Friday, July 28, 2006

Wal-Mart Leaves Germany

Another blow to incivility.

Why the failure?

One example of that might be that Wal-Mart's American managers pressured German executives to enforce American-style management practices in the workplace. Employees were forbidden, for instance, from dating colleagues in positions of influence. Workers were also told not to flirt with one another.

A German court ruled last year against the company's attempt to introduce a telephone hotline for employees to inform on their colleagues.

High labor costs may have been a big hurdle for Wal-Mart Germany, as well as workers who tried to resist management's demands which they felt were unjust.

One Wal-Mart employee told the newsmagazine Der Spiegel that management had threatened to close certain stores if staff did not agree to work to working longer hours than their contracts foresaw and did not permit video surveillance of their work.

Wal-Mart Germany has had several run-ins with the trade union ver.di, which represents retail store workers.

It'd be nice to think it was all due to the recognition that they're shitty to their workers, but in fairness the article says they seem to have been the shits at selling stuff there.

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