Wal-Mart still sucks

January 14, 2005

Wal-Mart is a union busting, small business killing, community poisoning, government subsidized, sweatshop supplied, job killing peddler of cheap ass Chinese crap.

Wal-Mart pays janitors $2.00 per DAY and takes out life insurance policies on other low paid employees, betting that their lack of decent, affordable healthcare (pdf) will lead to an untimely demise. Wal-Mart threatens the hard working middle class lifestyle by keeping wages and benefits at miserly levels.

Wal-Mart discriminates against women.

And despite the claims of their current high profile PR campaign of lies, Wal-Mart does not create jobs, and Wal-Mart does not provide adequate benefits to their workers or to the communities in which they do business.

Heres the SP Times offering Wal-Mart some free ink to go along with the paid ads purchased in Tampa and elsewhere around the country. See, its easier to lie about reality than to actually do anything about it.

Claims that Wal-Mart drags down the nation’s pay and benefits do not square with Michael Martin’s experience.

“I’m making more after working four years at Wal-Mart than I did after nine years at Winn-Dixie,” said the 32-year-old produce department manager. “I left Winn-Dixie because I couldn’t get a promotion. Here I got one after six months.”

And so went Martin’s third media interview Thursday. By midafternoon he and a half-dozen fellow volunteers at a Tampa Wal-Mart Supercenter had talked of their experiences to three local newspaper reporters and four television stations while a Wal-Mart spokesman flown in from corporate headquarters listened nearby.

The media event, one of 14 in hand-picked markets nationally, is part of a stepped-up nationwide PR campaign to silence the world’s largest retailer’s army of critics: retail workers unions, academics, lawyers, preservationists and politicians who have been attacking the discount store giant and much of what it stands for.

Like a sleeping bear that has been kicked awake, Wal-Mart said the company has decided it must be far more aggressive about fighting back.

“For too long, others have had free rein to say things about our company that just are not true,” said Lee Scott, president and chief executive officer. “Our associates (Wal-Mart-speak for employees) are tired of it, and we’ve decided to draw our own line in the sand.”

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. took out full-page ads in 100 newspapers nationally on Thursday including the St. Petersburg Times, Tampa Tribune, Florida Sentinel and Weekly Challenger as well as the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

The United Food and Commercial Workers union, which has been trying to organize Wal-Mart workers, has a corporate campaign attacking Wal-Mart for its affect on competitor pay and benefits in union markets. In California, union workers went on strike last year when their employers demanded and got wage and benefit concessions to better compete against Wal-Mart’s pricing.

In California, Wal-Mart said its average hourly employee earns $10.15 an hour. A recent University of California-Berkley study estimated Wal-Mart workers there earned $9.70 an hour in 2004, or 31 percent less than the $14.07 average paid those who work for other large retailers.

The study also says families of Wal-Mart workers use 40 percent more in taxpayer-funded health care and 38 percent more in other public assistance programs than the average for other large retailers.

“I’m rather skeptical of the facts Wal-Mart is putting out,” said Elizabeth Drea, a spokeswoman for the UFCW Local 881 in Chicago. “They’re trying to do a glossy PR campaign to gloss over the reality.”

Avoid Wal-Mart. You dont need any of their chintzy plastic junk. And you do have choices. Do business with local merchants. If you must shop at a large national chain, be an informed consumer and consider retailers other than Wal-Mart.

One Response to Wal-Mart still sucks

  1. jessica on January 14, 2005 at 9:44 am

    I just had this discussion with a friend of mine last week. Thanks for the surplus of great links.



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