Weyburn Walmart

83 posts / 0 new
Last post
abnormal

Unionist wrote:
As of the end of last month, Wal-Mart had 312 retail outlets in Canada. That's a good chunk of change just in real estate terms.

Sorry for not responding earlier but missed this sentence.  I don't know for a fact but I'd be surprised if Wal-Mart actually owns the real estate.  Much more likely that they simply rent it.

Unionist

abnormal wrote:

 

Sorry for not responding earlier but missed this sentence.  I don't know for a fact but I'd be surprised if Wal-Mart actually owns the real estate.  Much more likely that they simply rent it.

Well, abnormal, let's put it this way. In 1994 Woolworth got almost $300 million from Wal-Mart in exchange for 112 Woolco outlets involving something or other which Wal-mart obviously considered of value. I'm 100% certain it wasn't their inventory!!! So whatever that something was, the Canadian government simply marches in, expropriates it with zero compensation, and offers it at fire-sale price to whichever competitor of Wal-Mart is interested in respecting Canadian laws and values.

 

abnormal

Since most of those competitors are already going to be established in the vicinity, which staff do you recommend they fire - the guys at WalMart or the ones they already have?

Unionist

abnormal wrote:

Since most of those competitors are already going to be established in the vicinity, which staff do you recommend they fire - the guys at WalMart or the ones they already have?

You think Wal-Mart creates unnecessary jobs just for the love of humanity - and when they leave, those people will be on the streets panhandling? Tell me what happened when Wal-Mart bought out Woolco. Did they fire staff in existing Wal-Mart stores to balance out? Oh, no, wait, you covered that point neatly when you said "in the vicinity"... So, they must have just kept the same staff? But if somebody took over from Wal-Mart now, there would be massive unemployment?

Good Lord, how did we manage before they came along. My memory is going. Did we even exist before they came along?

Let's put it this way. We do not need scofflaws and bloodsuckers coming here from Arkansas to keep Canadians employed. They should be chased out, and somehow, painfully, we poor inept Canadians will manage to pick up the pieces.

Pogo Pogo's picture

I just wanted to come to the defense of Time Bandit.  My daughter and I watched the documentary and found it very informative and balanced.  Unionist I usually read your posts to find out the common sense position, but sometimes when it comes to union issues you seem to have the Stockholm syndrome (babble Stockholm).  The collateral damage in a unionization bid must be a consideration and is clearly should be a consideration in Weyburn.  That said, no one here aside from AT is opposing the union or agreeing with the recent judgement, just pointing out that the battle of two giant forces is likely to cause serious harm to the community.

Unionist

What documentary is that, Pogo?

 

Aristotleded24

Unionist wrote:
What documentary is that, Pogo?

I'd like to know more about this documentary as well. Paging Timebandit....

Unionist

When did Timebandit mention a documentary? Are there some secret posts here? Sealed

ETA: Oh, ok, I see it now. What's it called?

 

 

abnormal

Unionist wrote:
Tell me what happened when Wal-Mart bought out Woolco. Did they fire staff in existing Wal-Mart stores to balance out?

To the best of my knowledge the majority of those stores were in locales where there wasn't an existing Wal-Mart.

 

Unionist

abnormal wrote:

Unionist wrote:
Tell me what happened when Wal-Mart bought out Woolco. Did they fire staff in existing Wal-Mart stores to balance out?

To the best of my knowledge the majority of those stores were in locales where there wasn't an existing Wal-Mart.

 

Well of course there weren't - there was no Wal-Mart in Canada before they bought out Woolco in 1994. What amazes me is the fear by some here that a service industry will decline because one player is pushed out. If there's a demand, they will be replaced. If there's no demand, then what is Wal-Mart doing here??

This is not a case of a manufacturing sector which can be outsourced to other countries.

 

remind remind's picture

Big Busness, Big Union, Small Town

And IMV it is not balanced at all, not even from the written trailer.

Quote:
Weyburn, Saskatchewan is a nice little city, a great place to raise kids and play hockey. The city fought hard to secure a big store that draws in people from the surrounding towns - they have a Wal-Mart. But the community and the Wal-Mart workers now find themselves the focus of a battle between two titans.

Big Business, Big Union, Small Town looks at what the local Wal-Mart really means in a small town, and how being chosen as the battleground between two colossal institutions has affected the community and the workers. Division and a sense of foreboding tie in to a quiet little town that is waiting for a drama to unfold in its midst, only knowing it may lose its Wal-Mart - and that the fight is not about them.

Big Business, Big Union, Small Town is produced in association with Global Television, a division of CanWest MediaWorks Inc., the Canadian Television Fund, the Saskatchewan Film Employment Tax Credit and the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit. Developed with the participation of SaskFilm and Global Television. 

 

josh

Pogo wrote:

The collateral damage in a unionization bid must be a consideration and is clearly should be a consideration in Weyburn.  That said, no one here aside from AT is opposing the union or agreeing with the recent judgement, just pointing out that the battle of two giant forces is likely to cause serious harm to the community.

What "collateral damage" are you referring to?  And are you really saying that Wal-Mart and the union are on a par in terms of "giant forces"?

 

Unionist

Quote:
... it may lose its Wal-Mart - and that the fight is not about them.

Yeah, right. This documentary is not about us. I don't think I'll be watching it any time soon.

I suppose 50 years ago, it would have been:

Quote:
There's a health care strike coming. It's a fight between two titans - the CCF and the doctors. It's not about us ordinary folk.

I won't be watching that one either.

I'll be watching the one entitled: "Which side are you on?"

Thanks for that, remind.

 

remind remind's picture

Good questions josh, and I want to know why there would be any "collateral damage" and why it must be a consideration too.

munroe

Battle of "collosal institutions", GMAB!  This is a battle initiated by WalMart against the law as it existed at the time in Saskatchewan.  It is a war by WalMart against the right of employees to form a union and bargain collectively.  WalMart chooses small towns to become the elephant in the room causing "collateral damage" to local businesses and suppliers.  Certainly that is what we saw in Terrace - closures and empty storefronts that had engaged people happily in niche roles side by side with previous department stores like Zellers and Woolworths.

As for Woolco, if memory serves me there were a few unionised stores.  After the purchase, WalMart closed these outlets rather than accept the collective agreements.  Is this anyone's idea of a worthy or responsible corporation?

Pogo Pogo's picture

It is amazing how once people have decided to vilify someone the lengths they will go.  Timebandit has said that she supported the certification and is appalled by the judgement.  But people refuse to take her word for it and furthermore have passed final judgement on her documentary by reading a trailer.

I could see arguments about the enormity of the battle (Monroe alluded to it) and how risking the livelihood of a community is a necessary risk.  I don't really buy the argument put forward by Unionist that any community that accepts a non-union company deserves anything it gets, particularly in a sector that is highly non-union.  But argue the arguments instead of attacking the poster.

remind remind's picture

Actually, am on record here, in another thread, as stating that I watched the documentary and that I thought it was a well produced one at that.

We did not discuss the bias contained within it, as it was a different discussion.

Moreover, stating that it has bias is not villifying anyone. It is merely stating a fact.

Wal-Mart is hardly the livelihood of Weyburn.

Also, I believe unionist's point is actually that everyone should be unionized and if they are not that is their problem to resolve. Which I believe too, and it would actually better their lives, as opposed to whining about the gains unionized workers have made for themselves, and wanting union workers to lose them, apparently because they won't fight  to end their own exploitation. Just how fucking rich should the Walton family get by union breaking and paying their workers non-livable wages? (won't even mention the exploited workers in China) They are already in the 10 Forbes list. And if anyone thinks Wal-Mart gives a shit  about Weyburn or the people in it they would be mistaken.

munroe

Pogo, help me out here.  The link to the documentary, kindly provided by Remind, appears to only include the trailer.  Further, I don't see where it is Timebandit's work (whoever he or she is), but funded by our friend Canwest.  As I noted above, the appearance of WalMart in a smaller Canadian centre goes beyond its formal and well documented war against worker rights and actually tears the heart out of small town commerce.  I would like to see the film to know whether the full story is told.

remind remind's picture

God Munroe, it was  back in 2007, or 2008, I think when I saw it on Global Currents, you may be able to find it on the Global Currents web site.

Pogo Pogo's picture

I don't have a link to the documentary.  Just happened to watch it one night with my daughter.  I live in Richmond which has the highest per capita retail spending in Canada (at least that is what their brochure says), and doesn't have a Walmart.  City Council has stood firm because small business has stood adamantly against it.

While I am not a student of Walmart, I disagree with Timebandit was when she compared the Walmart information as being on the same propaganda level as the UFCW information.  I think there are a number of independant studies that have shown Walmart as A) bad for the community (maybe not the jewelry store, but who is shopping at the co-op in Weyburn?) and B) a poor corporate citizen.  But that doesn't make Timebandit anti-union.

remind remind's picture

OH?

Unionist

Pogo wrote:

 I don't really buy the argument put forward by Unionist that any community that accepts a non-union company deserves anything it gets, particularly in a sector that is highly non-union.  But argue the arguments instead of attacking the poster.

You would do well to learn how to read:

Unionist wrote:
The people of Weyburn, directly and through their elected representatives, should take a public stand that they will never shop at a store whose owners try to stop their workers from unionizing. If the people of Weyburn aren't prepared to take that simple democratic stand, then (and please pardon the religious tone of this) to hell with them.

So you see, I have nothing against WalMart setting up in Weyburn, or Weyburn welcoming it. But if the people of Weyburn accept WalMart's blackmail directed against its workers (who I believe are citizens of Weyburn) and flouting the law of Canada, then why would you or Timebandit shed tears for them?

Do try to deal with what I actually said, rather than attacking the poster.

So, what's your response? Should the people of Weyburn remain neutral in the face of WalMart's actions, for fear that they'll close?

 

ennir

remind wrote:

Big Busness, Big Union, Small Town

And IMV it is not balanced at all, not even from the written trailer.

Quote:
Weyburn, Saskatchewan is a nice little city, a great place to raise kids and play hockey. The city fought hard to secure a big store that draws in people from the surrounding towns - they have a Wal-Mart. But the community and the Wal-Mart workers now find themselves the focus of a battle between two titans.

Big Business, Big Union, Small Town looks at what the local Wal-Mart really means in a small town, and how being chosen as the battleground between two colossal institutions has affected the community and the workers. Division and a sense of foreboding tie in to a quiet little town that is waiting for a drama to unfold in its midst, only knowing it may lose its Wal-Mart - and that the fight is not about them.

Big Business, Big Union, Small Town is produced in association with Global Television, a division of CanWest MediaWorks Inc., the Canadian Television Fund, the Saskatchewan Film Employment Tax Credit and the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit. Developed with the participation of SaskFilm and Global Television. 

 

I agree, the above description frames the battle between "two colossal" institutions with the "fight not about them", what absolute fucking bullshit.  It seems to me the real agenda is to impress upon the people of Weyburn that they are powerless.  Sure it was the people of Weyburn who fought so hard to get a Wal-Mart. LOL

Having said that I am not unsympathetic to the reality of people's lives on the prairies and what happens when a Wal-mart replaces all the services that once existed there, I have lived in a community that this happened to and people did not have a choice, short of travelling two hours to another community that also had a Wal-Mart.

The fight is precisely on their behalf, it is on behalf of all workers who deserve decent wages and working conditions, that is what unions are about.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Quote:
Weyburn, Saskatchewan is a nice little city, a great place to raise kids and play hockey. The city fought hard to secure a big store that draws in people from the surrounding towns - they have a Wal-Mart.

As the legends have it, bloodsuckers cannot enter on their own, they must be invited in by their victims before they can feast.

Pogo Pogo's picture

Unionist wrote:

Do try to deal with what I actually said, rather than attacking the poster.

Unionist wrote:

Timebandit wrote:

I'm still concerned for the city of Weyburn, though - this is an enormous turf war and the community itself isn't being served well by either side.

I have a confession to make. I don't care about the "city" of Weyburn at all. I further have this very strange belief (here me out, I know it's zany): That if Wal-Mart shuts its doors, the good folk of Weyburn will still find somewhere to buy their goods and the workers will indeed find other jobs. I know, I know, it's wacky, but that's me all over!

Meanwhile, I wish full victory to the union and the workers in this war.

 

As you can see there are a couple of statements.  If I misinterpretted your views, I apologize.

Pogo Pogo's picture

Unionist wrote:

Should the people of Weyburn remain neutral in the face of WalMart's actions, for fear that they'll close?

 

I think that unionization of a Walmart is an important battle and local residents should also support it.

josh

"By the way, here was the decision of Court of Queen's Bench"

 

Link doesn't work for me. 404 error.

Unionist

Link works for me.

 

Unionist

By the way, [url=here">http://www.canlii.org/en/sk/skqb/doc/2009/2009skqb247/2009skqb247.html][... was the decision of Court of Queen's Bench[/url] which ruled that the new law applies and cancelled the certification. There is another aspect to it - justifying the Sask Party's tyrannical removal of the labour board chair. I see little to distinguish this decision from that of any sycophantic fascist. But I'm not a lawyer, and would appreciate the take of any of our more legally educated babblers as to its vulnerability.

 

Unionist

The Supreme Court has refused to hear the union's appeal, so the results of the fraudulent December 2010 "decertification" vote have been counted:

[url=http://www.leaderpost.com/business/Union+loses+walmart+vote/8801296/stor... loses walmart vote[/url]

Quote:
The union first applied for certification at the store in 2004. The application was granted in 2008, but was challenged by Walmart and overturned in Court of Queen's Bench the next year.

Separately, dissident employees sought decertification and the store's workers voted on this on Dec. 22, 2010.

But the votes could not be counted until this week because of legal duelling between UFCW, the largest private-sector union in Canada, and Walmart, long a subject of union organizing drives in Canada and the U.S. With a local in place, the Weyburn store was the only unionized Walmart store in Canada, though the UFCW had applied to represent Walmart workers in North Battleford.

The final legal stage came Thursday, when the Supreme Court of Canada declined to hear the UFCW's appeal of earlier LRB decisions on union accusations of unfair labour practices. With no legal obstacles left, the ballots finally could be counted.

Doesn't - or didn't - Saskatchewan have first-contract arbitration laws? Have to check into that.

 

 

6079_Smith_W

One very telling point is that, as the article mentions, most of the workers who were at the store at the time of the vote are gone now.

janfromthebruce

that is too bad. The home of Tommy Douglas.

Pages