Walmart’s big lie: No, it doesn’t create jobs!
by By Kathleen Geier
Does Walmart create jobs? That question is at the heart of the debate currently raging over its plans to open stores in Washington, DC. Last month, labor groups scored a major victory when the DC City Council passed a bill requiring Walmart and other big box retailers to pay their workers a living wage of $12.50 an hour. The mega-store has threatened to pull out of DC if the bill, which requires the signature of Mayor Vincent Gray, becomes law. (Gray has not taken a position but is said to be leaning against the measure).
Former Walmart District Manager Accuses Company of Widespread Inventory Manipulation
by Spencer Woodman
In 1996, Sylvester Johnson left his post as a commanding officer in the US Army and began a career managing logistics at Walmart’s corporate headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas. Once there, he received a series of rapid promotions, eventually overseeing the HR management of over 26,000 employees in five states. He became friendly with Walmart executive Mike Duke, who became CEO in 2009. In 2002, Johnson received the Sam M. Walton Hero Award, a prestigious company distinction. In 2003, he moved to North Carolina where he oversaw eleven Walmart Supercenters. The company fired him in 2009 for allegedly giving orders to manipulate inventory counts, a claim Johnson denies
State of California Orders Walmart-Contracted Warehouse to Pay More than $1 Million in Stolen Wages
The state of California has ordered a Southern California warehouse that processes merchandise for Walmart and other retailers to pay 865 workers more than $1 million in stolen wages.
The California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement issued the citations Monday, Jan. 28 against Quetico, LLC, a large warehouse complex in Chino, California. Back wages and unpaid overtime total more than $1.1million and in addition the state issued about $200,000 in penalties.
Can Wal-Mart Push Both Sustainability and Consumption?
by ANDREW C. REVKIN
The move by the world’s largest retailer toward cutting waste and energy use and otherwise downsizing its environmental impacts is explored in detail in Edward Humes’s book “Force of Nature” (Times review). Any such push, if it’s more than rhetoric, is commendable, as I pointed out in my 2008 post referenced above. But the company — like any successful enterprise — is indeed marketing consumption as much as any particular product. A case in point would have to be Wal-Mart’s effort to outdo competing retailers in the push to start Black Friday on Thanksgiving Thursday.
Big Corporation, Tiny Heart
by Jim Hightower
, Nation of Change
How small can a giant corporation get? I don't mean in size, but in spirit.
Once again, America's biggest commercial empire — Walmart — is displaying its incredibly shriveled ethical center by whacking the already meager health care benefits that hundreds of thousands of its workers count on.
New Research Outlines Walton Family’s Impact
Alice Walton, the heiress to the Walmart fortune, is opening a museum this Friday, November 11th in Bentonville, Arkansas. The museum was funded to the tune of $1.2 billion by the Walton Family Foundation.
At the same time, Walmart, (of which the Walton’s own 48% control) just slashed health care for hundreds of thousands of workers. Many of these workers were already living below the poverty level.
Did Walmart buy urban agriculture group’s silence?
by Michele Simon
Last week, retail behemoth Walmart announced a $1.01 million donation to Milwaukee-based Growing Power, a well-known urban farming nonprofit, whose founder Will Allen has gained many accolades for his hard work to bring local, healthy food to low-income areas.
The Real Reason Wal-Mart Is Dying
by Hamilton Nolan
What's the reason for the unabated plunge of Wal-Mart's sales for the past two years? We assumed it was because Wal-Mart sucks a big one. In fact, there may be a mathematical explanation!
Walmart Losing its Grip on Key Shopper Segment
by Adam Blair
Walmart's self-branding as the Every Day Low Price retailer has been an essential element of its success. But a recent survey of Walmart shoppers indicates the vast majority – a whopping 86% – no longer believe Walmart offers the lowest prices. With the nation's economic recovery sputtering, this "identity crisis" is cause for concern at the Bentonville Giant. It also offers an explanation for why Walmart's U.S. stores have suffered seven consecutive quarters of same-store sales declines, most recently a 1.1% dip for the quarter ending April 29, 2011. (Walmart will announce its Q2 results later this month.)
Bangladesh Labor Leaders Win One Case; Ten More Cases Still to Go
by Bjorn Claeson and Liana Foxvog, SweatFree Communities
, Labor is not a commodity
ILRF has learned that one of the most pernicious cases against Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity (BCWS) staff has been dismissed. Nassa, a major Walmart supplier, had accused BCWS’s Babul Akhter and Aminul Islam of extortion, which could have resulted in sentences of between five years to lifetime in prison. At the time of the alleged incident Mr. Akhter was in court dealing with the government’s cancellation of BCWS’s NGO registration. Mr. Islam was in a BCWS office 50 kilometers from Nassa.
Wal-Mart move causes concern in SA
by Karen Allen
US group Wal-Mart is set to make its mark in South Africa, after regulators approved its bid for a majority stake in one of the country's retailers.
The world's biggest retailer hopes to buy 51% of Massmart, but its plans have drawn criticism from some local unions and suppliers.
Karen Allen reports from Capetown.
Rising pump prices add to Wal-Mart uncertainty
U.S. Walmart stores, which represent 62 percent of the company's business, posted their eighth straight quarter of revenue declines at stores open at least a year. The revenue figure compares revenue with the same quarter a year earlier and excludes stores that opened or closed during the year. It's an important measure of a retailer's health.
Women of Wal-Mart Deserve their Day in Court:
Retail Giant is Not Too Big to Sue
Today the Supreme Court will hear arguments in Wal-Mart v. Dukes -- the largest employment class-action suit in U.S. history. The retail giant did not ask the high court to review the actual charges that Wal-Mart routinely discriminated against its women employees. Instead, the company's challenge seeks to halt the case, which represents more than 1.5 million women, before it even gets to trial.
Walmart Partners with Predatory Lender
As the deadline for filing taxes approaches, Walmart is increasingly coming under criticism for its partnership with Jackson Hewitt. The tax preparer has opened kiosks in over 2,000 Walmart stores for the 2011 tax season, as part of the second year of its exclusive national agreement with Walmart. A recent article in Equal Voice Newspaper highlights some of the problems with the partnership.
NYC: Walmart Associates vs. Walmart Ads
Walmart’s taken a hardball approach in its efforts to open stores in New York City, refusing to engage with local elected officials who have questioned the effect Walmart would have on the city.
Wal-Mart’s unlikely philanthropy chief
by Beth Healy
Margaret A. McKenna devoted her career to education and social justice, and building programs to train teachers. When she retired after 22 years as president of Lesley University in Cambridge, running a charity seemed a logical next act.
A Call for Respect from Wal-mart in the District
by Elisabeth Springer, Intern, International Labor Rights Forum
On Monday February 7, 2011 Respect D.C. held a rally with various civic and business organization leaders at the John Wilson building on Pennsylvania Avenue, which houses the Washington D.C. Council and Mayors offices. The rally took place at 12:30pm so as to follow scheduled meetings with council members inside the building.
Love, Earth Brand Called Environmentally Responsible Despite Evidence Otherwise
The social criteria of “Love, Earth” also outline “freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining,” “fair remuneration of employees that is in compliance with the local and national laws and consistent with the prevailing local standards in the countries of operation,” and “maintain reasonable employee work hours in compliance with local standards and applicable laws.”
Wal-Mart Is Not a Person
by Thom Hartmann
In 2003, after my book Unequal Protection was first published, I gave a talk at one of the larger law schools in Vermont.
Wal-Mart Accused of Trying to Bribe Local Residents in Salt Lake City
In October of 2009, Eduardo Castro-Wright, then Wal-Mart’s vice chairman of U.S, stores, told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, “The writing is on the wall, we are going to smaller stores.” Residents in Salt Lake City are learning first-hand how that statement plays out. Residents charged this week that Wal-Mart is trying to bribe some of them with cash payments.
MSN report finds holes in Wal-mart de Mexico's CSR reporting and underlying policies
by Maquila Solidarity Network
A new report by the Maquila Solidarity Network (MSN) and Red Puentes Mexico concludes that although Wal-Mart Mexico (Walmex) has made significant efforts in recent years to improve its corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting, the company has considerable room left for improvement both on its CSR reporting and on the underlying social and environmental practices
The High Cost of Low Prices
by David Sirota
First, it was the new $200 printer—within hours of being extracted from its bubble-wrap womb, the contraption started making an awful wheezing sound.
For Walmart Mexico, Sustainability Is a Group Effort
Five years ago, Walmart began efforts to become a more sustainable company, not only in the U.S., but everywhere we operate around the world. At Walmart Mexico and Central America, we're working toward three global goals to create zero waste, be supplied 100 percent by renewable energy, and sell products that sustain people and the environment.
Walmart's Brand New Labor Headache
by Neal Ungerleider
When Walmart announced plans to buy South African retailer Massmart Holdings for roughly $4.25 billion last week, pundits could not stop talking about the implications for African business.
Wal-Mart ends profit sharing
by ANNE D'INNOCENZIO
Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the nation's largest private employer, plans to end automatic profit-sharing contributions for its employees in a revamp of its benefits package that it says will give workers more chance to share in its financial success.
Wal-Mart Plays the Victim
by Phil Mattera
In the mid-1990s business groups such as the American Trucking Association – then led by Thomas Donohue, currently head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce – launched a crusade to ban union corporate campaigns.
Wal-Mart Targeted by Labor Union, Farmers on Antitrust Claims
by Jeff Bliss and Sara Forden - Bloomberg
The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, which has tried unsuccessfully to unionize Wal-Mart's employees, is urging the Obama administration to broaden its antitrust inquiry into meat, dairy and seed businesses to include the retailer. Wal-Mart's defenders say its policies benefit consumers, ensuring them low prices.
The price of cheap Walmart eggs? Mummified hens and tainted eggs
by Tom Philpott
Egg prices are on the upswing in the wake of the massive salmonella recall. Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms, two of the ten largest egg U.S. producers, have been pushed out of the fresh-egg market pending investigation. With fewer eggs available, the wholesale price of a dozen eggs has risen dramatically since the recall, as much as 40 percent in some regions.
60 Walmart Stores Hear from Concerned Customers
by Liana Foxvog, National Organizer of SweatFree Communities
On Wednesday concerned consumers visited an estimated sixty Walmart stores in the US, Canada and the UK to call on the mega-retailer to help free Bangladeshi labor leaders Kalpona Akter and Babul Akhter.
Wal-Mart Asks Supreme Court to Hear Bias Suit
by S. Greenhouse
Wal-Mart Stores asked the Supreme Court on Wednesday to review the largest employment discrimination lawsuit in American history, involving more than a million female workers, current and former, at Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores.
Wal-Mart feels the squeeze in US
Wal-Mart's profits rose to $3.6bn (£2.3bn) helped by cost-cutting and growth in international markets.
But Wal-Mart sounded a note of caution, saying the slow economic recovery would "continue to affect" customers.
What Else You Should Know About Walmart
by Max Brooks
, chicago reader
It's not just the low wages or the near-scientific union busting. It's the preference for poverty, the business model built on turnover, the manipulative PR. Is this really the best way to bring jobs and food to the south and west sides?
Wal-Mart to pay millions in waste case
AP - MSNBC
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has agreed to pay $27.6 million to settle allegations that it improperly handled and dumped hazardous waste at stores across California in a case that led to changes in the retailer's practices nationwide, prosecutors said Monday.
How Much Is Walmart Scamming Your State?
Wake Up Walmart
As states face budget shortfalls, firing teachers, public servants, and tightening their belts, Walmart is posting huge profits. Some of those profits are gained at the expense of your state because Walmart uses state tax loopholes, possibly costing states millions in revenues.
Wal-Mart in Trouble Again Over Organic Marketing Practices
by The Cornucopia Institute
The Cornucopia Institute has filed legal complaints with the USDA alleging that Wal-Mart, and a North Carolina-based company, HOMS LLC, are violating the USDA organic standards by using conventional agricultural oils, and other ingredients, in pest control products that bear the word organic and the green “USDA organic” seal.
Wal-Mart sees lower sales in US
Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, has seen sales fall in its home market and said that conditions in the US remain "challenging".
WALMART SAM’S CLUB lowering worker and community standards
Walmart launched another assault on living and working standards in communities across the country yesterday, by laying off more than ten thousand Sam’s Club employees. The company is outsourcing jobs, many of them part-time, to a company based in Arkansas.
Here's the Skinny on Why Wal-Mart Has Made Such a Killing
by David Moberg Alternet
The success of Wal-Mart is in many ways paradoxical. The world's biggest corporation -- and one of the most technologically sophisticated -- emerged from the poor, rural backwaters of Arkansas, a state regularly at the bottom of most state achievement rankings
The American Values Agenda for Change at Walmart
From where we shop to where we work, the types of jobs we do and the workplace benefits we earn, from the source of the products we buy to threats to our health and our environment, Walmart has transformed our lives and is increasingly defining our possibilities as workers, consumers and communities.
Retailers Costco and Amazon.com flunk sustainable paper use, WalMart and Target fare little better
by Jeremy Hance
Every year forests are destroyed for the production of paper: habitat is lost, greenhouse gases are released, species are impacted, and fresh water sources damaged. Some companies have begun to move towards more sustainable paper production, seeking paper sources stamped by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and increasing the use of recycled paper, however other companies in the industry have yet to change their way. The 3rd annual report card conducted by Dogwood Alliance and Forest Ethics focuses both on the companies who continue to make progress toward sustainable paper production—and those who don't.
Wal-Mart Truckers To Finally Get Paid?
Less than a month after naming its new Chief Diversity Officer, it looks like Wal-Mart is finally going to cough up a settlement for African-American truckers who have been discriminated against for years by the company.
Wal-Mart Labels Will Rate Sustainability of Products
Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, is planning to place labels on products that will rate them for sustainability, including their carbon footprint, the quantity of water used in their production, and the air pollution left in their wake.
Walmart vs. Corporate America?
by D Evans
As the health-care debate continues to heat up the political landscape, the latest PR blitz this week from business groups left the nation's retail industry divided -- with Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, on one side and the National Retail Federation, the world's largest retail trade group, on the other.
‘Ghostboxes’ haunt communities across U.S.
Hundreds of anxious shoppers watched as city officials used power saws to cut 2-by-4s during Home Depot Inc.’s ribbon-cutting ceremony for its 102,700-square-foot building center in Bismarck.
Wal-Mart's Big Problem: Climate Change
by M Gunther - ClimateBiz
As Gwen Ruta of the Environmental Defense Fund, a Wal-Mart partner, writes in her frank assessment of the company's 2009 sustainability report, the problem is that all the good things that Wal-Mart is doing -- increasing its use of renewable energy, driving efficiency in individual stores, improving its fleet operations and pushing up its recycling rate -- are offset by the fact that the company is adding more stores and selling more stuff.
The Hidden Cost of Wal-Mart Job Creation
Over the past few months we’ve heard endlessly about the good auto and manufacturing jobs that are disappearing from America by the thousands. Today, we hear bittersweet news: we are adding some jobs, but they’re Wal-Mart jobs.
Failure to disclose
As Silverstein notes, Berman runs a network of 15 front groups -- all generously backed by his corporate clients -- that have carpet-bombed the media with press releases, studies and "expert opinion" against the labor legislation that would make it easier for employees to join unions.
The fight for the EFCA in the land of Wal-Mart
by Desiree Evans
Arkansas could be pushed front-and-center in the coming months as the showdown over the pro-worker EFCA heats up in the halls of the 111th Congress. The votes of Arkansas' two U.S. senators, Democrats Mark Pryor and Blanche Lincoln (pictured), could play a deciding role in the passage of the bill.
As Wal-Mart Cuts Jobs At Home, May Send Them To India
On the same day that Wal-Mart gutted its Bentonville workforce, the company announced it will seek to outsource up to $500 million of IT functions to India. How many more layoffs might that mean? While Wal-Mart might not be the only one sending U.S. jobs overseas, the timing of the move is pretty crass,
Wal-Mart Rushes Into Russia
A move that many analysts have anticipated for a long time is one step closer to reality: Wal-Mart is moving into Russia. The retailer announced that it has joined the Russian Association of Retail Trade Companies (AKORT)
Wal-Mart: A bully benefactor
by Marc Gunther
- Children who are forced to pick cotton in Uzbekistan, farmers scratching out a living in Guatemala and salmon fishermen in Bristol Bay, Alaska, would not seem to have much in common. But all are feeling the global impact of Wal-Mart.
Monsanto, EliLilly, good for the environment?
by Kimberly Mok
Just because the cow moos, doesn’t mean that it’s over. Thanks to giant chains such as Wal-Mart, Safeway and Kroger announcing recently that they would no longer carry milk from cows treated with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), Monsanto – biotech giant and exploiter of genes extraordinaire – then announced in early August that it would be selling the rights to its Posilac brand of rBGH.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) plans to cut its global plastic shopping bag waste by one-third per store by 2013, the big-box retailer said Thursday at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting.
Wal-Mart China Unions!
Within two months of starting an intense campaign to get Wal-Mart China stores to sign collective contracts, the Chinese labor union has declared success.
Human Trafficking and Abusive Conditions ~ for WalMart
National Labor Commitee
There are approximately 1,400 guest workers at the Mediterranean factory—from Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and India. All of the guest workers are currently on strike due to the abusive conditions and gross violations of their fundamental rights. The workers sew clothing for Wal-Mart (White Stag label) and Hanes (Champion).
Is Wal-Mart stealing money meant to help low-income women and children?
Wal-Mart has, unsurprisingly, been the target of more lawsuits than one can count over the years. The company’s treatment of its workers and “save money at all costs” mentality has resulted in a flood of legal challenges ranging from single plaintiff suits to multi-million dollar class actions. Dukes v. Wal-Mart is of course one large example (the largest class action in American history, actually), as are the myriad wage/hour/overtime class actions the company faces.
The Supermarket Revolution Moves Into Honduras
by Dan Charles
· With food prices soaring and more people going hungry, many developing countries are trying to boost their food production. But it's not enough to grow more food; farmers also need better ways to sell it. Small farmer, meet Wal-Mart.
Wal-Mart Warns of Democratic Win
by ANN ZIMMERMAN and KRIS MAHER
, WSJ Online
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is mobilizing its store managers and department supervisors around the country to warn that if Democrats win power in November, they'll likely change federal law to make it easier for workers to unionize companies -- including Wal-Mart.
Wal-Mart Faces $2 Billion Labor Law Trial, Judge Says
by Margaret Cronin Fisk
- Wal-Mart Stores Inc. broke Minnesota labor laws, a state judge ruled, handing the world's largest retailer its third-straight defeat in a wage-class action trial and the possibility a jury may order it to pay $2 billion.
WAL-MART MAKES THE ELITE 8! - of the Worst Companies in America
After roundly defeating insurance group Wellpoint in the sweet 16, Wal-Mart has made it to the semi-semi finals of Consumerist’s Worst Company in America contest, this time going head to head with American Airlines. Personally, charging $15 for checked bags just doesn’t seem as bad as systematically undercutting millions of workers and employees worldwide, but we’ll let democracy decide. Show your support - GO VOTE!
Another sound investment from Wal-Mart
Everyone who sees the video is shocked: Wal-Mart managers dressed in drag, parading around official Wal-Mart corporate meetings. Bloggers have been weighing in on the never-before-seen footage, and while many note how offensive Wal-Mart’s mockery is (particularly in light of the landmark Dukes v. Wal-Mart gender discrimination case) many go on to add that the real problem here is how Wal-Mart treats its vendors.
China Suppliers to Move to Wal-Mart Town
by Marcus Kabel
, Associated Press
Chinese companies may be the next source of job creation in Wal-Mart's hometown, following in the footsteps of U.S. companies that have flocked to northwest Arkansas to work more closely with the world's largest retailer.
Three Thousand Workers Strike in Jordan Sewing for Wal-Mart and Other Companies
Since Monday, December 10, 2007, three thousand foreign guest workers, 50 percent of them young women--1,500 from Sri Lanka, 900 from Bangladesh, 400 from India and 100 from Nepal - - have been on strike. At least 10 workers were beaten by the police. Before going on strike, the workers had written to the Jordanian Ministry of Labor seeking help, but received no response.
A $10 Minimum Wage At Wal-Mart? Better Wish For Two Front Teeth
by Al Norman
, Huffington Post
Season's Greetings to Wal-Mart from the University of California / Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education! The UC Berkeley Labor Center has been producing research since 1964, but this week the research team released not one---but two---studies, neither of which you will find under Wal-Mart's Christmas Tree.
Wal-Mart’s New Greenwashing Report
by Sarah Anderson
Two years ago, Wal-Mart CEO H. Lee Scott announced a bold initiative to turn the world's largest corporation green. After numerous delays, the company has finally released its first progress report. So how much greener are they? To find out, you first need to wade through 40 pages of data on other various and sundry issues. For example, the report boasts that company employees enrolled in a personal sustainability project lost a combined total of 184,315 pounds in 2006 (1.3 pounds per enrollee).
Boycott to save the Casino de la Selva area in Cuernavaca Mexico.
The citizens coalition of the Frente Civico Pro Defensa del Casino de la Selva, Human Rights award of Mexico, Canadian Committee to Combat Crimes against Humanity (CCCCH) in Canada and Social Choice for Social Change: Campaign for a New TIAA-CREF in the United States and Mexico Solidarity Network, demand justice for the destruction of the cultural, historic, and environmental heritage perpetrated by COSTCO and its partner Comercial Mexicana, market symbols: COST and CCM (http://www.comerci.com.mx/comerci/jsp/Comerci.jsp) in order to construct giant warehouses in the center of Cuernavaca.
A Backlash for Big Retail in India
by Madhur Sing
, Time/New Delhi
October is the beginning of India's festive season, a time when shopkeepers' profits soar amidst the gift-giving and all-round revelry tied to Hindu holidays like Dussehra and Diwali. Last week however, some 7,000 small shopkeepers, street vendors and traders shuttered their businesses to gather in the district of Azad Maidan in south Mumbai (formerly Bombay). Carrying placards saying SAVE SMALL RETAILERS, they forewent the day's earnings in order to march in protest against big national and international chain stores like Reliance Retail and Wal-Mart, who the shopowners say are threatening their livelihoods.
Wal-Mart Workers Win $62 Million
by Maryclare Dale
Wal-Mart workers in Pennsylvania who previously won a $78.5 million class-action award for working off the clock will share an additional $62.3 million in damages, a judge ruled Wednesday.
Working With the Enemy
by Danielle Sacks
, Fast Company
Once the youngest president of the Sierra Club, Adam Werbach used to call Wal-Mart toxic. Now the company is his biggest client. Does the path to a greener future run through Bentonville?
Wal-Mart says worst labor violations in foreign shops decline
by Markcus Kabel
, Associated Press
BENTONVILLE, Arkansas: Wal-Mart Stores Inc. found a decrease in the worst types of labor violations at foreign factories last year during inspections of nearly 8,900 plants where it buys clothes, toys, shoes and other products.
Wal-Mart Challenged in Court:
New Supercenter Fails to Evaluate Greenhouse Gas Pollution
Center for Biological Diversity
The Center for Biological Diversity filed suit Thursday challenging the city of Perris’s approval of the Perris Marketplace, a sprawling, 520,000-square-foot, big-box retail development that would include a 24-hour Wal-Mart Supercenter and generate close to 40,000 daily vehicle trips. The lawsuit challenges the project’s failure to consider measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming, as required by California law.
Wal-Mart Workers Win Wage Suit
The Washington Post
A lawsuit, brought by two employees on behalf of almost 187,000 current and former Wal-Mart employees, claimed that the company made workers in Pennsylvania miss more than 33 million rest breaks from 1998 to 2001. At least 57 other wage-and-hour cases have been filed across the United States against the world's largest retailer, and many of them are awaiting class-action certification, according to company filings.
Report Assails Wal-Mart Over Unions
by Steve Greenhouse
, New York Times
In its first study of how an American company treats its workers, Human Rights Watch asserted yesterday that Wal-Mart’s aggressive efforts to keep out labor unions often violated federal law and infringed on its workers’ rights.
Wal-Mart Shareholders, Rebuffed on Labor Issues, Press for Vote
by by Margaret Cronin Fisk and Lauren Coleman-Lochner, Bloomberg
Investors renew their call for the world's biggest retailer to name a "special committee of independent directors" to investigate the company's workplace policies amid a rising tide of employee lawsuits.
Inside Wal-Mart's ‘Threat Research’ Operation
by Ann Zimmerman & Gary McWilliams
, The Wall Street Journal
As part of the surveillance, the retailer last year had a long-haired employee infiltrate an anti-Wal-Mart group to determine if it planned protests at the company's annual meeting, according to Bruce Gabbard, the fired security worker, who worked in Wal-Mart's Threat Research and Analysis Group.
Can the company co-opt liberals?
by Jeffrey Goldberg
, The New Yorker
April 5th, 2007
Wal-Mart has hired Democratic P.R. experts to help improve its reputation on such issues as low wages, miserly benefits, sex discrimination, and union busting.
Natarus waxes proud in loss
by Robert Becker
, Chicago Tribune
March 1st, 2007
Natarus acknowledged that his vote against an ordinance mandating at least $13/hour in wages and benefits for workers at "big-box" store such as Wal-Mart brought union money and support for his opponent.
U.S. group says factory Wal-Mart uses abuses workers
February 21st, 2007
The Worker Rights Consortium said the Chong Won factory, which primarily makes clothing for Wal-Mart supplier One Step Up, has engaged in labor rights violations including forced overtime and minimum wage violations.
Wal-Mart Plans to Expand to India Amid Controversy
The Economic Times
February 19th, 2007
NEW DELHI: Amid the controversy over its tie-up with Wal-Mart, Bharti Group on Monday insisted their retail venture was "no different" from such businesses floated by other Indian companies such as Reliance and it fully complied with government norms.
Wal-Mart and unions unite on health care
by Dan Caterinicchia
, Business Week
February 7th, 2007
Executives from Wal-Mart and three other major U.S. employers on Wednesday joined hands with union leaders in setting a goal of providing "quality, affordable" health care for millions of workers by 2012.
How to win in a fight with Wal-Mart
by Nancy Crawley
, Grand Rapids Press
February 4th, 2007
In a Wal-Mart economy, there is no time to waste, even on Alpine Avenue NW. Six weeks after Wal-Mart picked a site on Alpine for its first area supercenter, rival Meijer Inc. launched a makeover of its aging store down the road. It was one skirmish in a bare-knuckles battle to compete with the world's largest retailer, and Meijer has no intention of losing.
New labor movement afoot in China:
Activists employing shame in effort to bring about change.
by Craig Simons
, Austin American Statesman
February 4th, 2007
Last month, China Labor Watch, a New York-based watchdog group, issued a report that said several Chinese suppliers to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. routinely fail to pay wages and provide health insurance as required by Chinese law. The survey of 16 Wal-Mart suppliers found that some pay as little as half the minimum daily wage, provide no health insurance or require mandatory overtime. One company provided only one bathroom for its 2,000 employees, the group said.
Wal-Mart Cuts Taxes By Paying Rent to Itself
by Jesse Drucker
, Wall Street Journal
As the world's biggest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. pays billions of dollars a year in rent for its stores. Luckily for Wal-Mart, in about 25 states it has been paying most of that rent to itself -- and then deducting that amount from its state taxes.
Wal-Mart "organics" skewered
by Al Lewis
, Denver Post
January 21st, 2007
Wal-Mart Organics: Do these two words belong together? A Wisconsin-based organic watchdog group says Wal-Mart is hanging signs that say "organic" near products that are not organic. After discovering the problem at dozens of stores in several states, the Cornucopia Institute has filed consumer fraud complaints with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Wisconsin's Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.
Ten Reasons Why the Wal-Mart Pundits Are Wrong
by John Cavanagh and Sarah Anderson
, The Nation
September 29th, 2006
"On September 11, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley used his veto power for the first time in seventeen years to block a measure that would have given Wal-Mart employees and workers at other "big box" stores at least $10 per hour plus benefits worth at least $3 per hour. The City Council had passed the bill by a 35-to-14 vote margin. Daley's brash act was a temporary victory for the chorus of conservative pundits and corporate flacks who have been singing Wal-Mart's virtues for the past year..."
Breaking the Chain: The antitrust case against Wal-Mart
by Barry C. Lynn
, Harper's Magazine
July 31st, 2006
"There is an undeniable beauty to laissez-faire theory, with its promise that by struggling against one another, by grasping and elbowing and shouting and shoving, we create efficiency and satisfaction and progress for all. This concept has shaped, at the most fundamental levels, how we understand and engineer our basic freedoms—economic, political, and moral. Until recently, however, most politicians and economists accepted that freedom within the marketplace had to be limited, at least to some degree, by rules designed to ensure general economic and social outcomes..."
A Cappuccino with the 2x4's?
by Michael Barbaro and Claudia H. Deutsch
, New York Times
October 25th, 2005
"Home Depot, in wake of worst housing market in decade, is displaying growing willingness to stray from single-minded focus on home renovations and repair by offering everyday products like seasonal decorations and cigarettes; experiment with everyday products--and $350 million program to overhaul look of 500 stores--exemplifies belief of chief executive Robert L Nardelli that Home Depot cannot only survive downturn in housing market, but can exploit situation by plowing money into chain..."
Fla. Wal-Mart workers unite — without union
by Associated Press
September 29th, 2005
TAMPA, Fla. - It's not a union, but some Wal-Mart workers say it might be the next best thing. Searching for a voice in their work lives, employees of some central Florida Wal-Mart stores have formed a workers group to collectively air complaints about what they claim is shoddy treatment by the retail giant.
Woman Sues Costco, Claiming Sex Bias in Promotions
by Steven Greenhouse
, New York Times
August 18th, 2004
An employee at the Costco Wholesale Corporation filed a national class-action lawsuit against the company yesterday, accusing it of discriminating against women in promotions to store manager.
Costco Saves; the Environment Benefits
July 1st, 2004
"Cornerboards were a time-consuming problem for Costco when it had to break down pallets of apples for shipment to its clubstores. Cornerboards were also a problem for suppliers like C.M Holginer Fruit Co. when they ere banding pallets for shipment to Costca. Both companies were extremely pleased when a plausible alternative was proposed by Lock 'N Pop (www.locknpop.com)..."
Casino vs. Costco: Umpteenth Round
by Talli Nauman
, Common Deams
August 24th, 2002
"A group of some 300 people blocked the road to the historic downtown Casino de la Selva building on Aug. 21 to keep out chainsaw crews sent to cut down the trees and make way for the construction of the discount superstore and associated facilities..."