- I sat in on a presentation about the evils of Wal-Mart around the world – in Canada, Mexico, China, etc. Most of the speakers were union reps, and I can say without hyperbole that the event played like a union rally.
The speaker from Mexico told a story that nicely illustrated how different the same facts can look when viewed through divergent lenses. He held up a Mexican Wal-Mart employee's pay stub and pointed out the shockingly low (by American standards) wages. Then he observed that the pay period was only 12 days long. Why only 12, when the standard pay period is 14 or 15 days long? Because, he said, under Mexican law a worker becomes a "permanent employee" after 28 days of work. So Wal-Mart officially fires people after 26 or 27 days, and then rehires them a couple of days later under a new contract. To my astonishment, this was presented as evidence of the perfidy of Wal-Mart, rather than the stupidity of Mexican labor law!
More Wal-Mart debate post-game wrap-up
Glen has more on the debate we participated in, including this very telling anecdote: