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Bloomberg reports that cashiers employed by Wal-Mart have “asked a federal judge to order the company to stop threatening to fire Texas employees who join a lawsuit claiming unpaid wages.

“Workers' lawyers sent out notices Aug. 4 to more than 100,000 current and former Wal-Mart and Sam's Club cashiers in Texas, inviting them to join the litigation. Wal-Mart managers asked employees to turn over the notices and sign statements that they never worked off the clock as the suit claims, according to court papers.”

Wal-Mart says that the claims have no merit.

• Ed Kolodzieski, the CEO of Wal-Mart’s Japanese subsidiary, Seiyu, says that despite greater first half losses, the company is making progress – opening new stores, closing underperforming stores, reducing costs and improving supply chain efficiencies.

"I am very proud of the accomplishments of our team," Kolodzieski says, adding, “There is no doubt in my mind Japan is a key market and a great growth opportunity.”

Seiyu lost $465 million (US) for the first half of the year, five times the loss declared for the same period a year ago. Sales for the half were down almost three percent to $4 billion (US).

The challenge for Seiyu, according to various reports, is that it is simultaneously trying to impose its own operating culture on the company while keeping the Seiyu name and image in front of consumers; at the same time, competing retailers have proven to be better than expected at matching up with Seiyu and Wal-Mart.
KC's View:
We’ve always liked Ed Kolodzieski, and have since long before he went to work for Wal-Mart. In fact, we’ve always enjoyed telling people that Ed is the only person who took us on a tour of his stores while armed . (At least that we know of.) Ed always has gotten involved with police auxiliary organizations in the communities where he’s lived, and being armed was just part of the job. But this certainly shows his commitment to community, which is a good thing for a retailer.