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    "The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people."
    Cesar Chavez

    :: Thursday, November 17, 2005 ::

    Target Wal-Mart - By Robert L. Borosage and Troy Peters, TomPaine.com
    Wal-Mart alone is China’s eighth-largest trading partner.  It accounts for over 10 percent of our annual trade deficit with China, with over 70 percent of Wal-Mart products made in China.

    If Wal-Mart’s size is a problem, its policies are a threat.  Wal-Mart is the model “low-road” corporation in the global economy. Its efficiency is celebrated, but its exploitation is caustic. The average pay of a Wal-Mart employee is $8.23 per hour, or an average yearly income of $14,000—not enough to lift a family out of poverty. Wal-Mart is infamous for requiring workers to work overtime off the books. It’s been cited for locking workers in plants overnight.  The company has been hauled into court for discriminating against female employees. And it is viciously, rabidly anti-union, crushing any attempt by its workers to organize to gain a fair share of the profits they help generate.

    A high price for a bitter banana - BY E. RAY WALKER, KRT Wire, Fort Wayne News Sentinel, IN
    Always low prices, always low wages, always low benefits.

    Which brings us to the memo by M. Susan Chambers, Wal-Mart's executive vice president for benefits. In her memo to the company's board of directors and reported in the New York Times on ways to hold down spending on health care, Chambers suggests one way to discourage unhealthy job applicants is to make all jobs involve some physical activity. For example, a door-greeter 'associate'' (Wal-Mart's term for its workers) or cashier 'associate'' might be required to help stock shelves or gather shopping carts. The thinking is that this physical fitness requirement will lead to healthier, younger job applicants.
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