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How Walmart Destroyed U.S. Manufacturing

How Walmart Destroyed U.S. Manufacturing

Walmart has spent millions of dollars in the past two years on public relations promotions, advertising and conferences, trying to convince us that it, well, cares about America. From championing hiring veterans (which is noble, yes, but veterans deserve better than poverty wage jobs, and Walmart receives a substantial tax break for hiring them) to promoting “U.S. manufacturing,” the company has tried to evade the common sense of real, hardworking Americans by helping them forget Walmart was responsible for our manufacturing sector’s demise in the first place.

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Hey, Walmart, Want to Fix Those Sales Problems? Why Not Invest in Workers?

Photo courtesy Sean on Flickr

An internal memo, recently leaked by a Walmart manager, urged store managers to improve lagging sales, primarily through addressing problems with understocked shelves and with keeping fresh meat, dairy and produce stocked and aging or expired items off the shelves. Such complaints are widespread at Walmart stores and are likely a significant factor in the company's sales, which have lagged for 18 months. While the memo catalogs problems the company faces, it ignores the two most obvious solutions—giving workers adequate hours and paying those workers the $15 living wage they've been calling for. 

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What Working in Fast Food Could Be Like

Photo courtesy Steven Isaacson on Flickr

Imagine you have a job where you get the full 40-hour workweek you want. You have affordable health care that meets your needs. You get five weeks paid vacation, paid maternity and paternity leave, a pension and overtime pay for working after 6 p.m. or on Sunday. You get your work schedule four weeks in advance so you can plan your life. And your employer can't send you home early without pay because business is slow. You have a union that is well-organized and fights to make sure your rights are protected. After you pay your rent and bills, you can still put some money in your savings account, and you still have money left over to go out and have a nice evening. And you know that if times get tough, that savings you have been able to put away will help you through.

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In Stockton, Calif., Investment House Franklin Templeton Eviscerates Pensions

Photo courtesy Steve Rhodes on Flickr

In the Los Angeles Times, Michael Hiltzik lays out the tale of how investment house Franklin Templeton Investments is attempting to gut the pensions of 2,400 retirees from the city of Stockton. The city has been involved in bankruptcy proceedings recently, and Franklin Templeton is trying to further cut pensions that already have faced cuts in recent years.

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Vote! Vote! Vote!: A Q&A with the Koch Sisters

Pictured Left to Right: Karen Koch, Richard Trumka, Joyce Koch

Joyce and Karen Koch, aka the "Koch Sisters," (not related to each other but sisters where it counts) came to Washington, D.C., this week to meet with lawmakers to talk about working families' issues—and several taxi drivers, members of Teamsters, were thrilled when the sisters hailed down their cab after seeing their commercials on MSNBC

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Musicians Satirize Lionsgate's Offshoring Practices in 'Right Here at the Top'

Musicians Satirize Lionsgate's Offshoring Practices in 'Right Here at the Top'

Members of the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) wrote a song satirizing the film company Lions Gate Entertainment (Lionsgate) for placing profits ahead of people by outsourcing jobs in the production of its movies. AFM is calling on Lionsgate to stop offshoring musicians' jobs and live up to the standards maintained by other movie companies.

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Honor Labor Every Day, Not Just on Labor Day

Honor Labor Every Day, Not Just on Labor Day

It’s been a long time since companies honored workers with more than just lip service once a year on Labor Day. Decades, actually. Since the late 1970s, wages of workers have not even kept pace with inflation. Meanwhile, CEO pay has soared. But because companies do not disclose a vital piece of information—the pay gap between their CEO and their typical worker—investors and the public cannot gauge which companies are investing in their workers and which are not.

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Musicians Blast NFL Pay-to-Play Scheme

Photo courtesy Anthony Quintano on Flickr

Normally, regardless of what the field you work in, you show up, you perform the tasks required of you, then you get paid for your work.  The National Football League (NFL) has a better idea: Show up, perform and you pay them.  At least that'’s its proposal for musicians who might play at halftime of the Lleague'’s biggest event, the Super Bowl. 

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