Friday, January 27, 2006

Poor people flock to new Wal-Mart

EVERGREEN PARK (ap) -- Eighteen months after the Chicago City Council torpedoed a South Side Wal-Mart, 24,500 Chicagoans applied for 325 jobs at a Wal-Mart opening today in south suburban Evergreen Park, one block outside the city limits. Store managers are now faced with scheduling challenges that will have thousands of employees working for minimum wage, with nobody qualifying for the company's expensive health benefits.

"This is like winning the lottery for us," the company announced in a statement. "Every single one of our new employees will remain living firmly below the poverty line, ensuring they remain customers."

The new Wal-Mart at 2500 W. 95th is one block west of Western Avenue, the city boundary. Of 25,000 job applicants, all but 500 listed Chicago addresses, mostly from the ghetto, said John Bisio, regional manager of public affairs for Wal-Mart.

Those who were not hired promised to attend grand opening ceremonies and "shoplift the company into bankruptcy."

This is in line with the official company philosophy, said one of the new hires. "In our orientation session, they told us that we shouldn't bother with unions, which are all run by Satan," said the new associate, who asked not to be identified. "Then they told us that Wal-Mart believes that 'Giving back to the community is something in which we take great pride.' So I for one will be giving away all these sweatshop-produced goods to our community."


Anonymous Mr. Molitor said...

Little known fact. This Wal-Mart was built using Union Labor.

8:55 AM  
Blogger art attack said...

I am wondering, is it really possible to build anything in Cook County without union labor? They run pretty high in the construction business. Sure you can get small jobs done without unions but the big jobs are still union proud.

But this argument is a red herring since the problem with WalMart is not how the building is built (that is dependent on the types of companies available in the area) but how they pay their employees and the terrible health benefits. Compare what the pay/benefits are with Jewel or Dominicks and also the Wal Mart pratice of limiting hours so they do not qualify for benefits and so on.

So all this, plus their need for Chinese made products and that is why I personally hate Wal Mart.

9:12 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

Of course, it's probably because of those great union benefits Jewel offers that a gallon of milk there costs like $6.
Although, if I follow my own logic, Wal-Mart should be charging around five cents for a gallon of milk.
I guess people have to figure out whether they want to support a business that screws over their own employees, but save money on their groceries, or spend more on food to support a business with good wages and benefits.
Me, I just shoplift from Wal-Mart.

9:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This article stinks of something rotten...

24,500 people is a lot of people.
According to the census people, in 2000, EP had a population of 20,821.

Let's just say the 'hiring window' was 180 days, which it probably wasn't. That means an average of 306 people applied A DAY for *half a year*.

Is any company in the world able to process that many applicants per day? Even if it was 300 people A DAY coming in and dropping off a one page some point you have to question the practicality of the process. Didn't someone make judgement to shut the spigot off?

I would guess the hiring window was a lot less that 180 days. Probably closer to 30 days. Which makes this story hyperbole at best.

So how did they come up with this 24,500 number?

This is propaganda, people. We are getting our chains pulled.

But by whom, and why?

Walmart? To show the city of Chicago there is demand?

10:44 AM  
Anonymous Mr. Molitor said...

can someone please explain why Target is typically accepted by all while wal-mart is typically condemned as the devil. Is it just the union issue?

12:58 PM  
Blogger art attack said...

actually it has nothing to do with union issues because Target is non union as well but they do not fight unionizing like Wal Mart does. Also, they pay living wages and do not have policies such as Wal Mart that prevents employees from working enough hours to qualify them for benefits. I think it is like 50% of Wal Mart workers qualify for state subsidized health care, and make below the poverty level. Target isn't great but they at least treat thier employees better and let them get health care. Also, Wal-Mart's benefits, when the employee finally does qualify are very expensive and don't provide much. And finally, their stores are so disorganized, messy crappy and Target has a French pronouniation

2:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whatever happened to the premise of an adult going to work where they more or less wanted to? If and when it is proven that WalMart is forcing people into employment at gun point or some such, I will begin to sympathize with the work-er. Supply and demand, folk, live with it.

7:16 PM  
Anonymous God Bless Low Prices said...

That's right anonymous, screw 'em! Work-ers are commodities and should feel lucky to be employed at all. Although I have to disagree when you say that if WalMart forced people at gunpoint to work then you will begin to sympathize. Not me! That's what they deserve for being poor. Supply and demand, baby!

11:49 PM  
Blogger ap said...

And let's examine a tiny problem here: A store that pays a wage barely over the minimum opens and 25,000 people apply to work there. Does that sound like they have all that many choices? In this case, even though I'm slamming Wal-Mart, the problem is really the fact that there are too few businesses in certain parts of the city.

9:00 AM  
Anonymous jenska said...

You get what you pay for. Wal Mart has low prices, but the rest of the community ends up paying in a different way. If buying a $6 gallon of milk means that more people in my community are employed by a company that can pay them a living wage, then maybe said employee doesn't have to work 2 or 3 jobs to get by and their children have a chance to go to college or at least have their parent around more, then I'd rather pay the six bucks. Then those kids are less likely to get in trouble in my community, tax dollars won't go to dealing with them. People need to stop thinking about the bottom of the receipt, and realize that in the end, if you think you're saving money by shopping at Wal Mart, and we end up with communities and towns across America damaged by Wal Mart, we all end up paying a different kind of price.

1:23 PM  

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