Wal-Mart Stampede: A union perspective

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News from _UFCW Local 1500_ (http://www.ufcw1500.org/)

Union Responds To Death of Long Island Wal-Mart Worker, Demands Federal Safety Agency and Nassau County Prosecutor Investigate

QUEENS VILLAGE, NY (11/28/2008) — United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500, New York State’s largest grocery workers Union, has called for an immediate investigation by Federal, State and Local authorities into the “avoidable” death of a Wal-mart worker at the Valley Stream, Long Island Wal-mart. Specifically, the Union has called on the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the New York State Department of Labor and the Nassau County Prosecutor to investigate Wal-mart’s failure to provide a safe workplace.

“This incident was avoidable,” said Bruce Both, President of United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500. “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?” asked President Both.
“This is not just tragic; it rises to a level of blatant irresponsibility by Wal-mart. UFCW Local 1500 will demand a full investigation by all levels of Government to ensure both justice for the surviving family members and to ensure the safety of current employees and the general public. This can never be allowed to happen again and those responsible must be held accountable,” Both concluded.

Director of Special Projects for Local 1500 Patrick Purcell called Wal-mart’s
comments in response to the incident both “cold and heartless.” “If the
safety of their customers and workers was a top priority, then this never would have happened,” Purcell stated. “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 community demands action,” Purcell concluded.

Purcell also suggested that people visit the website
_http://www.walmartcrimereport.com/_ to review other incidents of Wal-mart not providing a safe work and shopping experience.

United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500, based out of Queens
Village, represents over 23,000 grocery workers in New York City, Long Island,
Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess Counties. Members of Local 1500 are employed
by Pathmark, King Kullen, Stop and Shop, Gristedes, Fairway, D’agastinos, Key
Food and Shop Rite.

The press release is available: here.

Previous posts and commentary from onthewilderside are at:

12 Responses

  1. Unions are thugs! I grew up around coal mines. They were unionized, once. I grew up heariung uncles laugh and joke about the company property they stole, vandalized, or destroyed. I t was funny to them. They were union members. Every year they went on strike for higher wages, more benefits. Over time they ran much of the coal industry out of business, and themselves out of work. Today much of the coal industry is back, but they are non union. The people who run the unions are well to do, wealthy, high incomes. People of power, and they do a good job lining their pockets. They aren’t so much for the little guy. Today unions are at the root of the Auto industry troubles. Unions are a joke, and trying desperately to unionize Walmart, so they can “spread the wealth around” at the top. If you think Walmart is underpaid, not enough insurance, fine… work somewhere else. Don’t work there. You have that right. It’s personal responsibility here.

  2. I worked for Meijers which is unionized. Every month I was forced to give the union a piece of my check. What did I get? nothing. I provided Meijers what they needed. A reliable, dependable employee. I had job security for that reason alone, no thanks to the Union. Much of this website promotes drug use. If I’m an employer that is the last thing I want is potheads working for me. But, you can be union, and a mediocre, substandard employeee, and squeek on by. Unions are about mediocrity.

  3. All these Unions are trying to imply if Wal Mart had a union guy at the store the death may not have happened..may be right. Wal Mart would not be able to afford to provide affordable deals if they had to shell out UAW type wages of 72 bucks an hour to stock a shelf. Yet many union workers are killed …in Coal Mines, as Police Officers, Firemen, and many other lines of work. Union didnt do the Police in NY any good who had to carry 6 shooters for years until Rudy came in and armed them with Semi-autos and bullet proof vests to be able to defend themselves. Unions exist for the lowest common denominator- the loser who wouldnt have a job if it werent for the union, they punish individual effort, they reward laziness, and they put price their companies out of business. If it had been a union worker killed the liberal press would find some way to blame Bush for the guy’s death.

  4. Unfortunately, for all, this is more of a negligence issue. First, Wal Mart says it is not always about the money. Wrong. It would have cost more money to have more security. Second, there should be an ordinance that prevents gathering in large numbers, such as this case. In order to establish a protocol for this, Wal Mart should be the leader and they are not. With the numbers of stores, employees, and customers WM should know how to do this without a death. What I have found is that the stores are not the vision of the founder, but rather a group of big Wall Street guys running mega stores. I avoid Wal Mart and tell everyone; if K-Mart sells the same product they match the price and you do not have the hassles you get at Wal Mart. Cannot stand them and try to never shop there. It is like buying something not made in China, you cannot, and you cannot avoid Wal Mart entirely, but I can choose to spend my money somewhere else as much as possible. Boycott out of respect for the person that no longer walks among us because of the ineptitude of Wal Mart. You get what you pay for.

  5. Get your head out of your butt Mr. Both. It’s obvious this tragedy could have occured at any store, anywhere. Security or barriers would not have stopped this inconsiderate mob.

  6. Thoughts about Black Friday and Wal Mart death-I really think the hype for certain popular gift items that are in limited quantities cause problems- you can’t reserve them, order them, pay for them ahead of time- nada. You can only get such items on the day the ad indicates- so people HAVE to be the FIRST in order to purchase these desired objects. I stay away as far as possible and think this day is insane- but I think that the stores and the way they set up there sales and availability of items is asking for problems. There are a million ways to make the same $$$$ without creating hysteria. chezak- Toledo, OH

  7. The people who trampled the employee are responsible for their own behavior. This could have happened anywhere. It’s a shame that Mr. Both is being an opportunist at a time when people should be mourning the death of the employee.

    Unions have outlived their usefulness. The auto industry is a prime example.

  8. sorry, Valerie you have it backwards. It’s the management at the auto companies who are clueless, much like Walmart. they are building cars nobody wanted. The unions could have told them better. The other problem with the auto companies is that the health insurance corporations are running our economy into the ground with 25% overhead. if we had single-payer universal healthchare, the car companies would be better able to compete and Walmart would have less fear of unions. – Ian

  9. Good God! These shoppers behaved as if there was some kind of food shortage or something. What a bunch greedy, materialistic people we have become.

  10. The unions should be ashamed of themselves for using the death of a worker for their own gain. This death was a result of what an uncaring society we have become. I must ask the unions how they could have prevented the 7 or so deaths at the City Center project here in Las Vegas? These deaths surely could have been prevented on this union heavy jobsite. Go crawl back into your hole, no one is buying your BS.

  11. I agree completely with ‘bigdoglv’. This has nothing to do with the unions. It has everything to do with people who care only about themselves, including Mr. Both.

  12. The Union, while worthless, is not to blame. Stores,and not just Walmart, that resort to these dumb price promotions knowing full well past problems and keep doing the promotions are in large part to blame. As for marketing, you can get just as many customers via other means. The shoppers who are meant to benefit from the promo prices are usually also those who are unable to stand in line for idiotic amounts of time as they often have to care for dhildren or are older and less able to get around.

    A large part of blame also goes to people who apparently enjoy behaving and acting like utter stupid animals. They give animals a bad name. I will never understand the psychology of a person who is such a pig and will willngly act like a stampeding elephant to run into a store to save some money. If you are willing to kill a Greeter by running over him to save some bucks , then why not just shoplift for free because you are a senseless, souless, piece of filth to begin with? I am not wealthy by any means, and I enjoy saving money. But I will stay from cr

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