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Watching Wal-Mart

Not that you need yet another reason to keep your tush out of Wal-Mart… You already know about:
* child labor violations
* keeping workers under 30 hours so they won’t qualify for health care
* discrimination against women
* support of legislation that would have put truckers on 16-hour shifts
* using undocumented workers
* quashing attempts at union organizing

Now there’s an organization that’s uniting the laundry list of this corporation’s evil practices. Wal-Mart Watch is a newly-formed nonprofit organization aimed at reforming the business practices of Sam Walton’s baby. I heard about it on NPR this morning while driving to work.

Its first effort, an ad campaign focusing on the retailer’s abandonment of its “Buy American” business model.

Sam Walton’s bestselling autobiography is titled “Made in America”. And as recently as 1994, company literature titled “Bring It Home To The USA” touted Wal-Mart’s commitment to American manufacturers saying “The Buy American program is both a commitment and a partnership.” That was then. This is now.

…Wal-Mart Watch Executive Director Andrew Grossman said, “Wal-Mart may say ‘low prices’ but we’re here to ask, ‘at what cost?’ At the cost of America’s manufacturing base? At the cost of well-paying American jobs and the families, communities, and futures they support? Wal-Mart does more than simply exploit and profit from the outsourcing of American industry to China. With its unprecedented leverage in the retail sector and its relentless pressure on suppliers to slash their prices, Wal-Mart has actively forced the shipping of American jobs to China and elsewhere.”

You can listen to an NPR story on it here. You can learn more about Wal-Mart facts and figures here.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding