Saturday, October 10, 2009

WalMart - Evil Incarnate! Or Maybe Just a Really Good Company - Part 5

Finally, the conclusion of my critique of the Wake-up Walmart website:

49. There are 76 class action lawsuits alleging wage-and-hour violations at Walmart. Well, this is sort of a disappointment, I mean after linking Walmart to terrorism you would think that they end with Walmart killing babies or something. If they did wrong things (again these are alleged violations), then I fully expect the courts to rule in favor of the plaintiffs.

50. Walmart's settlement is worth little to the workers and less to the company. OK, if the plaintiffs had such a strong case, why did they settle (there is nothing that forces them to settle as far as I know). Could it be that their case isn't as strong as they proclaim and wouldn't get anymore than the settlement amount anyway? I mean, if these are slam dunk cases, then let them go to trial. Next, if the settlement is worth little to the workers why did you bother to settle? To say that the settlement is only 14 hours of sales for Walmart as your proof that it is worth little to Walmart is rather misleading. Since after tax profit is what matters to the shareholders of the company, compare it to this. In which case, the settlement is equal to a half a month of profit. Half a month of profit is a big deal!

51. Walmart's Minnesota settlement is a raw deal for local workers. Walmart settles for $54 million. Actually, what should have been said is that the class of plaintiffs (or their lawyers) settled for $54 million. They weren't compelled to accept it. Sure Walmart may have been liable for $2 billion in the penalty, but the key word there is MAY. They also could have been liable for $0. Which means that the lawyers would have gotten zilch. Sorry, but even the class action lawyers follow Rule #1. At least this time they compared the $54 million to Walmart's profit (a little over a day and a half). Still, one should look at what was accepted $54 million versus the maximum of $2 billion and get a rough idea of how likely the lawyers thought they would get more was: 54 million/2 billion = 2.7%. Not good odds.

52. Walmart is still appealing $380 million in awards to workers in Pennsylvania and California. So now it is a bad thing to avail oneself of all legal recourse if you believe the judgment against you is wrong? Of course they are going to appeal, they have nothing to lose at this point. Appealing it all of the way to the Supreme Court will cost maybe another $1 million-$5 million dollars. If during those appeals the judgement is just cut by 10%, then Walmart that $1-5 million is money well spent. If nothing happens, $1-5 million is only about 1% more than before (and that $380 million has been reinvested in the company for the next 5-7 years while the process is going through the courts). That is how the civil justice system is designed. Every company worth half an once of wilted beans would do the same thing if a $380 million judgment was made against them. Nothing sinister here. Walmart is not going to roll over for you just because you don't like them. They abide by Rule #1.

53. Walmart's claim that it's a changed company is betrayed by very recent lawsuits. Walmart will always have lawsuits against it for the simple fact that A) it touches more peoples lives than most companies (both employees and consumers) and B) they make a ton of money.

That is the extent of the facts that WUW has to offer. Now, many of you may be wondering if I am a shill for Walmart. Let me say that Walmart did not pay me a dime for this critique. They never contacted me or had some 2nd party contact me. I have however made a lot of money from Walmart stock. So maybe that does make me a shill.

For any Walmart executive out there, if you would like to pay me obscene sums of money to scour the web and write critiques about those who criticize your company, make me an offer. I can be bought in most cases for the right amount. (Actually, that goes for any company).

Do I think Walmart is perfect? No, they have lots of problems. Not any more than the average multinational corporation that employees 2.1 million people and has sales of $400+ billion each year. However, the way to solve Walmart's problems is not to write websites that have innuendo of terrorist ties and other boogeymen. The way to change how Walmart operates is to become an owner. Anyone can do it. Buy stock. Attend the company meetings. Make your proposals and gather support of other shareholders for those proposals. One day, you may be voted onto the board of directors. Myself, I am content to make money off of them. I have other problems that I have to deal with that take my time, so I'll let Walmart continue with all of these "nefarious" practices.

1 comment:

  1. Walmart India is spreading its dark reign in this country by every means of manipulation they have at their disposal. They have hacked my blog when i only wrote 5 blogs against them. This has shown me that they will do any thing to hide their evil, and destroy our lives for their personal profit. The people are awakning to the evil mind that runs the show from behind, and these monsters will not last forever. They will face the wraith of justice, and it will be a swift end for them.