Friday, October 13, 2006

Jury Finds Wal-Mart Guilty of Labor Law Violations

PHILADELPHIA - A state jury found Thursday that Wal-Mart broke Pennsylvania labor laws by forcing employees to work through rest breaks and off the clock, a decision plaintiffs' lawyers said would result in at least $62 million in damages.

The Bentonville, Ark.-based retail giant is facing a slew of similar suits around the country.


Jury awards $78 million in damages in Wal-Mart labor violations case.

A similar lawsuit to this is being litigated here in Oklahoma. Considering the commonality of the type of violations being reported in the Pennsylvania case referenced in the header link, I feel pretty confident that it was the result of a policy of Wal-Mart's owners and upper management.

They will continue to deny it, and will probably appeal the final verdict, but I think this is just more evidence the zeitgeist of the country right now. There is just a type of malaise that has set out on the public. Enron, WorldCom and others essentially stealing worker's pensions and dumping obligations to pay for health care right when those workers need it most in Chapter 11 bankruptcies. This case of Wal-Mart abusing its workers. CEOs and upper management giving themselves lavish compensation awards while telling the workers that there is not enough available to fund their pensions. Their enablers in Congress who are being proven to be utterly corrupt. And the hypocrisy of the Republican party promising conservative Christians that they would cater to their desires -- only to have been exposed as cynically using them so that they could carry out the above abuses is apparently going to revealed in a soon-to-be-released book Tempting Faith: An Inside Story of Political Seduction by David Kuo .

After only two years of the Republicans controlling both houses of Congress and the White House, the tide of history seems to have changed. With gerrymandered congressional districts that seemed to have etched the Republican majority in stone and with more voting power having moved to give Republican strongholds of rural and religous voters more power, such a sea change would have been unthinkable even earlier this year. All of a sudden it seems like even the most fervent Republican base voters are coming to the realization that they have been had. Many of them are coming to the realization that they have been played for suckers. The conservative Christians are starting to realize the wisdom of Jesus saying "you cannot serve God and money."

No amount of change from the election will be enough. So much damage has been done already that I find it hard to believe that we can get a "reversion to the mean" in terms of Justice. But, at least it would be a start.


Teri said...

The problem is that the Democrats are equally corrupt and clueless. Both parties are in the pockets of corporations. It used to be that parties at least gave lip service to helping the common man. Now they just express their contempt.

OkieLawyer said...


I understand how you feel. However, I think the bloggers out there have created a new dynamic for politicians to deal with. Bloggers have a tendency to be populist in their leanings, and will not tolerate public corruption as much, IMO.

Anonymous said...

You can bash only the Rebuplicans all day, but as teri said, neither side cares about us, all they care about is winning so they can feed at the trough of pork and corporate spending. We need a third choice, "none of the above".

OkieLawyer said...


"None of the above" is ultimately anarchy, which is even worse than the other two major parties.