Mike Pearl vice.com Walmart received a $7,000 fine from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in 2008 after a Long Island store’s annual orchestrated stampede got too intense and one of its employees got killed. Since then, they have devoted 4,700 hours of legal work to not paying that fine. Because to do so would be to admit that they did something wrong. After all, what did they do wrong? All they did was mark some highly-sought-after items down to discount prices and offer them to consumers two months into a global economic collapse. Then they encouraged shoppers to wait outside their store by a sign that said “Blitz Line Starts Here,” all while the store manager “rested” in a hotel, according to The New Yorker. They also brought in an extra staff of just two people specifically to work security, one of whom was assigned to watch the door, while the other one safeguarded the merchandise. Did those actions contribute to what happened next (PDF)? Namely: Does all that preparation mean Walmart could have known that it was possible for over a thousand people to show up, and start jumping barriers and clashing with cops? Walmart didn’t strike any agreements with local law enforcement, who took a this-is-your-problem approach to crowd control and beat it when the time was nearing to open the flood gate. It was assistant manager, Mike Sicuranza’s decision, not corporate’s, to place the biggest, burliest non-security employees front and center when the doors broke open in order to help stampeding customers up when they inevitably fell down. So when one of those non-security employees, Jdimytai Damour, a Haitian immigrant who had been working there for a week, tried to do his job, and got his windpipe crushed by the crowd, his death was clearly the crowd’s fault, or the fault of Damour himself maybe, not Walmart That's Walmart’s take. Every dollar they’ve spent in this matter has come with the caveat that it means they don’t have to admit fault. to read more click here: vice.com
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