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November 27, 2012
Re "Shopping season off to strong start," Nov. 24 The article mentioned only briefly the protests at many Wal-Marts over working conditions. One protester I saw interviewed on TV said she couldn't make it even with the rent subsidy she receives. My niece works at Wal-Mart full time and qualifies for food stamps and Medicaid for her children. Wal-Mart makes the money while we taxpayers help feed and house its employees. This is corporate welfare, not capitalism. Without taxpayer subsidies, Wal-Mart would have far fewer employees.
April 13, 2014 | Michael Hiltzik
The continuing push for higher minimum wages across the country has much to recommend it, but the campaign shouldn't keep us from recognizing a truly insidious practice that impoverishes low-wage workers all the more. It's known as wage theft. Wage theft, as documented in surveys, regulatory actions and lawsuits from around the country, takes many forms: Forcing hourly employees off the clock by putting them to work before they can clock in or after they clock out. Manipulating their time cards to cheat them of overtime pay. Preventing them from taking legally mandated breaks or shaving down their lunch hours.
March 14, 2013
Re "Book-to-film heroine," Column One, March 11 Christy Walton and her family, according to Forbes magazine, are worth nearly $28 billion, making her the sixth-richest American. Discussing her work to make "Bless Me, Ultima" into a movie, she said: "We are a fear-based society. I'd like to change that to a faith-based society. " She can begin by changing the policies of her Wal-Mart stores. These stores feed this fear by providing low wages and less-than-adequate medical insurance, by fighting unionization and by selling products imported from Third- World countries, where the workers are paid very little.
April 9, 2014 | By Jessica Wohl
CHICAGO - Wal-Mart is trying to make organic food more accessible to its budget-conscious shoppers. The retailer is making a bigger bet on the fast-growing category, teaming with Wild Oats to sell organic packaged food priced in line with conventional foods and at least 25% cheaper than other organic brands it currently carries. The effort by Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer and the largest single seller of food in the United States, could have a ripple effect in the grocery industry.
December 22, 2011 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Wal-Mart is recalling a single batch of the powdered infant formula Enfamil Newborn, sold in 12.5-ounce cans, as a precaution after a Missouri infant died of a rare bacterial infection. The 10-day-old Lebanon, Mo., baby died Sunday of Cronobacter sakazakii, which can come from powdered infant formula. The source of the infant's infection is still unclear, but Wal-Mart choose to remove the batch with the lot number ZP1K7G from its 3,000 stores nationwide as a precaution. The baby's family purchased the formula at Wal-Mart.
May 31, 2011 | By Edward Humes
If you care about green, it's hard not to view these as the worst of times, marked by looming climate, water and energy crises, vanishing fisheries, mile-a-minute deforestation — the list is numbingly endless. In response, we have a largely apathetic public, an environmental lobby rendered toothless by said apathy, a political left and center paralyzed by fear that protecting the planet might hurt the economy, and a political right that's never been more virulently opposed to all things green as job-killing, business-bashing burdens and boondoggles.
September 4, 2013 | By Daniel Siegal
Citing street improvements more than a dozen years overdue and a flawed environmental impact report, a judge ruled Wednesday that Burbank must rescind building permits it issued to Wal-Mart to open a store in the Empire Center. “The city has proceeded in a manner not authorized by law, failed to conduct any environmental assessment when the facts and circumstances clearly require at least an initial inquiry,” Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Allan J. Goodman stated in his ruling.
April 2, 2011
Wal-Mart may or may not have a policy of discriminating against women in pay and promotion, but establishing the truth will require a trial. The Supreme Court this week wrestled with whether it should clear the way for a class-action lawsuit brought by a handful of women on behalf of as many as 1.5 million others. The case for doing so is strong. The plaintiffs insist that Wal-Mart is "rife with gender stereotypes demeaning to female employees" and link that assertion to lower pay and the fact that "while women comprise over 80% of hourly supervisors, they hold only one-third of store management jobs.
June 20, 2011 | From Bloomberg
The U.S. Supreme Court, in a ruling that may mean new limits on class-action suits, rejected an effort to sue Wal-Mart Stores Inc. for discrimination on behalf of potentially a million female workers. The justices said the lawyers pressing the case failed to point to a common corporate policy that led to gender discrimination against workers at thousands of Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores across the country. The court ruled unanimously on some aspects of the case and divided on others.
January 27, 2012 | By Shan Li
Greeters decked out in blue vests are a familiar sight at Wal-Mart  store entrances nationwide. Now they are moving inside. In February, the nation's biggest retailer will pull greeters from the lobby and into the store so they can more actively help with customer service, Wal-Mart  spokeswoman Ashley Hardie said. Greeters have been around at the discount giant since 1980. Hardie said Wal-Mart  has expanded the duties of greeters over the years to include tagging return items and wiping down shopping carts.
March 24, 2014 | By Michael Hiltzik
Talk about a "poverty trap"! The phrase was recently used by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul D. Ryan, R-Wisc., to suggest that the nation's panoply of programs to aid low-income households was keeping them from rising into the middle class. Wal-Mart's annual report , issued late last week, puts a different spin on things. Buried within the long list of risk factors disclosed to its shareholders--that is, factors "outside our control" that could materially affect financial performance--are these: " changes in the amount of payments made under the Supplement Nutrition Assistance Plan and other public assistance plans, (and)
March 5, 2014 | By Salvador Rodriguez
Wal-Mart has announced it is cutting the price of the iPhone 5s and the Samsung Galaxy S4 to $119 and $49, respectively. The retailer said customers can purchase the gadgets at their new prices starting Wednesday. Wal-Mart said it is also cutting the price of the iPhone 5c to $29. Customers who wish to buy the devices must get them with a two-year contract from either AT&T or Verizon. Wal-Mart said the rolled back prices will be available for at least 30 days. VIDEO: Unboxing the Quirky Spotter multipurpose sensor Previously, Wal-Mart sold the iPhone 5s for $145, the GS4 for $99 and the iPhone 5c for $45.  Additionally, customers who buy any Samsung smartphone between March 9 and March 22 will also receive a $50 Wal-Mart gift card.
February 20, 2014 | By Tiffany Hsu
If Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s fiscal fourth-quarter earnings were any indication, the economy could use some shaping up. The Bentonville, Ark., giant, the largest retailer in the world, said its profit for the three-month period ended Jan. 31, plunged 21% to $4.4 billion, or $1.36 a share, from $5.6 billion, or $1.67 a share, during the same period a year earlier. The company's earnings missed Wall Street's expectations of $1.59 a share. The chain's $128.8 billion in net sales, a 1.4% increase, also failed to hit forecasts of $129.9 billion.
February 9, 2014 | By Gill Plimmer
When Madonna was on tour in Spain a few years ago, teenage girls turned up at her final performance wearing the very outfit she had worn for her first show. They had bought it from Zara, the Spanish retailer. While most fashion retailers take months to introduce new product lines, Zara's supply chain can design and deliver new clothes to its 1,500 stores in more than 70 countries within days. In her book "The Good Jobs Strategy," published by New Harvest, Zeynep Ton argues that Zara's investment in staff is crucial to this speed, together with its ability to collect information from employees on what is popular.
February 4, 2014 | By Tiffany Hsu
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is plunging nearly 500 million Canadian dollars, or $452 million, into its efforts in the next year to dominate the retail landscape in the Great White North. The discounter's Canadian unit said Tuesday that it will spend $339 million to open 35 new supercenter stores - or 1-million square feet of new retail space - by the end of it fiscal year on Jan. 31, 2015. The build-out would bring the total number of Wal-Mart units in the country to 395. Last week, rival retailer Target said it would continue its growth in Canada by adding nine additional stores to the 124 locations already open.
January 31, 2014 | By Tiffany Hsu
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said Friday that U.S. sales figures for its fiscal fourth quarter would probably come in below earlier forecasts when they're announced Feb. 20 due to the effects of volatile weather and cuts to the federal food stamp program. The world's largest retailer said in November that for the fourth quarter ended Jan. 31, it expected sales at American Wal-Mart stores open at least a year to be relatively flat. So-called same-store sales at its warehouse chain Sam's Club were projected to be anywhere from flat to up 2%. But on Friday the company said that sales would likely miss the mark, pushed down from stronger-than-expected pressure from a government reduction in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program that went into effect Nov. 1. Winter storms also caused store closings during the period, according to Wal-Mart, which has more than 11,000 units in its system.
June 7, 2013 | By Alejandro Lazo
Armed with a temporary restraining order against demonstrators and a $15-billion stock buyback program for investors, Wal-Mart held its annual shareholder meeting Friday. The company is facing renewed scrutiny over its labor practices at home and the working conditions of those who produce its cheap clothes abroad after the deaths of more than 1,100 workers in a Bangladesh building collapse. To preempt protesters, Wal-Mart sought, and was granted, a temporary restraining order against the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, Organization United for Respect at Wal-Mart and other unnamed defendants from a judge in Benton County, Arkansas.
October 9, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Wal-Mart is testing same-day delivery in certain markets, including parts of California, in a bid to nab more retail customers during the high-stakes holiday season. The discount uber-chain said Tuesday that its beta version of the Walmart To Go delivery program is already in operation in northern Virginia, Philadelphia and Minneapolis. The company will roll out the test in San Francisco and San Jose later this month or in early November. Customers in the current markets will pay $10 for each delivery, which can include an unlimited number of general merchandise items, with no minimum purchase requirement.
January 24, 2014 | By Tiffany Hsu
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is laying off 2,300 employees in its Sam's Club division as it tries to make its workforce leaner. In total, 2% of the 116,000 Sam's Club employees in the U.S. will lose their jobs. Employees were being informed of the layoffs Friday, spokesman Bill Durling said. Sam's Club, a membership-based warehouse chain in the mold of Costco, said nearly half the cuts will affect salaried assistant managers. In the fresh goods area, where previously there were six separate assistant managers, now three more senior and better-paid managers are to oversee a meat and deli block, a grocery and produce section and a bakery and cafe segment.
January 23, 2014 | By Ricardo Lopez
Wal-Mart announced Thursday it would create a $10-million fund to help support and spur innovation in U.S. manufacturing.  Bill Simon, Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s U.S. president, outlined some of the details of the fund at t he United States Conference of Mayors' winter meeting in Washington, D.C. The five-year program will launch in March and will be conducted in collaboration with the mayors' conference, a Wal-Mart spokeswoman said. ...
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