Tuesday, February 03, 2004

The evil from one of my archenemies continues...

read on...

Wal-Mart locked in janitors, lawsuit alleges
Associated Press

Published February 3, 2004

NEWARK, N.J. -- A civil rights suit filed against Wal-Mart by illegal immigrants was expanded Monday to accuse America's biggest retailer of locking its janitors inside stores during their shifts.

The amendment to the lawsuit comes as a federal grand jury in Pennsylvania weighs evidence to determine whether Wal-Mart will face criminal charges in the use of illegal immigrants to clean its stores.

A lawyer for Wal-Mart denied the new allegation.

INS agents raided Wal-Mart stores across the country on Oct. 23 in a sweep that resulted in the arrest of hundreds of janitors on immigration charges.

Among those arrested were the 17 named plaintiffs in the civil suit, including 11 Mexican immigrants who were the original plaintiffs, plus six Eastern Europeans added to the list Monday. The lawsuit seeks class-action status for perhaps thousands of immigrants.

The suit claims some workers were forced to work seven-day, 70-hour weeks for $1,500 a month. The amended claim follows a report in The New York Times that contained the separate allegation that janitors were being locked in.

The lawsuit is being brought under the federal Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act, charging that Wal-Mart systematically violated workers' rights and tried to shield itself from liability by using independent contractors to employ the immigrants.

David Murray, a lawyer for Wal-Mart, said the allegations were ``absolutely incorrect.''

Murray said concern for workers' rights was the reason the chain eliminated the use of cleaning contractors in 80 percent of its stores. Wal-Mart has 3,500 stores nationwide with 1.2 million employees.

Murray acknowledged that doors were kept locked, but insisted that a manager with a key was always present.

``This was simply an effort to keep the employees safe and keep the merchandize secure,'' Murray said.

Oh, how I LOATHE Wal-Mart. The story says in plain writing that the workers were illegals. They should be HAPPY that anyone would hire them but it only seems right that Wal-Mart would be the company to employ them. Wal-Mart needs to be stopped.

How can a company so large continue without some sort of punishment? Drivers who habitually drive drunk are eventually punished quite severely, why should a huge company be any different?

On another note, our job recovery continues (HA HA). What follows will explain just how our economy is recovering.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Planned job cuts in January were 26 percent higher than in December as U.S. jobs moved to countries like India, China and the Philippines, and as mergers made some jobs redundant, according to a report on Tuesday.
The outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., said post-holiday job cuts reached 117,556 in January surpassing the 100,000 threshold for the first time since last October.

Financial markets were on their toes awaiting January's payrolls report to be issued by the Labor Department on Friday after a disappointing December report that showed an increase of only 1,000 jobs.

Analysts had expected 150,000 new jobs to show up in the data, and the worse-than-expected outcome showed that the U.S. economic recovery has yet to produce sustained jobs growth. Economists again expect a figure of 150,000 new jobs in January.

Poor job creation is a headache for President Bush as he seeks re-election in November. The economy -- specifically job creation -- is expected to be a key issue in the campaign. Since Bush took office, more than 2.3 million non-farm jobs have been lost.

According to Challenger, consumer product companies led the January cutbacks with 22,775 job cuts, the largest number of reported job cuts in that sector in a single month since 1993, according to Challenger.

Challenger said one of the main factors for the job cuts in January was an increase of employers eliminating jobs in the United States and shifting to service providers in India, China and the Philippines among other countries.

Another factor was an increase in mergers so far this year. The survey's head, John Challenger, noted in a statement that one of those mergers will result in "as many as 10,000 job cuts to take place as redundant positions are eliminated."

That last sentence just goes to show that this isn't even the end. I also hate to say this, but I almost hope that the decline continues (along with the unnecessary war in Iraq going poorly) to rid our country of its president (puppet). If four years of hell gets rid of our president, it - in the long run, will be worth it.

Stay tuned.

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