[contextly_sidebar id="Qu1yFLqHxrLPM76xII2xAqPpc1DyG2ED"]Hey Walmart, what's good?! It's been like two whole weeks since we saw you were being a Big Dumb Walmart and bullying a former employee. Let's check in with our most infamous Corporate person and make sure it isn't suffering from seasonal affective disorder or something.

Walmart wage increases to improve workers’ lives to “barely impoverished”

[contextly_sidebar id="ohuPIqcNrd0wJLkLt9rQmR1xrJD1rTx9"]Last year, Walmart started paying its workers a higher starting wage. A whole nine bucks an hour. This year, the plan is to raise starting wages even higher, at an estimated cost of $1.5 billion dollars, a/k/a the net worth of a Walton heir’s third cousin twice removed who once appeared in family photo.

When will this handout madness finally break the back of the world’s biggest retailer? Somehow not yesterday. In fact, this huge windfall for the Walmart worker is actually benefitting the store since workers have a tad more disposable money to spend at Walmart after they’re done buying silly stuff like textbooks and vaccinations. Who could’ve predicted this except a lot of nerds with economics degrees? It’s like the Bizarro “Ford Model.” Walmart workers are less poor, but not less poor enough to shop anywhere other than Walmart.

You might think this is a win-win, but then again you’re not a stress ball squeezing Wall Street ball squeezer. Walmart’s shares were down 30 percent in 2015 as savvy investors wondered why the hell Walmart didn’t just let the government take care of its low-wage employees' needs per standard operating procedure. But don't worry. Stock analysts predict that Walmart's decision to close a bunch of stores across the planet should boost its share price and financial outlook because capitalism.

Let's just say Walmart's intimidation tactics could use a little bit of subtlety

The year was 2013. Twerking was all the rage and a few groups of Walmart employees grabbed the picket signs and took to strikin'. Walmart respected the right to strike all the way up until it retaliated by firing a bunch of employees for not being the go-along get-along associates that, if they would only play nice, would be rewarded with life-changing experiences of Forrest Gump-ish proportions.

But here's the deal: unless we're talking about a few specific fields, labor strikes are often allowed if they follow the rules laid out under the National Labor Relations Act. And in January, the National Labor Relations Board found that the strikers screamed all the right chants and followed all the right procedures in drawing attention to Walmart's whack working conditions. And Walmart's decision to retaliate was in violation of federal law. The NLRB ordered 16 employees be reinstated with back pay because Obama's America can be pretty alright sometimes.

On Friday, Buzzfeed posted the script managers used to intimidate its workers who were active in these campaigns. And it was the perfect combination of passive aggressive corpsplaining and patronizing dismissivenss. Here's a snippet:

13. Should you participate in further union-orchestrated intermittent work stoppages that are part of a common plan or design to disrupt and confuse the Company’s business operations, you should expect that the Company will treat any such absence as it would any other unexcused absence.

14.Having said that, let me emphasize that the Company respects your right to support a union and to engage in other protected, concerted activity. It also respects your right to not engage in such activity.

15. But the Company does not believe that these union-orchestrated hit-and-run work stoppages are protected activity.

16. Please remember that you can use the Open Door policy at any time to address questions, concerns, and ideas. I cannot guarantee you that you will get exactly what you want, but I can guarantee that you will get a thoughtful, well-researched, and timely response.

17. OK? Any questions?”

[contextly_sidebar id="whENfSPHvC2x9K7vtP5s7MVo1XjmT4Fg"]We can think of a lot of questions, mostly covered by, "Are you fucking serious?" but this isn't our battle. And no, Walmart doesn't have to stop showing its new hires the helpful training video telling them how bad unions are. Don't be silly.

Walmart was also ordered to hold a meeting in 29 stores to inform workers of their rights to organize. This is really poetic, except that they'll probably make some low level manager hold these meetings instead of the Bentonville headquarters execs who should be forced to tuck their lizard tails between their legs and let these workers know that they have the right to make sweet union organizing right in that very same Walmart.

Walmart is planning to appeal and cited their wage increases as the type of charitable endeavor that should allow them to circumvent federal law. Guess they're going to string this one along until President Cruz takes office (after we all die via asteroid while Ted is fortuitously in his bomb shelter trying on skin suits).

Walmart and friends are mining employees' data…for the good of the worker of course

Corporate People – They’re concerned about their employees. They’re concerned about their health and well-being. They just want to know what's going on with you. Would it hurt you to just tell them a little about your day? Too late, Working Man. Our Corporate Overlords are taking it upon themselves and are hiring research firms to gather information on which workers are taking all the slut pills and voting for city council.

Employee wellness firms and insurers are working with companies to mine data about the prescription drugs workers use, how they shop and even whether they vote, to predict their individual health needs and recommend treatments.

Hey, champ. Are you trying to clock out? How’s your irritable bowel syndrome? Are you sure you want to eat those delicious nachos?

This practice is relatively new. But beyond the inherent HIPAA and privacy issues, rest assured that it will be used only for the common good and definitely not weed out the 55-year old diabetic maintenance worker.


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