Follow-Up on “Cheap” High cost of Retail Culture Mtg

Nice meeting, good conversation!  Thanks to our newest member for giving us a try, (Andrea, Sandra, Mike, and Debbie).  It’s good to see some new people become regulars, too, like Phil, Marilyn, and Steven.

Anyway, here are a few links for follow-up.

  • The Death of Retail?  The article I mentioned on the coming demise of the big box (and even smaller) retail store and its replacement by on-line shopping.  As Debbie mentioned, however, on-line shopping still requires many low-wage and potentially unsafe jobs, such as warehouse work.  Amazon has been exposed as an abuser of warehouse workers. The workers, in many cases, don’t work for Amazon at all, but, as is so common nowadays, for temp agencies that contract with Amazon.
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  • BookOverdressed, the book Debbie mentioned on the “shockingly high cost of cheap fashion.”
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  • Alternatives to Unions:  Remember when Sandra asked whether workers are organizing outside of the traditional trade union structure?  I mentioned that, since the rules for starting a real union are so stacked in favor of management, “employee associations” are proliferating.  See this on the general trend of workers joining employee associations that have far less power under the law than unions do, but are at least something.One such example is OUR Wal-Mart.  OUR Wal-Mart workers in three states just went out on strike to protest working conditions and harassment.

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Word-of-mouth is the main way Civilized Conversation attracts new members.  So, to the new people, if you liked what you saw and heard last night, feel free to spread the word to your friends.

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NEXT WEEK:  voting wars and voting rights.

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