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
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
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 .
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.
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.
=====>I suggest that everyone check out:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
Anyway, this is getting way too long for this space.
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.
<snip my observation that your unstated premise offers a false
Right. That was my point.
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
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
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
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.
Of course - only the union comments could be the complete, unadulterated
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.
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
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?
If you're gonna be dumb, you better be tough
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