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WalMart again: Illegal alien subcontractors(21 posts)

WalMart again: Illegal alien subcontractors128
Oct 23, 2003 9:53 AM
A dragnet is out to sweep up illegal aliens 'working' at WalMart. Wonder what the leasing company gets for the cleaning service and what they pay the labor.

http://money.cnn.com/2003/10/23/news/companies/walmart_worker_arrests/index.htm?CNN=yes
It seems like a cheapshot to me...TJeanloz
Oct 23, 2003 10:01 AM
The headlines all scream "Wal-Mart" - but these weren't Wal-Mart employees, they were cleaning subcontractors. Unfortunately, you have to read a bit down the article to find that out. I don't think it has a lot to do with Wal-Mart; my (outsourced) office cleaning crew is all of hispanic origin, and I have no idea if they are legal or not. Very few companies do their own cleaning.
I think it's irresponsibleLive Steam
Oct 23, 2003 1:04 PM
As a stockholder and an American, I think they should not engage this type of labor directly or indirectly. It's also reported that they knew. This is not the same as the average suburban yuppie hiring some lawn care outfit that utilizes an illegal Mexican labor pool. Neither is good, but the Wal-Mart incident is irresponsible and avoidable.
No, it's about the same as a suburban yuppieTJeanloz
Oct 23, 2003 1:11 PM
Wal*Mart has outsourced the function, and I would be very surprised if they knew that some of the cleaners were illegal. It wouldn't surprise me if they thought some might be, but their contract with the outsourcer requires the outsourcer to guarantee that no illegal labor is used. I'm not really sure what more they can do.

I haven't seen any reports that indicate Wal*Mart knew this was going on - though one "executive" was "searched" whatever that means. Frankly, I don't see what this has to do with Wal*Mart, except that their stores were the physical locations of the arrests.
You might want to recheck the news- nmfiltersweep
Oct 23, 2003 3:59 PM
Guilty until proven innocent?TJeanloz
Oct 24, 2003 5:33 AM
"the government believed that Wal-Mart officials knew about the widespread use of illegal immigrants."

The government believes it so it must be true.
I understand what the contract might sayLive Steam
Oct 23, 2003 4:24 PM
I have written contracts for similar services. The difference is in the enforcement of it. I never turned a blind eye to this type of stuff because I knew it would mean liability and bad press. I worked for a very visible NY personality. Wal-Mart has an image to protect too. A public corporation has a trust to fulfill to their shareholders. It was the responsibility of whom ever administered that contract to make sure the terms of the contract were followed. Very simple. It's not the same. The suburban yuppie has no liability unless Uncle Sam wants to hassle him. His image may suffer, but it won't effect anyone but him. If it is shown that Wal-Mart had knowledge of this, I would be very disappointed. They get a pass if they can show that they did not tolerate this from subs.
300/1,400,000TJeanloz
Oct 24, 2003 5:35 AM
Actually, it's 300/1,400,000+n, because the illegals weren't even counted in the 1.4MM Wal*Mart employees. That's a pretty small percentage. Probably smaller than the % of illegals in the workforce in general. Perhaps they should be lauded for employing so few.
Nice twistPoseur
Oct 24, 2003 7:42 AM
Don't you make yourself dizzy defending them? You go from saying it isn't a problem to saying they are innocent till proven guilty, then you double back to saying they're guilty for the right reasons. Is all this work worth the effort to defend Walmart? Wouldn't it be quicker and easier to admit they screwed up and drop it?
Nice twistTJeanloz
Oct 24, 2003 7:52 AM
1) I'm not sure Wal*Mart did screw up. Innocent until proven guilty.

2) If they did screw up, I understand how it would be easy to run afoul of the law, given that you have 1.4MM employees. I'm not saying they shouldn't be penalized, but I can understand how it would happen, and they aren't necessarily evil people for doing it. Furthermore, I find it hard to believe that there would exist a mass policy to employ illegal aliens, considering that 300 is roughly 1 employee in every 10 stores. I can understand that the biggest employer in the world might have trouble keeping track of all of its employees (not to mention its subcontractors' employees), all of the time. It just doesn't seem to me like some subversive effort on the part of Wal*Mart to employ illegals. I'm all for them being penalized for breaking the law (if they did), but I find it hard to believe that there was some malicious intent here.
Good call. imo. corporate responsibility.128
Oct 24, 2003 4:43 AM
Careful, you're drifting 'center of whacko' ;O)

The defintion of 'leased employees' and exactly who the lessee's 'employer' is often debated in litigation. WalMart's a big dog though so we can bet their (very aggressive) legal department has this covered.

Next thing you'll want to give these workers rights and a shanty town. Steam Chavez!
Are companies required to check out subcontractors ? nmMR_GRUMPY
Oct 23, 2003 10:54 AM
this is hilariousDougSloan
Oct 23, 2003 7:13 PM
If this were California, it would be *expected*! Gee whiz, what's the big deal? Here, they are going to give illegals drivers' licenses. They make up a big chunk of the labor force. My bet is that nearly every resident of California, and maybe Texas, too, looks at this story and thinks, HUH?

Doug
Really hilarious untilcritmass
Oct 23, 2003 9:33 PM
Someone like Chavez comes along to organize the Salinas Valley or today when they need medical services or education for their children or GOD FORBID drivers licenses or when cities fight to keep low income housing away because of their precious sense of aesthetics tinged with racism. Too many people just want the cheap labor and not to be bothered with any other realities.
Wal Mart exploits their workers in whatever way they can to make a profit. Who better to hire or subcontract than some one who can't complain and are mere cheap factors of production that can be used and discarded? Sounds like a Wal Mart strategy to me.

The real cost of Dubya's lies
As of 10/22/03
399 grieving families
Total U.S. wounded 1947
so, we keep the illegals here without jobs?DougSloan
Oct 24, 2003 6:19 AM
Which way do you want it -- let them stay, with no jobs, apparently, or kick them out? Staying here, but penalizing anyone who employs them seems silly.

Oh, and "low income housing" many times isn't that low. Here in Fresno, "low income" rental rates can often be higher than market rates. The newer developments just skim the cream of the "low income" market from the existing areas, blighting them, and reap a fine profit (at public expense) in the process. They frequently unfairly compete with privately financed projects, driving down market rate rents. And people accuse me of seeing things too black or white?

Doug
Political hot potato(e) :O)Live Steam
Oct 24, 2003 6:38 AM
Liberals want to chaste big business and the upper middle class yuppie for utilizing this labor pool but also need to temper their criticism for fear of alienating their constituency which is well represented by this segment of society. They also would tarnish their image as being inclusive.

From the other side of the table, conservatives have been gaining ground in the Latino community and don't want to disturb that. This also goes counter to what their big business buddies would prefer as they would lose a cheap source of labor.
What don't you understand aboutcritmass
Oct 24, 2003 8:43 AM
"Too many people just want cheap labor and not to be bothered with any other realities" What was the percentage that Prop 187 passed by? 59%? Or what about Newt's contract on America's HR 4134 which passed the House, or today the Florida Prop 187 Committee, the Arizona's Citizen Protection Act Initiative I-03-2004, the Federation for American Immigration Reform? All this and people like Wal Mart just want the cheap labor but don't want to deal with any of the other costs.
Instead of rezoning the new racism of NIMBYism is the denial of tax-exempt bond financing and tax credits. As housing sponsors have become more adept at winning zoning approval under housing element law, opposition has shifted from land use to financing. For just one example take a look at Houston. Or maybe RAID, as Ms. Ollar said, "this should be limited to blighted or economically depressed areas. But then you probably know about this.

The real cost of Dubya's lies
As of 10/24/03
402 grieving families
Total U.S. wounded 1953

10/24/03 Centcom: Two 4th Infantry Division soldiers were killed and four were wounded during a motar attack at the forward operating base near the northern city of Samarra just before 12 p.m. Oct. 24th
Actuallyfiltersweep
Oct 24, 2003 4:42 AM
In MN it is very easy for an illegal to obtain a driver's license, general assistance medical coverage, attend public schools, etc. The fear of being caught often deters people from trying, but if they only knew the truth... in my PT crisis job with the county, we can only report people to the INS if they have committed a felony- and even then, what will the INS actually do?

The ironic aspect to all this is that the cleaning contractors that clean the county building could all be illegal for all I know... I had to search high and low to find someone who spoke English to pass a message on to one of the cleaners...

Also, many people obtain social security cards and everything while they are legal, then their condition changes (due in part to the labyrinthine INS laws) and they are no longer legal.

Walmart is an easy target because many of their labor practices leave a bad taste in peoples' mouths. They will reap what they sow... it is a sort of built-in karma. If this were big beautiful benevalent Walmart, the media would likely have handled this differently. Isn't this right on the heels of a Walmart development that was blocked in CA?
Heck, if they come to IL, we'll give 'em a class C lisenceKristin
Oct 24, 2003 6:50 AM
And a semi-truck to drive around.
Are you going to require them to know how to drive? nmKristin
Oct 24, 2003 6:49 AM
are they "legal" or not?DougSloan
Oct 24, 2003 6:58 AM
I don't know how you can drive "legally" if you are not even in the country legally. My point is not that it is ok for them to be here illegally and work or drive; my point is the inconsistency of going after Walmart while at the same time encouraging their illegal labor here in California. That's what's goofy.

Doug