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Sam Davidson's blog

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China vs. Wal-Mart

A story in the BBC News details how a group of Wal-Mart employees in China has formed a union. I think this is beautiful.

While I am generally anti-union because I think they harm workers financially more than they help them politically (look at the utter debacle of the New York City transit workers' strike), I do like to see people take swings at the Goliath known as Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart is pretty PR savvy, even though lots of young hippie web folks like to tear them new ones.

However, I went into a Wal-Mart last week. I normally don't shop there because I disagree with their labor practices, but I had some time to kill (I didn't even take my wallet in). After browsing around the store for about 15 minutes I came to this conclusion: no one likes to work at Wal-Mart. I did not see one cashier, stocker or customer service rep smile. None. I don't blame them. I would hate to work there, too.

If you'd like a good read and want to know more why these people aren't smiling, read "Nickel and Dimed" by Barbara Ehrenreich. And, don't shop at Wal-Mart.