Quoted – Black Friday walkout: why Wal-Mart is focus of labor’s struggle – Christian Science Monitor

walmart beijing

walmart beijing (Photo credit: galaygobi)

Wal-Mart‘s low-cost recipe for success is under attack from the threatened Black Friday walkout as workers protest low wages and benefit cuts. The retailer is fighting back, accusing organized labor of making trouble.

As the hottest shopping day of the retail calendar looms, the world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart, is embroiled in a battle to defend its image, even its formula for success. A growing number of employees, protesting low wages and benefit cuts, is vowing to walk out on Black Friday.

“Wal-Mart has become the poster child for all the issues surrounding labor right now,” says Scott Testa, a Philadelphia-based business consultant and blogger who has studied Wal-Mart’s business practices extensively. The company has implemented aggressive anti-union measures, he notes, closing a store inCanada rather than negotiate.

The issues at stake are not peripheral, says Mr. Testa, adding that they go to the very soul of Wal-Mart’s business model. The Arkansas-based company, founded a half-century ago by Sam Walton, lives and dies by its ability to cut costs, he says.

Testa notes that Wal-Mart has evolved over the years by dwelling on the fringes of urban areas.

“Many of the municipalities where Wal-Mart has thrived were happy to give the company big open spaces of under-used land, where there was no development,” he says, adding that employees in hard-hit regions have been grateful for the jobs.

But now that the company is expanding into major urban areas such as Los AngelesChicago, andBoston, “they are experiencing a kind of worker pushback that they have largely been able to avoid,” adds Testa.

 

http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/2012/1121/Black-Friday-walkout-why-Wal-Mart-is-focus-of-labor-s-struggle

Advertisements

Quoted – High-Tech Tax Subsidies Do Little Good – Heartland Institute

* Mission: STS-41-B * Film Type: 70mm * Title:...
Image via Wikipedia

High-Tech Tax Subsidies Do Little Good

Pennsylvania’s attempts to lure high-tech companies by offering big tax incentives have brought only marginal gains, according to a new study.

The Keystone State had a net gain of 43 high-tech employers between 1990 and 2006, but a net loss of 2,850 jobs, according to the study, funded by the Pittsburgh nonprofit Heinz Endowments and conducted by a Washington nonprofit organization called Good Jobs First.

Some, though not all, of these jobs go overseas. Others go to Silicon Valley or other areas with established technology infrastructures that include potential business partners and support businesses—such as law firms—and low-cost utilities and other resources.

“I love Pennsylvania. I live and work here; it’s a beautiful state,” said Scott Testa, professor of business administration at Cabrini College in Philadelphia. “But it’s not the center of the universe as far as technology is concerned.

“That’s Silicon Valley or, to a lesser extent, the Boston area,” he added “Most tech start-ups are small anyway, so they would have a very small tax burden. High-tech companies want a good ecosystem of technology business partners, lawyers, accountants, and talent. Despite globalization, there’s something to be said for being close to the people you are going to do business with.”

Expects States to Persist
That’s why many tech companies, including start-ups, gravitate to Silicon Valley despite a high cost of living and other expenses higher than those offered through some incentive programs, Testa said.

Yet Testa expects state governments to continue to offer targeted tax breaks because they are much easier to get approved than across-the-board corporate tax cuts.

“It’s a lot easier to use a pistol than a shotgun,” Testa said.

http://www.heartland.org/article/27129/Study_HighTech_Tax_Subsidies_Do_Little_Good.html

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]