Chris over at Facing South points out that Wal-Mart is really feeling the heat over all the bad PR it’s received lately. The corporate behemoth has formed a PR war room with ex-Bush and Clinton staffers to combat years of criticism over its business practices that is now affecting the bottom line.

You’ll recall last week I posted that the retailer announced a deceptive “low-cost” (high deductible) health insurance plan for employees that ended up backfiring on them — a internal memo that was leaked showed the company’s intention to hire more part-time workers and discourage the hiring of unhealthy workers.

I think there are a lot of sweating executives in the boardroom because of a new documentary coming out along with a week of activism focused on the mammoth chain’s foul corporate behavior.

The key backdrop here is the massive national campaign launched by labor and 400 progressive allies, Wal-Mart Watch, which is building towards a national week of action November 13-19 called “Higher Expectations Week.” A key focus of the week will be screenings of Robert Greenwald’s (of “Outfoxed” fame) documentary, “Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price,” which premiered yesterday to Wal-Mart’s chagrin.

The Institute for Southern Studies is helping to coordinate a week of action in the area, sponsoring three theater screenings of “Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price” with The Independent Weekly and the N.C. Justice Center. Here is more information:

SUNDAY, NOV. 13, RALEIGH — Press Conference and Screening of “Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price.” Press conference starts at 1:30 p.m., screening at 2 p.m., Colony Theater.

MONDAY, NOV. 14, DURHAM — “Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price” screening and discussion. 7 p.m., Carolina Theater.

TUESDAY, NOV. 15, CARY — “Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price” screening and discussion. 7 p.m., Galaxy Theater.

For those of you in the DC area, there will be a premiere with the filmmaker on November 15, according to Campaign for America’s Future:

Washington, DC Premiere: Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price
Date: Tuesday, November 15th
Time: 7:30 pm screening begins; 6:30 pm sponsors’ reception
Location: Regal Cinemas, Gallery Place, 701 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Invited: Sen. Edward Kennedy, Rep. George Miller, film director Robert Greenwald,
Campaign for America’s Future Co-Directors Roger Hickey and Robert Borosage.

More info, including the trailer for the film is here.

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding