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

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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.



Quoted – Does D.C. have it in for Toyota?

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Does D.C. have it in for Toyota?

Washington stands accused of launching a self-serving witch hunt into Toyota’s spectacular fall from grace — thanks, in part, to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, who warned Americans to stop driving all recalled Toyota vehicles before facts forced him to admit his advice was unwarranted. Indeed, with support from the governors of Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky and Mississippi, which all house Toyota plants, more than a few observers now wonder if public ownership of General Motors and Chrysler influenced the decision to hold congressional hearings into Toyota’s product woes.

Whatever the case, attitudes toward Toyota are clearly harsher in the States than Canada. (In this country, sales actually jumped 25% last month, despite federal rumblings about the need for a political probe.) “When people were dying from tampered Tylenol in the ’80s,” says American business professor Scott Testa, who teaches at Cabrini College in Philadelphia, “Johnson & Johnson pulled the product and gave everybody money back. And they stopped advertising. But I am still seeing ads for Toyota minivans. That’s insanity.”


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Quoted – Convenience Store News – Circle K – Supersized!

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Quoted – Convenience Store News – http://www.csnews.com/csn/search/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003946852

Scott Testa, marketing professor at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia: “What’s happening is these mini-marts or c-stores are starting to fill in those gaps that are left by those grocery stores that are also getting larger. It’s the traditional-grocery-store concept that is actually getting larger, and the mini-marts are growing into that kind of void that is left by these supermarkets. It seems like everything is getting larger.”

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Quoted – ECommerce Times – RIM hitting the Enterprise

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Quoted – ECommerce Times – RIM hitting the Enterprise – http://www.ecommercetimes.com/story/66977.html?wlc=1241473747

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