By Todd Cefaratti
Editor of TPNN
The union-created walkout of Wal-Mart stores on Black Friday was an epic flop. While the media was poised, ready to pounce on the heart-wrenching saga of a modern day Norma Rae, the reality was that despite the efforts of the United Food & Commercial Workers Union to work everybody up, Wal-Mart employees overwhelmingly decided that having a job around the holiday season was better than not.
The news had been plastered with talks of a Black Friday walkout by Wal-Mart employees all across the country to protest their low wages and lack of benefits. The media worked very hard to spread the word and, as it turns out, about 50 employees nation-wide missed their shifts.
As a frame of reference, Wal-Mart’s CEO Bill Simon noted, “We estimate that less than 50 associates participated in the [union] protest nationwide. In fact, this year, roughly the same number of associates missed their scheduled shift as last year.”
I want everybody to enjoy their work, get paid well and have terrific benefits. However, that is simply not realistic. The truth is that there are higher-end jobs and lower-end jobs, and Wal-Mart does not pay extremely well. If someone is dramatically undervaluing themselves by working at Wal-Mart, I suggest working elsewhere and getting paid something proportional to their skill level.
The failure of the much-hyped protest on Black Friday underscores the true flaw in union logic. Nobody wants to be out of the job. In this economy, people are not looking to walk off the job because we have unemployment that hovers around 8% (though it’s more likely around 15%). There are plenty of people that will work.
It is important to pay attention to the fiasco that happened last week at Hostess. 18,500 people are out of the job now because of union hardball. While the union organizers tried to convince Wal-Mart employees to join them on the unemployment line, I’m glad to see that, with the exception of 50 people nationwide, the calls for union-backed extortion largely fell on deaf ears.