Walmart: The Movie

Via Brian Flemming: Robert Greenwald, of Outfoxed and Uncovered fame, is currently working on a documentary about the retail giant. As you might imagine, Wal-Mart isn’t very happy about it. Greenwald has the full scoop at an entry on The Huffington Post and on his personal blog.

Like many of Greenwald’s projects, the Wal-Mart movie is a grassroots effort, with Greenwald calling on people to submit photographs and video to tell their stories about how the company has affected their community. And, as usual, Greenwald has been criticized for not allowing Wal-Mart executives to tell their side of the story. Greenwald counters by noting that the company spends millions in public relations already, which is certainly true. Still, I’d love to see some of these executives forced to address some of the difficult questions (about Wal-Mart’s low wages, their lack of affordable health care, despite ten billion in annual profits).

4 Comments »

  1. julie pierce Said,

    June 10, 2005 @ 9:30 am

    Caution to all Walmart Associates…There was an article that stated that Walmart would not terminate associates that worked with Robert Greenwald on his documentary.
    Please think before you do anything with Greenwald or any of his people.
    In February, although I was told anything that we were doing was off the book and even thought I refused to sign a release I was used.
    One of the people working for Greenwald used my name to gain access to Walmart associates and I was interrogated by Loss Prevention about it and eventually they found a way to terminate me.
    The morning of February 28th everything was fine and I was to go back to work at my store on March 2nd after my day off. Later on February 28th my store manager called me back and said that he had been directed to terminate me.
    Even though anything that happened through the interrogations was considered okay once the information went higher up it changed.
    No one is going to be able to stop them from terminating you if they want to do it they will find a way and Robert Greenwald will not be there if you fall.
    Please be careful. If you don’t care about your job it is fine. But remember that once they have your name it depends on their integrity not to use it unless you allow them to. They didn’t abide by my wishes.
    Loss Prevention said that my name was on the top of a list connected to Carolina Productions which is the other Production Company that Greenwald runs.
    I refused to release my information. I asked to have the release re written in a form where my work on a book and the information I had was cover as mine so there would not be a problem later with the copyright.
    The said that they would re write it but never did and I never signed anything. I did lose my job because someone used my name.
    Greenwald has never contacted me aside from sending a box from California with a couple of items I let them borrow and a bunch of other people’s stuff. I have no idea of who it belongs to but I am thinking about taking out some ads to find the owners of it.
    I have been told that Walmart said they will not terminate the people that work with him and his people but I would be careful.
    I will supply a link on my journal and web pages so you can look at the article.
    I will also post this every where I can.
    I have been censored by the Huffington Post. All of my posts have been taken off the site and any site I go to that is even remotely associated with Greenwald will not allow my information to be published on their sites.
    Please do be careful

    Regards,
    Julie

  2. Julie Pierce Said,

    June 22, 2005 @ 8:38 pm

    The Cult
    Becoming a part of the Cult, consists of being recruited a member of the cult, as a person that can be relied on to assume responsibilities and accomplish all or almost all things requested.
    Depending upon the position you hold and the person that you are attached to the most, any position can be engaging and can be so different from any other experience that you have had prior to Walmart in almost any retail sector that you feel you are being chosen for great things.
    Along with morning meetings and consistently being told how much you mean as an individual to the company, by your recruiter, management and the general population you feel an inclusiveness that is hard to describe. Before the end of each meeting the feeling, gets closer to being accepted into a religious organization or sorority, and when you are accepted, in some way you sincerely begin to believe what you are being told is that you belong to a new family. “The Walmart Family” You begin to believe that “The Walmart Way” is the better way, the only way.
    I did not see it happening and I begin to correlate past experiences with this new and empowered way of working. I am sure I felt something then that most typical retail employees seldom if ever feel. A sense of power. As the brainwashing continued, I found myself accepting any number of practices that are not truly acceptable according to written company policy but are known to the members as unwritten rules that are to be followed by all without question or concern.
    I found myself accepting the unacceptable. Policies and procedures that were just plain common sense meant nothing soon. Even when I complained about something that was going on or went to the office seeking information, or asked why, eventually I you would accept that it was the way it should be in the end and continued to feel that someday I would get the recognition and the position that I truly did deserve.
    Depending on your view of what a job is you may find yourself accepting and or doing things in order to please the management that has been so good to you.
    I found that seldom if ever did I say anything that would offend anyone. Situations that would normally be questionable to me, even according to Walmart company policy or my own moral beliefs became acceptable. Things such as Gender discrimination or favoritism becomes acceptable and some how I knew inside bringing it up as unfair would label me as a problem.
    This in turn would cause the person or manager who was so good to me, to be hurt and unhappy I would think or even suggest it is what it is.
    I found it was not hard to accept and believe all of it was for my own good. I started to believe the company would never want to mistreat or discriminate against anyone even when it looked that way. I believed the reasons or concerns I had, what ever they were, were being handled in a justifiable way and it is was all for the good of the family.
    Once I became a bona fide member, the procedure continued and changed occasionally to fit the position that I held within the cult.
    The inclusiveness, the confidentiality of different situations became paramount to my standing within the cult.
    If at any time, I became a maverick or bucked my immediate supervisor I found that I would immediately pulled aside and put on notice about my conduct and how I should go about repairing any damage I inflicted upon the cult. All of it was done in a very nurturing way and during this type of situation I was informed how I would be now and always expected to conduct myself in the future.
    It is when the situation becomes personal and changes the actual way that a person views life, that it simulates brainwashing.
    It is when one person recruits another and has no reason for doing it other than their standing within the cult that it is not normal. When the only reward is the person’s standing within the cult will be higher because the person knows what they are doing what is right according to Walmart. Once you have entered the status of truly being brain washed all situations that are accepted by the cult as justifiable are accepted personally as well.
    My personal experience has resulted with the inner conflict that occurs with mentally trying to accept “The Walmart Way” over biological family members and numerous coworkers that have had situations requiring one to take sides.
    All issues due to any number of internal or external situations that present themselves seem to trigger an automatic defense system. To do anything other than this would cause one to be shunned by the cult and would cause members to inflict mental strain and stress on the person not conforming to what is considered to be a part of your responsibility to the company as an associate.
    There is a psychological aspect to being a Walmart associate that truly finds no special job code.

  3. Julie Pierce Said,

    June 26, 2005 @ 11:20 am

    Walmart Image…The Illusion of Clean….Thanks Mom!

    It will be posted…the article…the start of a book…at http://www.walmartassociatescentral.com

    Or if in a hurry on http://www.livejournal.com/users/walmartauthor

    It really hasn’t changed it’s image and all of it is “The Illusion of Clean”

    Regards,
    Julie

    Julie Doering Pierce…”The Walmart Way” Not Sam’s Way…Walmart XIII AD

  4. Julie Pierce Said,

    June 29, 2005 @ 2:31 pm

    My feelings are that I have so much more.
    It is one thing to have billions of dollars to leave as a legacy and to your family. It is wonderful to have been able to do so many things that are good.
    Still, even with the loss of what I at one time felt I had I am at a loss to compare what I have to what they have.

    Billions of dollars, whether in cash, stocks, company holdings it’s money and money can be a comfort in a time of loss as it can be at any other time.
    Still, the continuation of ignoring the people that helped to compile that money is something that makes a person wonder when money becomes the real God.

    Too much time to think and is it what you use time thinking about.

    The itch to go back, to start all over again only because that is the norm for you and the way it has been for a lifetime.

    The feeling of guilt that can run unchecked and make an average person of any age feel that they have to do because they are categorized as a have not.

    What would I use my time on if I had the money to do all of the things that I think of now, especially considering I do not have it.

    Money rules the mind and the heart and although some of the most wondrous lives have been ruled by money, many others have gone beyond the need for it and even without it have done wonderful things.

    How do you?

    At a time when I seriously thought I was finished with new employment beginnings, at a time when life is more than paying the bills and decisions really mean something because if nothing more I need to stand for something I can truly believe in.

    If I leave nothing else behind I must leave what I believe in. I feel that even if no one else can, I must write the words that I truly believe.

    I could have continued to act as if the way things were, what I saw was unimportant and would have been allowed to continue to work or not work…my decision for a company that was not what it seemed to be when I came across it in 1998.

    I could decide, they were right, I was wrong. Even now, I wonder and I hold inside the reasoning that allows me to justify the monetary losses that my family will endure because I bucked the system and even though it looks like my fault to see it on paper, I know and my family knows better.

    I know what it may look like. I have accepted that. I also know that proving any of it without the help that could actually say, actually verify, it will always look like something it is not.

    I also have the temporary thought that giving up is easier. Starting over is easier. Why?
    Because there is no interest as far as the media is concerned as to why it is the way it is.
    Because for some reason, yes I would love to make money doing it, yes I would love to be able to show, prove what I say is true. No one will look at any of it, even if I offer it for free.

    A few of the people I made promises to understand. Few, very few of the numbers of hard working Americans actually have verified to me that I am not wrong for the way I feel.

    I was very tired of the continued attempt to get the entire situation into the open while working hours posted on a wall by another who is only interested in the monetary value of their time and nothing else.

    If I could lie to myself and others I could have done it. If I could lie to my family and anyone else who presented the questions that no one would answer I could have done it.

    As mom instilled in me, somewhere along the way, I can only feel that I once again made the mistake of looking at the entire company as what it was in a small piece of it by comparison very small.

    The illusion of clean…it looks that way but I knew better within no time at all and at that time I continued to work there, I continued to accept something that was not right with the belief that the company would somehow redeem itself.

    At a time in my life when I felt fairly down due to the loss of my business and any additional amount of feeling inadequate because those with money could win by default I was looking for something that could in some way make up for it and it didn’t work.

    If I had been truly concerned I would have admitted to myself and others in 1998 that they were not even then what they seemed to be. I accepted the status quo. I accepted that being a female was just that being a female and made the attempt to be one of them until the baggage that came with it became too heavy to carry.

    As a woman and as one that has worked most of my life I accepted the status quo. I accepted many times in my work life that as a woman I could only achieve so much when it came to business.

    It could have happened anywhere, for any company. It just happened that at that time of my life it was this company and that along with the good, there was bad.

    (To be continued)
    I said I would continue and so I am. The shock, the feeling of comfort that one gets when they are still here, just because with questions as to why?

    John Walton, my boss for almost seven years in an indirect way. John Walton was considered a philanthropist because he could be and the sense of the word has taken on a meaning that is connected to the word money.

    Still his father would out shine all of his children, money or not, philanthropy or not the man was a beacon that could continue to shine if his children would follow his lead.

    I hope that now John and Sam are communicating in a way that they didn’t while on the face of this earth. Possibly Sam can explain that money is not the answer to every question and that his culture was what started the company and allowed it to grow to where it is today.

    Not knowing the meaning of why I am still here and wondering why I am as opposed to a man of wealth.

    Not knowing when my time will come and knowing that if there is a mention of philanthropy when I pass on it is that I would be known as a goodhearted person.

    I do care. I do not have the financial power to make things better for the many, I can only make an attempt to make it better with my words that are written from the soul after many disappointments and achievements during a lifetime of instability, change and love given to me freely by so many wonderful people.

    My words are all I presently have. These are the words that I will do my best to not hide but share with all who will read or listen to them for the good of all.

    I can wish and I can dream and I can only make the attempt to communicate that I have never meant any harm to the beast that has stolen my heart. The beast that is destroying the work of a man who’s children did not listen when he spoke.

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