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Chapter 3

CHAPTER 3 NOTES (Walmartization and the McJob) - Future of Work

4 Pages
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Department
Social Science
Course Code
SOSC 1510
Professor
David Langille

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Chapter 3–Walmartization and the McJob: The Jobs that Boomed in the New Economy • Walmartization concerns the profound and insidious transformations in regional and  global economies through sheer size, influence, and power • Walmartization – another word for the New Economy  • Key to the service economy: flexibility of employment and availability of workforce  • Large percentage of jobs are peripheral and precarious – not offering enough security or  opportunities for workers to advance  • However, for those workers in lower­end service positions, insecurity and precariousness  are the order of the day. They don’t have to worry about temporary slow­downs and lay­ offs. • Work insecurity has become a feature of the new economy • The requirement for flexibility is coupled with an increasing demand for emotional  labour as work is structured to focus on customer relations in the employment  relationship  • Growing insecurity, polarization, precariousness within the new economy are worsened  by the shift in labour market (neoliberalism) • Walmart is the largest retailer with $405 billion in sales, 2.1 million workers, and 176+  million customers per week • Largest private employer in U.S • It imports more goods than most countries  • Its income is 4x that of its largest competitor  • Ranked #3 on “Fortune Magazine” list of top 500 biggest publicly traded corporations  (2009) • When walmart moves into a community, smaller businesses that can’t compete go  bankrupt  • It first entered Canada in 1994 and purchased 122 stores in Woolco chain, causing at least  6 major chains to disappear  • Walmart’s objective: one­stop shopping • Walmart watch: and organization of citizens affected by walmart’s policies • According to walmart watch, 3 jobs are lost for every 2 that are created when walmart  moves into a community  • Walmart’s cost­saving strategy: greater number of part­time workers • The company will minimize cost to maximize profit – and is maintained by paying the  workers minimum wage and few (if any) benefits •  Walmart is anti­union • Culture of paternalism – managers controlling the employees from any “union talk” • Under globalization “retail dominated supply chains” lead the way by setting the  parameters for manufacturers and maintaining the upper hand in global transactions – a  representations from “push production to pull production” • Walmartization refers to the power and influence and also the structure an process of  manufacturing  • Declines in heavy industry where jobs have traditionally been unionized and relatively  well paid with good benefits, together with the outsourcing of production jo
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