Wednesday, April 20, 2011

WalMart: The Illusion of Jobs

WalMart Launches Full-Scale Assault on The District
By now we all know that WalMart is coming.  They are coming in force and with a vengeance.  They have targeted three locations.  They have opened an office here and are holing meetings and makeing the rounds of the ANC's and actively lobbying City Council.  Some people, Council Members among them, believe that WalMart will be good for DC.  Please let me assure you, nothing could be further from the truth.  In fact WalMart is a predator.  They are like commercial vampires sucking the life out of small businesses and wholesalers.  WalMart is business bomb that decimates the communities in which they locate.  For every job the company creates, it costs the community more than 2 existing jobs.  WalMart, the store that trumpets its patriotism is effectively a wholesaler for China.  It buys almost exclusively from China Inc.  WalMart, the champion of Religious values honors only one god ... Money.  It pays well under prevailing wages ... 30 percent of its employees are part time.  it artificially inflates salaries by locating highly paid regional staff at its stores, bumping up the payroll.    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.  WalMart is a corporate liar.  It is company policy.

Walmart Employees on Food Stamps
In fact, WalMart recognizes the poverty in which it places employees.  It has a manager whose job is to help the employees apply for food stamps.  Finally, WalMart has demonstrated that it engages in active decption of the communities in which it locates.  They will make many promises, but they do NOT live up to them.  They will never sign a community benefits agreement because they have no intention of ever honoring it.  They will not submit themselves to a contactual agreement because it has the force of law behind it.  WalMart's intention is to deceive, to get in the door so they can put their avaricious hands into our pockets and take our money and as brother Ray said, "...take it back to Arkansas."  How can you tell when a WalMart executive is lying?  His lips are moving.

Friday, April 8, 2011

First Source: Key Issues

Active and Engaged Implementation, Enforcement, and Monitoring

The following are critical elements, we believe necessary to assure effective implementation and compliance with both the letter and spirit of the NEW First Source Legislative effort. The new law (amended) goes a log ways toward redressing the old grievances, but ... and the word is BUT ... without the provisions and regulations we outline here, it will become too easy for those who would do so (70% of DC foreign companies do not now comply even with the palid provisions of the esiting legislation) ot circumvent and nullify this well intentioned legislative effort.

a.     We expect contractors and construction firms and all those covered by First Source to engage in a pro-active regimen of compliance with both the letter and spirit of the law.  This means …
                                               i.     Establish a First Source Compliance Officer position within the organization.
                                              ii.     Draft and submit for approval a First Source compliance plan (FSCP)
1.     This plan must include both business processes and procedures along with an audit and reporting schedule.
2.     In addition, a file containing copies of W4’s and Drivers Licenses for all workers on the site.  File is to be immediately available to auditors on demand
                                            iii.     Develop and maintain as part of the FSCP, a First Source Remediation Plan that explains in some detail how the organization will remediate non-compliance issues.
2.    Engaged Enforcement
a   The Deputy Mayor for Ecomomic Development now has jurisdiction over the First Source Agreement.  Will he have sufficient budget and resources to accomplish these provisions, given the current fiscal crisis?  We shall see ...Active enforcement needs to be a priority here.
                                               i.     Posting adjacent to the organizations logo and sign a placard of similar size to be easily visible from passing traffic.  This sign shall display the fact that a First Source requirement exists for this company. 
                                              ii.     A separate but equally visible sign shall also display the number of workers on the site, as of last audit, with confirmed DC residential status  and of equal size and position, the number of out of city workers presently employed on the site.
b.    Prohibitive Penalties
                                               i.     In addition to claw back provisions and invoice payment suspension suggested elsewhere , it is essential that penalties are meaningful and have sufficient economic consequences to be taken seriously.
1.     For each percentage point under compliance the company shall be prohibited from biding on city contracts for “n” months.
2.     For every pay period a Payroll report shall automatically be generated using original source documents. The reports shall be directly generated by the organizations payroll system
3.     Any failure to comply such as a workers whose city documentation proves invalid, will generate a $10,000 fine for the first infraction and it doubles for all subsequent violations on each project.
4.     Penalties for failure to respond promptly also need to be substantive.
5.     Finally, three penalties for a single contractor on any one project will result in a one-year suspension from qualified bidding on city projects.