a week and still not be able to afford what you need. I do feel that it is a great company to work for. Most of the managers and CSM's are nice, caring people. But I do think that associates aren't given enough credit or reward for good things done. But unfortunatly that is at any job. Don't be so hard on Wal-Mart.

We hear over and over again that Wal Mart is putting all of the small town businesses out of business. We live in America. We all are free to choose. I choose Wal Mart! It is not my responsibility to pay higher markups at the mom and pop shop. It is ridiculous that people feel Wal Mart should go union? I applaud them for not. It's us as the consumer that is responsible for the imported goods. Put your money where your mouth is. If you want to support American workers - then buy american.

I had worked at a Wal-Mart Distribution Center in California for two and a half years. My "Production" was 106% and my "Accuracy" in filling orders was 99.990%. However that didn't help me when they found out I was gay. I was routinely harassed by other employees in the presence of managers and also by some of those same managers. Another employee was driving a lift truck and had a paper that had all types of virulently anti-gay statements and also statements about my personal sex life. That paper was found by Wal-Mart managers, but there were no disciplinary actions taken against the employee who had the list. Soon after that I was fired for "harassment", and when I asked if that was "sexual harassment" they said no, but the crux of the charge was that I had made sexual advances to other men in my working area. It is all so well done that you really have no recourse. I filed a complaint with the Employment Protection organization in California and was dragged through the mud for two years before I dropped the case due to the stress I was under from it. Wal-Mart, in my opinion, is the most hostile work environment I have ever been in and the intimidation of the workers is a well-known fact among employees. I have now been on medication and out of work for seven years since I was fired from Wal-Mart due to depression and anxiety. The other "little secret" in Wal-Mart are the "profit-sharing" plans they offer. Monry is placed into your "profit sharing" account and you are responsible for any taxes on that money since it is "yours". The trick is that you only get 20% of that money after three years with the company, 40% after 4 years, etc., and 100% after seven years with the company. If you are fired or leave before three years with the company, that money is taken away and split between the remaining workers (and managers, who have a vested interest in firing employees since it will add to their accounts). The whole company is a massive fraud and presaents itself as a big supporter of the communities they are in. Most all of the money raised for local "projects" and things like the United Way are paid for by the "associates", but credit is given to Wal-Mart. Employees are very expendable at Wal-Mart.

Feds Arrest 300 Workers at 61 Wal-Marts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. officials arrested about 300 workers at 61 Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT - news) locations on immigration charges as part of an investigation into contractor cleaning crews, U.S. officials said on Thursday.

They said the investigation, known as "Operation Rollback," involved allegations the contractor had recruited illegal immigrants, mainly Eastern European nationals, to work on cleaning crews at the stores for the world's largest retailer.

A federal law enforcement official said some Wal-Mart executives had direct knowledge of the scheme, based on recorded conversations that have been made, surveillance and monitoring.

They said federal grand jury subpoenas have been issued for the Wal-Mart executives to testify. The executives were not identified.

Garrison Courtney, a spokesman for the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said the arrests in 21 states were part of a "worksite enforcement" effort.

If a company knowingly hires illegal workers it can be penalized up to $10,000 per person," he said.

Most of the 300 workers belonged to contract cleaning crews, he said.

The latest arrests stemmed from two prior investigations by federal immigration officials involving contractors and Wal-Mart stores, one in 1998 and the other in 2001, the law enforcement official said.

The company did not immediately comment.

I protest Wal-mart on several levels. Firstly, to have the five children of sam walton each be worth 25 Billion dollars (yes, that was a "b") and still pay workers 30% less than competitors is outrageous. How many billions do you need before you treat your workers fairly.

Secondly, I object to the list of sweatshops in this article and the conditions and wages that exist there. To pay folks incl. children, 23cents per hour for a seventy-hour week is just awful, (and not to have fire exits). i mean come on, do i even have to make an argument here?

Other writers have said that walmart is only doing what businesses should do, but they are wrong. I was raised in a family of businessmen and bankers going back to the 19th century. we owned and worked in banks during the depression and when they went under, we paid back customers, though we were not legally bound to. my family made sure employees got a raise before they did and sometimes lent them money to buy houses. We took care of people's savings and knew what this meant- not an addition to our bottom line, but helping people with their families and lives. this is the old standard of what American business is about, not this "come into town and suck it dry and pay everyone pennies" model perfected by Wal-Mart.

If employees are still at walmart and if walmart is still in business in your town, please do not assume that means all is well. walmart and businesses like it are giving American Business and America a BAD NAME. Please let us organize to boycott Wal-Mart until they engage in fair business practices, pay higher wages here and abroad. thank you for your time.

I totally agree with walmart concerning they lyrics and covers of their CD's!!!!!!!!! At least they have the balls to stand up for some decency in these United States!!


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