Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Rising Costs of Low, Low Prices

Wal*Mart  (and people that consume from Wal*Mart) are creating a secondary wave of horror. Unionized stores (such as family-owned Raley's, HQ'd in Sacramento) are being squeezed between Wal*Mart prices and their unions (UFCW) and there may soon be a strike. As a result -more consumers will shift to Wal*Mart (as opposed to crossing picket lines at Raley's and other grocers that are in contract negotiations -Safeway, SaveMart) and potentially cause non-union consolidation in the supermarket and retail store industry in Northern California. 

While the UFCW should make every attempt to negotiate and advocate on behalf of its members -there should be constant and growing pressure to unionize Wal*Mart -and hold it accountable to pay fair/living wages and benefits to its workers. Without such pressure -Wal*Mart will continue to finish the job started by the Reagan administration -the elimination of collective bargaining. 

For those that don't think unions serve any purpose anymore -the next time you are enjoying a BBQ on a weekend, the reason there is a weekend is because of unions and collective bargaining. Don't think for a second that the extreme wealth behind Corporate America would implement any policy that did not involve transferring additional wealth to themselves -through our labor, Monday - Friday and Saturday/Sunday if they can. This is why the Koch Brothers are funding cheerleaders for wealth such as Scott Walker in Wisconsin. Placing political and economic pressure on unions at a time in which they have been weakened -the multi-faceted attack on unions is an attempt to remove a significant protection society has against extreme wealth and power.

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