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

 

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8 Responses

  1. The real irony is that this poor fellow probably was happy to have a job, even at Wally’s World.

  2. Exactly – even if was temporary. The ole “foot in the door” bullshit. Geezus, I can’t stand that fucking company. Straight out of the Industrial Age….

  3. Wow, I had not yet thought about his family. This is so sad–and pathetic that people would actually be that excited. It is a Wal-Mart after all.

  4. You should join forces with morialekafa. He’s leading the charge in Northern Idaho to label all those who work and shop at Walmart as “losers”. ( http://morialekafa.blogspot.com/2008/11/black-friday.html ) I think he’s on the right track — the only way to get people not to shop or work at Walmart is to adopt an elitist attitude of looking down on them because they enjoy the convenience; a little disdainful classism doesn’t hurt either.

  5. I don’t know that I’d call them losers. I’ll go read his post. People can shop there; I don’t care. I don’t and there are reasons for it. Most of the people I know who do shop there don’t do it for the convenience; it’s the prices. I took my father recently because he needed new khakis. Wal-Mart’s prices didn’t differ much beyond Target or Kohl’s.

    But ya know, now that you mention it, I can do that disdainful classism pretty good. In fact, I can do disdainful educated classism better.

  6. Don’t know who I dislike more

    Wally’s World or Bush World

    Difficult choice. Oh well, nothing says I can’t despise them equally.

    I always used to shop at Winco, but haven’t found similar here.

  7. That’s right, CC. Nothing like being an equal despiser. 😮

    Winco and Costco – always…sometimes Fred Meyer – and The Coop for different stuff like certain dressings.

  8. I’m all about equal opportunity. If we are all equal then we can all be made fun of, equally.

    Wanted to post some pictures from Grant Park on Nov 4 but thumbsnap is not playing nice. 😦

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