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View Full Version : Wal-Mart in the news again!!!! Hiring illegals for floor work.



scruffziller
10-28-2003, 09:23 AM
Here is the news. Man so much for trying to keep that wholesome image by
trying to discourage their female employees from posing.
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Federal agents raided Wal-Mart's headquarters and 60 of its stores across the country Thursday, arresting more than 300 illegal workers in an immigration crackdown at the world's biggest retailer.

The workers were members of cleaning crews hired by outside contractors, but federal law enforcement officials who spoke on condition of anonymity said Wal-Mart had direct knowledge of the immigration violations. They cited recordings of meetings and conversations among Wal-Mart executives, managers and contractors.

''We have seen no evidence of this from the INS, and if that turns out to be true, we will cooperate fully with law enforcement officials,'' Wal-Mart spokeswoman Mona Williams said.

The workers were arrested as they finished their night shifts at Wal-Mart stores in 21 states. Agents also took boxes of documents from an executive's office at Wal-Mart headquarters in Bentonville.

Top Wal-Mart officials learned of Thursday's sweep when store managers began calling headquarters for guidance in dealing with the raids.

An employer can face civil and criminal penalties for knowingly hiring illegal immigrants or failing to comply with certain employee record-keeping regulations.

Wal-Mart Stores had sales last year of $244.5 billion. The company has about 1.1 million employees in the United States, and it uses more than 100 third-party contractors to clean more than 700 stores nationwide, Williams said.

''We require each of these contractors to use only legal workers,'' she said.

The law enforcement sources said the investigation grew out of earlier probes of Wal-Mart cleaning crew contractors in 1998 and 2001.

All of the arrested workers were in the country illegally, said Garrison Courtney, a spokesman with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. They were detained at local immigration offices. Those who had no criminal record were released with instructions to appear before immigration judges.

Wal-Mart is not the first big company to be targeted in an immigration investigation. Six managers at Tyson Foods, based one town away from Wal-Mart in Springdale, were charged in an immigrant-smuggling case in 2001.

One defendant shot himself to death a few months after being charged, and two managers entered guilty pleas early in the case. A jury acquitted the poultry company and three other managers.

Ulysses A. Yannas, an analyst with the investment firm Buckman, Buckman and Reid, said it is too much to expect Wal-Mart to keep track of vendors' workers. But he said the probe could present a problem for the company. AP

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also saying that they knew about it.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Evidence including recordings indicates that Wal-Mart had direct knowledge of immigration violations involving its cleaning contractors at stores across the country, federal law enforcement sources said.

Federal agents raided Wal-Mart's headquarters and 60 of its stores across the nation Thursday, arresting more than 300 illegal workers in an immigration crackdown at the world's biggest retailer.

The workers were members of cleaning crews hired by outside contractors, but federal law enforcement officials who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity said Wal-Mart knew of the violations. They cited recordings of meetings and conversations among Wal-Mart executives, managers and contractors.

``We have seen no evidence of this from the INS, and, if that turns out to be true, we will cooperate fully with law enforcement officials,'' Wal-Mart spokeswoman Mona Williams said.

The workers were arrested as they finished their night shifts at Wal-Mart stores in 21 states. Agents also hauled away several boxes of documents from an executive's office at Wal-Mart headquarters in Bentonville.

An employer can face civil and criminal penalties for knowingly hiring illegal immigrants or failing to comply with certain employee recordkeeping regulations.

Wal-Mart Stores had sales last year of $244.5 billion. The company has about 1.1 million employees in the United States, and it uses more than 100 third-party contractors to clean more than 700 stores nationwide, Williams said.

``We require each of these contractors to use only legal workers,'' she said.

The law enforcement sources said the investigation grew out of earlier probes of Wal-Mart cleaning crew contractors in 1998 and 2001.

All the arrested workers were in the country illegally, said Garrison Courtney, a spokesman with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. They were detained at local immigration offices. Those who had no criminal record were released with instructions to appear before immigration judges.

Many of the workers said they were Eastern European and a few were of other ethnicities, Courtney said.

Wal-Mart is not the first big company to be targeted in an immigration investigation. Six managers at Tyson Foods, based one town away from Wal-Mart in Springdale, were charged in an immigrant-smuggling case in 2001.

One defendant shot himself to death a few months after being charged, and two managers entered guilty pleas early in the case. A jury acquitted the poultry company and three other managers.

Ulysses A. Yannas, an analyst with the investment firm Buckman, Buckman and Reid, said it is too much to expect Wal-Mart to keep track of all of its vendors' workers. But he said the investigation could present a problem for the company.

``It is a question of what else it might bring out. These are long, drawn-out processes,'' Yannas said.

Top Wal-Mart officials learned of Thursday's sweep when store managers began calling headquarters for guidance in dealing with the raids.

Courtney said agents searched the office of one of Wal-Mart's executives. Williams, the spokeswoman, said they spent several hours in the office of a ``mid-level manager'' at Wal-Mart's headquarters and carried away several boxes of paperwork.

She said she did not know if any other Wal-Mart administrative offices were searched.

The arrests were made at stores in Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.

mabudonicus
10-28-2003, 09:44 AM
so there IS some justice in the world


sorta smoke and mirrors, though, hiring illegals and paying them peanuts is one of the less harmful practices they utilize.... there were only 300 arrests, after all......
pretty hard to comment further, as I feel somewhat religiously political about this whole issue :D

Kidhuman
10-28-2003, 09:47 AM
Well if they knew about it then they are at fault. If they didnt then they should not be punished in any form. I am sure they didnt inspect the workers and ask for green cards as they came in to clean the floors. Cleaning companies are contracted through home office. The store level has no idea who is coming and who isnt. They people change every week. This is just a case trying to get at Wal-mart in my opinion.

scruffziller
10-28-2003, 12:40 PM
At any rate maybe it will inspire to have things further investigated in other areas of the business practices so that things can get improved around here at WM.

sith_killer_99
10-28-2003, 12:42 PM
This is just a case trying to get at Wal-mart in my opinion.

And that's bad because....
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chirp......
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chirp....

JK. :D

But seriously, when noone knows who you are (annonimity) and you change people every week, chances are, something is up. Sometimes it's easier to turn a blind eye and say...oh, they're just "contractors". ;) ;)

derek
10-28-2003, 02:56 PM
reports are that wal mart was aware their contractors were using illegals. if this is proven turn, i think wal mart can be fined $10,000 for each illegal worker.
which would be 3 million.........pocket change for the wal mart heirs! :crazed:

LTBasker
10-28-2003, 07:13 PM
I like how they use the word 'raid' when the agents probably just walked in there and whatnot. When I hear raid I think of more SWAT guys coming through the window with MP5s raised and some shotgun guys busting down the door. :D That would be fun...

JediTricks
10-28-2003, 09:49 PM
As pointed out on last night's The Daily Show, it sucks that they waited till these workers FINISHED their shifts before arresting them, that's just coldblooded. Beyond the fines they should have to pay, I think WM and the contracted company should also be forced to give fair wage backpay to these workers who they exploited, whether these people get sent back to their countries of origin or not.

Jedi_Master_Guyute
10-28-2003, 10:08 PM
eh, this won't effect (affect?) a thing. Wal-mart will continue to do these sort of things and WM will still be the #1 retailer in the world. :D

scruffziller
10-29-2003, 10:46 AM
which would be 3 million.........pocket change for the wal mart heirs! :crazed:Yep, like my theory goes. They keep doing illegal things because they are making more money by doing this stuff for taking a risk of getting a slap on the hand. They save/make $10 million for every $3 million fine. Do the math.:D

Exhaust Port
10-29-2003, 11:19 AM
I'd like to see the employees unionize. Perhaps it's time to stop accepting less than industry standard wages.

There was an interesting article about Walmart and their employee pay practices in last months Playboy. Yes, I read the articles. :D

scruffziller
10-29-2003, 11:38 AM
I'd like to see the employees unionize. Perhaps it's time to stop accepting less than industry standard wages.

There was an interesting article about Walmart and their employee pay practices in last months Playboy. Yes, I read the articles. :D
Can you post the details of that subject in that article.

Exhaust Port
10-29-2003, 12:20 PM
Can you post the details of that subject in that article.
I don't have the magazine in front of me, in fact I can't remember where it ended up so I can't give exact details. I recommend just buying the magazine anyway, you'll find it more interesting. :D

Basically they covered the Walmart culture and how they go about lowering their cost to undercut the competition. Their 2 major avenues of cost savings are buying/selling in bulk (obviously) and labor rules and costs. They sell the culture to the employee group which has allowed them to lower their financial expections through such programs as a stock purchase program. They limit the amount of hours worked by employees so the Walmart corporation isn't held responsible for providing health/insurance benefits. If you don't put in more than say 30 hours a week, you aren't considered a fulltime employee so laws don't require them to meet certain employee benefit standards set by the federal gov't. So if you have a larger work force working less time it costs you less money.

Now instead of having 1 million employees making a liveable wage with benefits that help support a family unit you have 2 million employees who are making less and are forced to support the burden of higher out of pocket health costs and insurance. Financial gain made on the backs of the employees. :rolleyes: So having Walmart take a economic stronghold in local communities ends up suppressing the local labor force standard of living.

They gave one or two examples of the lifestyle of an average Walmart employee and how they perceived their situation and Walmart. The salary of those workers was also quoted as a point of reference. At first you get the feeling that these employees know what they are getting into but soon as Walmart destroys the local competition joining Walmart isn't avoidable. An unskilled laborer loses his job as a warehouse supervisor for the nearby supermarket loses his job as the store closes then turns to Walmart (the winner in the battle of stores) for a replacement job. This is my example of the point they were trying to make.

Beyond that the article discussed the power that their monopoly has created in the music, print and movie industries. The question was raised, at what point does it have the affect of censorship? In smaller communities that have all other media outlets forced out of business, the residents are only given the option of the Walmart view of the world.

Again, since I don't have the article in front of me the exact details of the law are just ballpark figures.

scruffziller
10-29-2003, 12:44 PM
Sounded like a pretty good synopsis to me.:)

bobafrett
10-29-2003, 01:36 PM
I don't know, a gal I dated, who was a department manager was bringing in nearly $20 an hour. Another associate had transferred around from store to store helping out, and each time he moved around he got another raise. He was making nearly the same amount as the prior young lady I mentioned. I was at $13.15 an hour, which was one of my best paying jobs to date. However for the amount of work I did, yes I do feel I was underpaid. I left there aching every night after unloading smetimes 13 pallets of freight. The floor crew at our store were all hired the same way I was. In fact, I could have gone to floor maintenance since our store didn't contract out for those jobs. Towards the end of my job with Wal-Mart, we did have several people come in from Bosnia though, who couldn't speak a word of English. But to the best of my knowledge they were all hhired through the personal department.

Exhaust Port
10-29-2003, 01:40 PM
But how many minimum wage earning employees are there for every $20/hr manager?

bobafrett
10-29-2003, 01:47 PM
Well, from where I started, I was making $7 an hour to start. It went up to $8 to start several years later. That is above the minimum wage, at least for now. I got up to the rate I was at by busting my tail for nearly 6 years.

And the $20 an hour was a department manager who works Monday through Friday 7 am to 4 pm. I'm not praising nor defending Wal-Mart, in fact now that I look back I really don't like the layout of the stores in my area. I'd much rather shop at a Target, an may even apply for a job there, for about what they start you out at Wal-Mart.

derek
10-29-2003, 03:02 PM
I'd like to see the employees unionize.:D

and i'd like walmart to tell the unions to take a long walk off a short plank. :evil:

both my brothers lost very good paying jobs because of their union, which they were bullied into joining. unions may of been needed years and years ago, but now they are a cesspool of corruption that only serve to protect the lazy and useless in society, and make union leaders rich.(and are one reason companies are moving jobs overseas and to mexico)

both my brothers had non union supervisors tell them they would of loved to keep them on, but instead they had to let them go because other worthless employees, who have been suspended for drug use and disciplined for not coming to work for days had more time on the job than them.

any unskilled person who trys to form a union or go on strike is a fool. untill you have some useful or needed skill to bargin with, be happy those entry level wal mart jobs are there.

scruffziller
10-29-2003, 03:09 PM
and i'd like walmart to tell the unions to go butt a rubber stump. :evil:

both my brothers lost very good paying jobs because of their union, which they were bullied into joining. unions may of been needed years and years ago, but now they are a cesspool of coruption that only serve to protect the lazy and useless in society, and make union leaders rich.(and are one reason companies are moving jobs overseas and to mexico)

both my brothers had non union supervisors tell them they would of love to keep them on, but instead they had to let them go because other worthless employees, who have been supsended for drug use and disciplined for not coming to work for days had more time on the job than them.

any unskilled person who trys to form a union or go on strike is a fool. untill you have some useful or needed skill to bargin with, be happy those entry level wal mart jobs are there.
I hear what you are saying. What we would want in a union doesn't really exist anymore from things I have heard and not from WM. It would be nice to unionize but what would happen wouldn't be what we thought it would be.
What we would actually need is a combo of a union and an open door policy.

kool-aid killer
10-29-2003, 04:39 PM
I agree that unions for the most part are obsolete. I remember a year ago a company that made tires (i dont recall the name offhand) layed off some of its employees and was moving the factory to Mexico. The employees were making $18 an hour to put clamps on hoses or something simple like that. The company wanted to cut the wages down (around $12 i think) but the union wouldnt budge and so they lost their jobs. I work at a company that for the most part the jobs dont require many brain cells to perform. Yet i hear some people talk about how we need a union because we arent paid enough. Sadly they dont seem to realize that what we are doing isnt difficult unless you dont know how to count. I would love to get paid $10 an hour but i know that the jobs i perform arent worth that much so im content with my pay. Its not a career but for now it will do.

Exhaust Port
10-30-2003, 12:38 AM
I've been a card carrying union member for almost 4 years now and still think they are needed. Because of sorry saps who are willing to work for significantly less with poor work rules creates the need for unions. If you want a guy to be at your plant 40 hours a week to put hoses on your new cars they you need to pay him a liveable wage. He's going to be there every week, all year for years to come. He then needs to make enough so he can go home, pay his standard bills, raise his kids and prepare for his future expenses (ie kids education or something). Like it or not, that's the way things work.

Sadly big business looks at it as a plague not a necessity. They'll shop out their work or pay to lower and lower denominators to increase their revenue. All they have to do is wait until some sucker comes along whose level of morals is different. "I need a job so I'll do it for half the rate." Then someone comes along and does the same to him. Generation after generation of this the quality of life and financial stability of the labor force has degraded to a point of no return. Now the truly skilled workers or reliable workers are turned away by the low wages and look elsewhere. The company is now fighting with labor over poor productivity and quality control. Can that company now admit defeat and pay more hoping to draw in a higher quality work force? Nope, they can't fire their current employees and replace them overnight.

The problem also arises when you are working with a unionized or organized labor force and your work is being undercut by the guy down the street. Your company pays well and they have great employees but now this new guy is hiring employees that don't perscribe to any union/organized labor force and they'll work for half the price (cause they need the job). Now your good company if forced to cut corners to compete with the new guy. They look at the differences in salaries and want to compete with these new lower rates so now you take the hit. That wouldn't have happened if all hose fitting workers were unionized and agreed on a set pay rate. If that had happened the new start up company would have an even playing field with an existing company when it came to labor cost. So any economic advantage wouldn't come at the expense of the employee group but through better products, marketing, efficency, etc.

Currently another airline pilot group has authorized a strike if needed when they return out of the 30 day cooling off period. They've been in negotiations for over 3 years for a new contract. Meanwhile the company has sold off airplanes, furloughed pilots, given future aircraft deliveries to other airlines to break the negotiations. In fact the pilot union had to go to the government to be released from negotiations due to the hostile tactics of the company. A brand spanking new airline pilot (after his college education and $50,000 flight training, not to mention 3-4 years of industry experience) will get paid $17,000 to fly a $20 Million jet coast to coast. Not to mention that some airlines are asking for pay concessions for the pilots so they can buy more airplanes. Yeah, let them give up another few thousand a year so they can have a new jet. People loading bags in the jet or waving the wands to guide the aircraft to the gate will make twice the pilots salary in their first year. That ramper will be making 3 times his salary in 5+ years (plus he'll be home every night).

You might not realize it but unions are needed and do work if run properly. In 2001 the unionized pilot group for Comair, a Delta Connection Airline, struck for 60 days due to the attitude of management to pay fry cook wages for pilots. It worked and now that group of pilots makes a liveable wage as well as a pay that is in line with the value of their work. The non-union counterparts out there are still working for crap wages and don't have a leg to stand on when it comes to negotiating any pay raise.

Unions aren't about getting paid too much to do your job, it's about getting paid and treated fairly AND by being a unionized labor force you can protect each others jobs even in a competitive industry. I think too many people watch too many movies about NY Longshoremen or Chicago Gangsters.

scruffziller
10-30-2003, 10:19 AM
Unions aren't about getting paid too much to do your job, it's about getting paid and treated fairly AND by being a unionized labor force you can protect each others jobs even in a competitive industry. I think too many people watch too many movies about NY Longshoremen or Chicago Gangsters.
I agree EP that we need a union in every work place. I just would want one like you got. The way it seems sometimes though, you can get as much or worse corruption in the union than the employer itself. So what exactly would you say happened with derek's brothers there then?

That reminds me of something my friend's dad once said about working at JOHN
DEERE corperation.

"Man, I sure wish the mafia was still back in the union....":D

Kidhuman
10-30-2003, 12:41 PM
Unions are good and bad like everything else. They protect the workers frombeing treated unfairly, which is good. Workers now a days need that. They get competitive rates with guaranteed increases. No more of the boss shoving you around and taking advantage of the worker.

Now for the bad part. When I was working security, we caught 2 employees stealing car radio equipment. They were arrested and all. They union said because they never walked out the fron door of the building they were allowed to stillwork there, even though they admitted to the theft. They were stopped just in front of the exit doors before they went home.

The good thing about it was, the fact of when they were arrested they were issued a CriminalTresspass Warrant. That basically says, you got caught stealing in the store, and if you ever comebvack intothe store you can be arrested for simply walking in the front door to use a phone or anything else. They had no choice but to quit at that point or be arrested everytime they showed up for work.

Exhaust Port
10-30-2003, 03:02 PM
So what exactly would you say happened with derek's brothers there then?
Well they lost their jobs due to seniority issues plain and simple. Senority rules are often the cause of many discussions. There are good and bad points for the seniority system. One of the bads is that sometimes subpar employees outranks a more junior superior worker which gives the senior worker preferencial choice over work and also protects them in times of labor force reductions. On the flipside, when there are labor force reductions it protects those that have more time invested in a company and it doesn't play favorites. If you have 100 employees and have to get rid of 20 then the 20 most junior are on the street. I've witnessed this a lot in the last 2 years and it's a good system. For those that lose their jobs are recalled in order of seniority as well.

A lot of people put blame on the system when they see who they consider subpar employees being protected. The first problem with that is that it's the companies fault for hiring them in the first place. Every crap employee I've met was probably a crap worker before they ever showed up. The company can only blame themselves for picking losers to work for them. Second, if the company has work rules in place that outline what an employee can and can't do then can only blame themselves if those rules don't regulate their employees.

Companies agree upon work rules with the union and use those rules to govern over their labor force. If the company establishes a rule that drug users are allowed to continue working for them then it's there fault that still work there. People seem to think that contracts are a result of union strong arming. Contracts are agreed upon by both the union AND the company so you can blame the company equally as the union. The only power the union has is how they organize their members, usually through a longevity based senority system.

scruffziller
11-03-2003, 08:07 AM
One thing that I have figured out about alot of places that are "low scale"(job satisfaction, pay, career quality, you get the picture, WM of course :D )work places, since that is where I have mainly worked, is that the big wigs pretty much have a "make' em or break 'em" provision about their methods. They are aware that since most people that work in their establishment are there because they really can't get/keep a job/career at an establishment that they would desire to have or have the confidence to try. This is pretty much the case with alot of people that work at the places I have worked at. They have grown up in poverty where the value system is a brewing pot for criminal activity, have had criminal records, drug use, physical handicaps, elderly, and/or have some time type of nonobvious mental disability. Because of this, they pretty much bet on they really have no where else to go and are trapped there in that low scale job. So the bosses are going to put on as much pressure as they can because they know if we make this worker into something it's a pretty good thing, if they get mad and quit what have we lost? Plus too, the workers that are worth something that are staying, they are going to keep squeezing on them to get more and more because they know they can probably let a few more drops of blood from the turnip. I know at my WM they currently have a 54.48% turnover and their goal is 48%.:D WOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOO!!!!!! Reach for those stars!

Exhaust Port
11-04-2003, 10:01 PM
Poverty breeds poverty. Thanks WM!