I lost my job today

Not really, but if I had, I wouldn’t want these people looking out for me:

At Wal-Mart these days, snowy weather is no longer an excuse for lateness. It had better be a natural disaster like a hurricane or blizzard. And being 10 minutes or more tardy for work three times will earn you a demerit. Too many of those could get you fired.

“After a year of adopting antifamily policy after antifamily policy, Wal-Mart adds further insult to injury by adopting a new restrictive attendance policy that treats hard-working associates like children while penalizing them if, God forbid, they face a child or friend with a medical emergency,” said Chris Kofinis, a spokesman at WakeUpWalmart.com.

The group is set to hold its first-ever national conference call with Wal-Mart employees and civil rights leaders Thursday to discuss the latest move as well as other recent labor changes.

Civil rights leaders? What am I missing? But is Wal-Mart treating employees like children any more than labor unions treat employees like children? Under labor union thinking, employees are not capable of negotiating their own wages. Employees are not capable of resisting so-called oppressive rules. Employees are not capable of providing for their own healthcare needs. Employees are not capable of providing for their own retirement. Just like government, labor unions are no more interested in the rights (used loosely here) of workers than the lack of care they allege Wal-Mart fosters. This is little more than a ploy to be the employment central planner they believe Wal-Mart is.

But is Wal-Mart in complete control?

Mike Turner, who resigned three weeks ago as assistant manager of a Wal-Mart store in Crosby, Tex., said he was briefed about the changes by his bosses earlier this fall. He said that under the old policy, managers would approve excuses on a case-by-case basis, but the 800 number eliminates such “human interaction.”

“I believe in being fair,” he said, noting he personally approved plenty of situations that made a worker late like flooding or a car breaking down. “What can you tell a good associate that you are going to discipline because of a system that goes against human interaction?” he asked.

It’s easy enough to focus on “a system that goes against human interaction.” Instead, focus on “resigned three weeks ago.” That’s the true right of the worker. If something is unfair – whether wages, benefits, or leave policy – employment is not slavery. But it is up to the employee to demand and earn what she wants as it is for the employer to provide what’s fair demanded by the market. It only takes one party to institute a bad policy, but it takes two to perpetuate it.

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