11.04.2005

secrets and lies

This is another post in my periodic series about Wal-Mart, and the disgusting, anti-human business practices of the US's largest employer. (My first Wal-Mart post was here, here's one that started a discussion, and here's a recent JibJab cartoon. There's a bunch of others, too. If you're a Wal-Mart Watcher, you can search the archives.)

Last week, I received this email from Wal-Mart Watch:
On Wednesday, the New York Times broke the story of a secret Wal-Mart Board of Directors memo obtained by Wal-Mart Watch. Today, just 24 hours later, millions of people around the world are discovering the true ruthlessness of Wal-Mart's business practices.

Wal-Mart tries hard and spends an unbelievable amount of money to make us believe that they treat their workers like family. We've all seen the television commercials and will see many more in the days and weeks ahead. But we've shattered this myth once and for all.

The secret memo reveals the complete disregard - if not outright hostility - with which Wal-Mart's executives view their more than 1.3 million employees in the US. It confirms facts that Wal-Mart has long denied, including that 46% of the children of Wal-Mart's U.S. employees are uninsured or on Medicaid.

To remedy Wal-Mart's healthcare crisis, the memo lays out plans to:
- Cut spousal benefits
- Hire more part-time employees and encourage faster turnover
- Discourage older and unhealthy people from working at Wal-Mart by requiring more jobs to require physically challenging tasks such as collecting carts and stocking shelves

Read the secret Wal-Mart memo here and join the discussion about it on our blog.

We leaked the memo to the New York Times on the heels of a media blitz by Wal-Mart about its latest plan to offer more affordable employee healthcare benefits. But as this memo proves, yet again, Wal-Mart is ignoring the true crisis of their uninsured and underinsured employees. It's more than a moral crisis, it's one that costs you and all American taxpayers billions each year.
Here's how to get involved. And of course, spread the word.

6 comments:

James said...

I always find it amazing how a country which prides itself on being built and populated by "blue-collar Joes" can have such contempt for the economic well-being of blue-collar Joes. The whole economy is based on siphoning livelihood out of blue-collar Joes and into the pockets of blue-blooded Dicks.

BTW, apparently Rumsfeld has lotsa shares in the company that makes the current favourite bird flu vaccine. The current scare has netted him a few million in increased stock value.

And the stockpiles of vaccine are still 1/10th what they're supposed to be.

Liam J said...

We have a simple rule in my family. No shopping at Walmart if at all possible. The only time I've gone there in the last 2 years was when no other store in town had little swimmers for some strange reason.

Personally, I would encourage people to frequent stores with good progressive policies instead, like Costco. They start their employees in Canada at over $9/hr, and provide very god benefits. Apparently 90% of Costco's political donations in the US went to the Democratic party and progressive causes in 2004.

L-girl said...

Here's my post about Costco (also linked above), and the ensuing discussion.

L-girl said...

I always find it amazing how a country which prides itself on being built and populated by "blue-collar Joes" can have such contempt for the economic well-being of blue-collar Joes. The whole economy is based on siphoning livelihood out of blue-collar Joes and into the pockets of blue-blooded Dicks.

Right. That's because that "built by regular Joe" pride is a complete myth. The US was built on the backs of slaves and almost-slaves. If it weren't for activism forcing the govt to intercede, nothing would have ever changed.

I always scoff when I hear how unions and labour protection laws have outlived their usefulness. As if without worker protections things wouldn't immediately revert back to "the good old days". As if suddenly employers would be motivated by concern for workers instead of shareholders and profit. Uh-huh.

Peter Nellhaus said...

I was a paralegal at a law firm that had a class action suit against Wal-Mart. They use to lock in the night staff as a matter of practice. I've tried to explain to some people why Wal-Mart is bad but they are often blinded by the "bargains".
I visited Toronto a couple of weeks ago, avoiding Hurricane Wilma's visit to my current home, Miami Beach. I had a good time, and am considering moving up there for several reasons.

L-girl said...

Hi Peter, welcome to wmtc. I remember the lock-in suit - or at least the settlement that was won. Good for you for being part of that. The law firms I worked for (that's how we support our creative lives, too) were all on the other, corporate side of the fence.

If you do decide to emigrate, or if you have any questions about it, feel free to email me. Good luck!