OT:Woops Wal-mart screwed up again!


Newspaper today says wal-mart must pay $172 million for screwing employees out of lunch breaks. Wonder do you think the manager was the same one in tampa , or is it you get what you paid for. ? Looks like 116.000 employees did not get paid when they went without lunch . Seems the calif law says they must pay the employee 1 hr for a missed lunch. Wal-mart lawyer Neal Manne said the state law in question could only be enforced by calif. regulators not by workers in a courtroom. Also he said wal-mart did not think the lunch law allowed for punitive damages. It might be in wal-marts best interest and find some attorneys who KNOW the law. First hint to wal-mart management, If the lawyer has a suit on that you have on your rack, Just say N E X T .
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O D wrote:

Hard one to figure out according to a friend of mine out in San Diego who has to deal with this law all the time for his employees.
Just stupid since the law DOES NOT require that the employee receive a PAID lunch hour or breaks, just that they get the breaks. According to CA law, the employee CANNOT decline those breaks. Just another case of the government knowing what's best for everyone.
Wally World could have complied with the law by making the employees take the breaks without pay. Go figure.

That may be how they are resolving this (plus the punitives, etc.<g>

Well, there are appeals courts but I sure as hell wouldn't want to play with the CA appeals. Land of fruits and nuts, et al.
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Wasn't it more like 72 million? Not that it make much difference. Tom
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It was about 72 million in actual damages and an extra 100 million in punitive damages. Or thereabouts.
As I understand it, the law is pretty simple, if you work for 6 hours, you are given a half hour non-paid meal break. You can't keep working and then expect to get paid for your extra time nor can the company not allow you to take the break. It's one of the reason why so many companies have either split shifts or short shifts. They work people right up to the point of having to give them a break, and then send them home. Cheaper than having full time employees, especially when other company provided benefits only apply to "full time" employees.
It also gives companies the ability to claim that they've "created" extra jobs, they have to hire more people to cover those extra short shifts. End results, more people employed at lower wages with fewer benefits, more profits for said company and they come out of it looking like they model community citizens... til they get caught by being too greedy. ie, Walmart.
John E.

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http://www.walmartfacts.com/doyouknow/default.aspx
and: http://www.walmartfacts.com/doyouknow/faq.aspx
To get the other side of the stories about Walmart. Note that most are union propaganda in an attemp to unionize (Socialize) the U.S.
Leif
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The other side of the stories are simply Walmart's attempts to whitewash the truth about their corporation in an attempt to salvage their reputation.
As for the laughable comment about "socialising" the U.S., it was trade unionists that helped this country become what it is. It is the working class that fought for the right for such things as collective bargaining that keeps the Walmarts and the other irresponsible corporations from completely overrunning the country. If you've ever been paid overtime, thank a union member. If you have any kind of a health plan, thank a trade unionist. The "other side" of no unions is simply corporate slavery.
John E.

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It's just a *little* more complex than that, isn't it? There are, for instance, plenty of workers with health benefits and overtime who work outside unions and within union-free states, and have had those privileges independent of unions. It's true that the major unions did some wonderful things for workers when they first began, still do. But many of them in some respects have become as corrupt if not more than the supposedly evil corporations they caricature with their propaganda.
Even when they are not be corrupt to the core, or when they seem to have good intentions, they can easily screw up things: witness what unions have done for education in this country. Nothing sadder, IMO.
H
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Actually, all the benefits that non-union workers have can be traced directly to the formation of unions and their growth. No one can reasonably argue that unions are all good, especially 100+ years after they started, but in large part, workplaces would be less safe and general benefits unavailable outside the management class without unions.
To blame public education's problems on unions is disingenuous at best. The primary problem with universal public education is its universality, not a lack of money, competent teachers or teachers unions, though all contribute to the problems.
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Very true, but the many of the unions got greedy. I worked in a company that had a union. The negotiator from the union hall would come in and meet with us ahead of time. He laid out the scenario of the negotiation, what they would ask for, what they would settle for, how many meeting it should take. It was a charade. Only thing he was interested in was the company contribution to the Union Health and Welfare fund.

You forgot parents too, and the ACLU lawyers. Our education system is terrible and there is plenty of blame to go around. During the Vietnam war you could get a deferment if you were a teacher or a student that would become one. Many weasel draft dodgers went into teaching for that reason only. Now they are all in the 58 to 63 year old range and hold administrative positions and are still incompetent.
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Charles Self wrote:

Change the "all" to a "many" and I'll buy it. But it's also hard to say what sort of benefits a modern worker might have if the unions we now know had not quickly devolved into corrupt entities, and assuming that other forms of labor-management would have evolved. Part of your hypothesis, it seems to me, rests on the comparison of two states, one real and one imaginary. The real is the modern state as is (corrupt unions that have nevertheless benefitted workers in some ways); the imaginary is one where unions were not formed in the Industrial Era and Industry continued on its merry abusing way. But assuming that such an imaginary state is the only way for things to have developed (i.e., without unions) presents a false dilemma.
Our paradigm of labor did not *have* to develop into either corrupt-yet-beneficial unions OR corrupt-abusing-Industry.
And as grateful as I am for what unions have given workers, I'm not at all convinced that unions have given us what is better than would have evolved without them.

Perhaps. I do appreciate the good things they brought about.

Well, I didn't really place *all* the blame on the unions for the dismal state of our education, nor even the "primary" blame, did I? My argument, which I stand by, is that if we were to look at jobs where unions have contributed to their sorry state, education in America is a prime example. Perhaps that's a clearer explanation you'd accept. We are in agreement that the universality, if it's what I think you mean, is the major cause for our woes. But teacher's unions and the Ed. degree? Oh, those hurt any sensible person.
H.
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wrote in message Part of your

Now, that is an imaginary state. We KNOW what industry was like before unions. We do not have a clue as to what might have evolved without unions. Study the history of railroads in the latter part of the 19th century. Study non-union factory labor in the South, in particular, in the '20s and '30s. Study almost any major industry and see just how much businessmen of an earlier era cared about the always-replaceable unit known as a worker.

Sure. And MBAs are damaging American business, too, but what do we do about that? Top notch MBA programs help. Run of the mill MBA programs hurt. Poor MBA programs hurt even more. But part of the problem doesn't come from the competence or lack of competence of the programs, but in the fact that business management accepts the MBA as if it were a be-all and end-all in education for the modern business type. Something similar happened with education degrees. My first father-in-law had an EdD, garnered before WWII. I cannot imagine a more competent administrator, nor can I imagine a better teacher, than Ben. Yet, by the end of the '50s, such degrees were signs of people unwilling to take chances and barely competent to get through their own lives, never mind direct the lives (at least the working lives) of others.
So then you run into the chicken and the egg syndrome, because the current over-emphasis on degrees in American education--my first wife's grandfather taught, as a full professor, at Columbia, with just a BS degree: that will never happen today, or almost never---contributes to the problem. See good results with the first degrees in a field. Demand degrees from everyone, whether or not they are competent to gain those degrees, or whether or not the schools providing the degrees are competent to teach the new influx of students.
Education is a complex problem. Unions may contribute some to the problem, but I see them as less of a contributor than unrealistic educational and social demands on the educators themselves, which creates waves of educational faddism....
Anyway, this is getting way too long for this space.

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unions.
Study
True Charlie, but not all jobs are trades. There has always been a "class" (for lack of a better word) of worker who enjoyed an employment environment which was much more like what we see today than it was like that of the trades at the time. Those people had a certain ability to "negotiate" their worth based on such things as value to the company, etc. Not to diminish what the unions did to benefit the trades at the time and to ultimately benefit workers in general to some degree, but the generalization that the unions are responsible for creating decent working conditions and that no other factors did or would or could have accomplished the same simply implies a focus on only on element of the working society.
--

-Mike-
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Charles Self wrote:

<snip my observation that your unstated premise offers a false dilemma.>

<snip>
Right. That was my point.
<snip>

further observations about the problems: universality, only then lack of money, competency and unions>
<snip my objection that I didn't claim unions were the entire problem, just an assertion that they, and the Ed.D. degree[s], were not helping--quite the opposite.>
<snip corollary with MBA degrees>

I know a few rare Ed.D.s today who are competent, but they, like your FIL, are the exception rather than the rule. That degree was fundamentally flawed to begin with (and the reason why many top-notch schools still refuse to grant one): at the doctorate level, what do they study and then teach? Pedagogy? Those are sets of skills, a trade really, nugatory expertise that doesn't deserve a "doctorate" degree. Administration? Then a business degree would be better. Child and developmental psychology? Then get a psych degree. I'm sympathetic to the fact that some school administrators are asked to do all three, but watering them all down in the Ed.D. is not the answer. Otherwise respectable universities hand out these worthless diplomas to absolute imbeciles. I have been involved in a number of cross-disciplinary seminars, and the Ed.D.s are invariably the ones who understand neither the arguments from other disciplines, nor can they form cogent arguments from their own training. My ex-wife was the faculty editor at a large university (i.e., the university, in an attempt to promote faculty publishing, offered a free editing service. My wife ran that service with half a dozen editors under her), and for laughs she would bring over some of the stuff that she got and let me read it. The worst submissions were always from the Ed dept., and I kid you not, that stuff would not pass most freshmen and sophomore English composition courses. It was unbelievable just how poorly they wrote. The thought behind the writing was worse.
By far the worse sin, however, is the BS in Education these Ed.D.s pump out. I hate getting those majors in my classes because only 1 in 100 can read or write. I've spoken at length with many of them about their Education classes. Most of those classes are hard work, but it's all busywork, nothing involving genuine analytical skills. Sometimes we'll have a discussion about the nature of an Education degree, and what they hope to teach once they have a position. "What do you intend to teach with an Education degree--"teaching"? So they teach teaching to primary and secondary students now, do they?" The brighter ones get it, and often switch majors if they're still just freshmen or sophomores; the upperclassmen usually have too much invested and resist switching. But at least they know....

on primary and secondary education is not insignificant.

Very, very true...and beyond competence, whether there is sufficient demand for those degrees, or whether the demand will have to be fabricated.

I've never seen more fads than come from Education departments. There are many other groups that contribute to these problems, that's true. Nor are unions the only cause of deterioration--but they are prime culprits. Unions are as fundamentally flawed as their bed-mates in Education departments, and they both are "closer" to education and influence it more than all other groups combined. Fundamentally, it is wrong for the NEA (and FTA) to be partisan. Fundamentally, it has failed to secure decent wages for teachers in most states across the nation--but more to the point, whenever it does gain ground on wages, it has never been able to demonstrate how education has improved. Fundamentally, it is the one who has forced "universality" on us with compulsory education laws. Fundamentally, it is a sucking-monopoly sucking off a monopoly--and there's no way to sugar-coat how awful that is, from an organizational perspective.
Just one more thing to be mad at the current Republican administration for: they could've dismantled the Ed. dept. like they threatened, but they wimped out.

What, do I sound like I'm grinding an axe here? Hmm...I see your point.
(Thump...sound of axe hitting the ground),
I've gotta get my Scrooge off and get back to watching a 6 yr-old enjoy her Christmas.
Cheers, H.
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On Sun, 25 Dec 2005 02:23:21 GMT, "Charles Self"

Lower level managers also benefit from certain union perks provided to their direct reports.
When I was a manager of union technicians, never for one minute did I believe that my company would have provided me with certain perks, had the union represented people below me not had them. As a supervisor, I also found that a clear contract often made my job easier.
Even though they can get out of hand at times, I think unions are necessary.
Barry
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On Sat, 24 Dec 2005 20:54:20 GMT, "John Emmons"

Decades ago, that might have been the case, but it certainly isn't today. Modern unions are simply out to make money, they are corporations in their own right, but they force membership (and membership fees) whether people want to join or not.
Unions are no longer necessary and are more often than not harmful to the American corporation and it's employees. Unions are directly responsible for lost American jobs.
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the
Of course - only the union comments could be the complete, unadulterated truth, right?

thank
The unions did serve a purpose in the past, but those days are long gone. The unions in America have done nothing but contribute to the decline of jobs in America for the past three decades, while the union bosses continued to get fat off the backs of the members. As to the historical contributions of the unions, one needs to look beyond the trade journals to understand that while unions did indeed make life better for the sweatshop employees, there has always been a class of worker who enjoyed a work environment that was more comfortable and equitable than that which the unions addressed. So - while the union can be rightfully credited for its contribution to the American workforce, it was not in any way the sole driving force in doing so. There is an entire system out there based on competition, value, reward, etc. that has prevailed for eons which served to keep those nasty taskmasters like Wal Mart from taking over the world.
--

-Mike-
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wrote:

Does the law allow for both the company and the individual to agree that the individual *wants* to work through lunch and the company is willing to pay for that?
+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+ If you're gonna be dumb, you better be tough +--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
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Mark & Juanita wrote:

Nope, not in Kalifornia from what I've been told by a friend in management out there who was commenting on this very suit.
Government knows what's best for you, don't you know?<g>
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On Sun, 25 Dec 2005 15:22:59 GMT, Unquestionably Confused

Going to have to look into this further. Our company has divisions in the PRC, so this is more than academic. Many of us routinely work through lunch and use that as part of our compensated time -- that could have some ramifications for some of our counterparts in California. Does this only apply to hourly workers, or does it also apply to salaried workers?
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