It’s Only Temporary

The plight of the U.S. worker continues.  Here it comes in the semblance of Jdimytai Damour, 34 who was killed by trampling at the Wal-Mart in Long Island,:

Wal-Mart flexed its retail muscle on Black Friday to the delight of deal-seeking shoppers who spoke with our reporter Nicole Maestri in Columbia, Maryland.

Early bird buyers with shopping carts stuffed with toys, electronics and clothes stood 10 deep in checkout lines and the parking lot was packed with cars at 7:30 in the morning. In Valley Stream, Long Island, the crush turned tragic when a temp worker was killed by the crowd surging through a Wal-Mart’s doors.

In the above full-length article on the Business page, there’s exactly one sentence regarding the trampling death of Mr. Damour, who was hired as a holiday temporary worker, by Wal-Mart. I left the link in so you could see there’s absolutely no fucking mention on the company’s web site.  No acknowledgement, no statement of sympathy.

Suffice it to say, I do not and will not shop at Wal-Mart.  I don’t care what happens; I’d shop for groceries at a dollar store before hitting Wal-Mart   The primary reason has simply to do with their policies regarding their workforce. One thing the Waltons, Hiltons, and others fail to ever acknowledge is the debt they owe to the American worker as well as others who they have bamboozled into believing that their Industrial Age capitalism is such a glorious thing.  Wal-Mart, specifically, has a long-ass history of bilking employees of rightfully earned benefits along with not providing for those who toil there.

Wal-Mart has not only fooled the people who work there, it has fooled the public into believing it’s good. Wal-Mart has the American public in a death grip—many working people can’t afford to shop elsewhere, because their own wages aren’t keeping up with the cost of living, thanks to the Wal-Marting of American jobs. Wal-Mart will do anything to avoid paying its workers decent wages and benefits—it would take the pennies off a dead man’s eyes.

We know Wal-Mart is anti-union, preventing their employees from unionizing, and there has been one union official who has criticized Wal-mart for not providing adequate safety measures for its employees.  And here in lies a bit of the proof of the pudding.

“This incident was avoidable,” said Bruce Both, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500, the state of New York’s largest grocery worker’s union. “Where were the safety barriers? Where was security? How did store management not see dangerous numbers of customers barreling down on the store in such an unsafe manner?

If the safety of their customers and workers was a top priority, then this never would have happened,” said Patrick Purcell, a projects director for the local UFCW. “Wal-Mart must step up to the plate and ensure that all those injured, as well as the family of the deceased, be financially compensated for their injuries and their losses. Their words are weak.”

The UFCW has long been a harsh critic of Wal-Mart’s, arguing that the world’s largest retailer offers low wages and poor health care for its workers and pushes competitors and suppliers to do the same or go out of business.

The NY Times has quite a graphic telling of the night’s events with the New York Daily News has photos of the size of the crowd outside.  Notwithstanding, the despicable behavior of some in the crowd or the crowd at large, that’s not the most concerning  thing. The most concerning, the ‘working status’ of Mr. Damour.  He was only a seasonal worker hired by Wal-Mart to handle the extra customer traffic for the Christmas season.  In all likelihood, he received no other benefits outside of the wages Mr. Damour earned. He wasn’t an associate or a manager.  Just some poor schmuck who had the misfortune to need a job to live and get by. 

Hopefully, between the publicity leashed upon Wal-Mart, and the union, the interests of Mr. Damour’s family will be looked after because left to their own devices, Wal-Mart did not nor will they unless held to the fire.

An FYI source:  Walmart Watch



An Oatmeal Kind of Morning


It’s a bit foggy, cold, and the cats don’t even want to get up.  I made oatmeal not long after making coffee – none of that instant microwaveable stuff either.  And now we’re listening to The White Album from Windham Hill, watching the chickadees (I think) devouring something from the empty bird feeder.


I saw this story last night about a family-owned business in Illinois, “recently acquired by a Swedish company” who handed out bonuses to

A total of $6.6 million is being shared by just 230 employees of Waukegan-based Peer Bearing Co., with facilities in England and the United States. Amounts varied and were based on years of service.

I’m sure some minds were eased.

While in Boise (Treasure Valley), the business closings continue.  I don’t know anything about Steve & Barry’s, but I was stunned while driving down Franklin Road on Friday I saw the giant ‘Closing’ banner on Corral West.  I would think the likes of Cabella’s bled off some of their business with the help of tax breaks and other benefits.