What a loaded question, huh?

Walmart released today that they were creating 20,000 new jobs. They are opening new stores and/or are expanding exciting stores. Jobs will be opening for cashiers to management positions. All of these jobs will be located in the US. All of these jobs offer Health Care benefits, which is at least something in my mind. I understand these aren't high paying jobs like auto workers were making, but most of them are out of work or soon to be out of work.

Now I know a lot of people think of Walmart is evil and they maybe right. They do sell a tone of things that are made out of the country, but so do a lot of other retail stores. Don't take my word for it. go to Sears, Kohles, heck most of your clothing stores and you'll find out that they also sell a bunch of product made in other countries. Many people say they destroy local businesses. They may in some places, but we have three Super Walmarts near by and one regular Walmart and I haven't seen any of the local grocery stores go under. In fact those little guy store always seem to have their parking lots filled. Most of those store don't offer Health Care coverage to part time and some full time employees, unlike Walmart.

I used to be one of the Walmart haters. I thought from what I heard from the internet and other media sources that they treated their employee's badly. After talking to some people who work for them say differently. They are happy to have a jobs in these times and say it's not near as bad as everyone on the outside is being told.

So, is The Big Bad Walmart really that bad? They are creating new jobs which offer Health Care. In these time, at least where I live, there aren't even McDonalds jobs to be had. More people working and less pulling unemployment is a good thing.

I know, I'm gonna get hammered for this post. But if you're from the part of the US that I am, you'll understand where I'm, coming from. The county that I live in just broke the 11% unemployment rate.

So hammer away, I still would like to hear what people think. I'm a big boy and can take it.

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Tags: Walmart, care, employees, health, unemployment


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Comment by Mark D. on June 5, 2009 at 7:15pm
Unfortunatley Kmart hasn't been a big player against Walmart since they took over Sears. Yes they are still competitors, but the direction they are taking seems to be a different one. Maybe one day some one will step up at Kmart with fresh ideas to give Walmart some good competition.
Comment by Shtanto on June 5, 2009 at 4:44pm
11.4% unemployment here in Ireland. And it's getting worse.

We don't have Walmart here in Ireland, much less Europe (yet). I think the closest thing would be big chain supermarkets like Asda (who are owned by Walmart), tesco, M&S and Ikea is on the way. The biggest shop we have is probably no bigger than a small Walmart.

Not a bad reason to start reading that Dave Gorman book :)
Comment by AD on June 5, 2009 at 4:32pm
Walmarts in Canada are worse than the US ones, I've compared them many times. Selection of goods isn't half what you guys have and the prices are rarely better than other vendors. Service is horrible, the employees are paid squat and they let you know they don't like it by ignoring you as hard as they can.

Yet people flock there because of the name. At least they used to. I never do anymore, unless I'm in the US.

Tho Sams Club is now defunct, Costco survived and prospers.
Comment by Branhower on June 5, 2009 at 3:59pm
I'm going to make it sound like a cult here, but as for the jobs; it really depends on how things outside of Wal-Mart are going. When the economy is great and everyone has jobs, of course they're going to say their jobs suck. But when everyone doesn't have a job, Wal-Mart employees are grateful they have theirs; and grateful that they are expanding. That's how it is anywhere though. Those that have a job should be appreciative of it.

As for quality, you just got to know the brands. I'll bet Apple doesn't say, "Oh, there's a bad batch of iPhones; we'll just send those to Wal-Mart." Especially since all iPhones are made the same way (and carry the same Pro-Care warranty plans).
Comment by Sheba on June 5, 2009 at 3:21pm
ok to Johannes S. I don't think they are talking about the quality or the safety of products. And they certainly aren't talking about products made in Europe, they would probably be even more expensive. We are talking about items manufactured in China, Vietnam or wherever it is cheap. The reason they like to buy american made is that you are supporting local businesses, local jobs, boosting the economy and living standards of your own neighbourhood. It is also bad because they are getting products from areas of the world where employment standards are severely lacking.
To bob3160, you always have a choice.
To wm_isherwood, people do not attack Walmart because it is a big company. At least if they do they are ignorant. There are many other good reasons to attack Walmart:part of their works health benefits is paid by US tax payers, health insurance is not given to all its employees, discrimination against women, monopolizing business, driving local businesses to the ground. Unlike some of the other people who have commented, I don't see any local grocery stores anymore. NONE at all. No mom and pop shops. They are gone here.
Yes there are some points too; they are giving jobs (frankly I'd rather live on welfare or clean toilets), they are one of the only pharmacies that track the drugs from leaving the pharmaceutical companies to their arrival at walmart which I think is important giving all the fake drugs on the market. This is not a socialist country however and America supports whoever can beat out the competition at almost any rate. Walmart is a perfect example of capitalism. It is what the public wants.
Comment by Keith Stoneberger on June 5, 2009 at 2:47pm
I used to work for Wrangler of the VF corporation here in my town before they shut most of the operations down, and it is a small town and I have family members that still work in the downgraded version of Wrangler, but what gave Wal-Mart such a bad rep is when they purchase items from their suppliers. They will contract for so many items for a certain price from their suppliers. Then the next go around, the will dictate to their suppliers for the same amout of items but for a reduced price. Since Wal-Mart is a major merchandiser for most suppliers, it will hurt them if they lost Wal-Mart. In my area, for awhile, HP computers were hard to come by they were filled with Compaq (before the merger to HP), ACERS, eMachines. That was a few years ago before Target made a hugh comeback. Local grocery stores in my opinion had always been the best place to go to get food.
Comment by Phoobar on June 5, 2009 at 1:27pm
I've heard about how "bad" Wal-Mart is. How they've "driven" out the local mom/pop stores. While I'm not a big fan or Wal-Mart and do everything I can do to keep from shopping there. I hate the crowds at Wal-Mart.

I do need to mention this about "buying local". I live in a rural town with a new Target store and a Wal-Mart store which has been here for years. If local merchants were that fantastic in the first place...everyone would still buy from them. For instance...I refuse to get my auto serviced by a local mechanic. Everyone I have met have no morals/ethics and less knowledge about cars than me. Watching the local news from New York/LA tells me the same thing. Look at computers. The big chain stores will actually sell them here. The local merchants have no idea between a laptop or a desktop...except animals and performers perform under one and sit on your lap in another.;)

Myself...I order almost everything online for the price and the big savings on paying a "premium" because I maybe able to buy it locally.
Comment by Lisha Sterling on June 5, 2009 at 12:46pm
If a company brags about how many people they are employing and how they are offering health benefits, most people won't look beyond that headline. The fact is that the majority of people who work for Walmart on the store floors make so little that they qualify for government aid, be it food stamps, medicare, or even cash aid. Walmart is essentially getting state, local and federal government assistance to pay for their employees by paying them so little that they qualify for that aid. Not only that, but the "health care benefits" come at a price that is too high for most of those employees to afford. Even $70 per month for health insurance is too much for someone who is making minimum wage and trying to support a family.

Furthermore, Walmart has closed supplier businesses down by negotiating their prices down to un unsustainable level. Suppliers feel that they have to have their products in Walmart if they want to be nationally successful at all, and yet Walmart refuses to carry products unless they are able to get the prices down to absurd levels. If you search for "suppliers Walmart negotiations" you will find tales and lots of information about how partnering with Walmart can be "the kiss of death" as one article put it.
Comment by llsee on June 5, 2009 at 10:44am
Yes, 20,000 jobs sounds impressive, but how may jobs and small businesses has Walmart destroyed over the years. My town used to have a 'Downtown' area. Now it is a strip of empty abandoned stores. These were stores that once supported the people who lived here. It provided business ownership and employment. And, best of all, the profits stayed in our community and didn't get shipped off to Benton, AR. I see a certain macabre humor to the fact that when I was a kid in the 50's, we used to look at the few photos and films that came out of the Soviet Union and laugh at the cheap, poorly made, ill-fitting clothes and goods they had there. Well, Americans aren't laughing any more, now we're lining up at Walmart to buy those same goods.
Comment by chip.black on June 5, 2009 at 8:40am
I hear friends complain about how Walmart knows you can't live on what they pay and how the teach some people how to apply fore welfare when they hire them. Others complain about how they drive local businesses out (particularly in rural areas), and then close the local Walmart down so they have to drive even further to get to the nearest Walmart.

I don't know that comparing them to other super stores is a good argument against them being that bad. Given the current economic crash, I think it's reasonable to question huge corporate outlets that diminish the commercial diversity in our economy.

I think few people realize what we've all given up an awful lot to giant corporate interests. The government subsidizes corn to make huge scale corporate farming more practical. I bet few people whose doctors have told them to cut back on cheese and real butter realize that cheese and real butter would be much better for them if they came from grass fed cows. Walmart is bad for us in a similar, albeit commercial way.

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