Published on: March 9, 2005
- Bloomberg reports that employees at a Wal-Mart store in Windsor, Ontario, have voted not to unionize, even though in 1997 employees at the same store voted to make that unit the first Wal-Mart outlet in North America to win union certification.
However, that vote eight years ago did not result in a collective bargaining agreement and the union eventually was decertified. This time around, certification was not even achieved.
The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) blamed the defeat on worker intimidation and harassment, and said it might consider asking for a second certification vote.
- The Dallas Morning News reports that Wal-Mart, which used to partner with other companies when it would open gas stations at its locations, now is building its own gas stations. Four such operations are open at Sam’s Club stores in Virginia and Missouri.
- The Associated Press reports that “Wal-Mart and other retailers are lobbying Congress to extend the workday for truckers to 16 hours, something labor unions and safety advocates say would make roadways more dangerous for all drivers.”
Current rules say truck drivers have to limit themselves to 14-hour workdays, with only 11 hours of consecutive driving permitted.
- Wal-Mart announced that its Sam’s Club membership warehouse division will begin offering members discounts on healthcare coverage, with discounts as much as 50 percent on procedures such as laser eye surgery and dental care, as well as discounts on physician visits.
The service is being offered in concert with UnitedHealth Group, the nation’s second biggest health insurer.
Sam's Club Plus Members can enroll in the healthcare program for free, and other members will pay a nominal fee to join.
- KC's View:
- The irony of this, considering all the criticism of Wal-Mart not providing sufficient health care for its employees, is just delicious.
Then again, maybe this is just the first step in the Wal-Martization of health care in this country.