Jim Hightower: This Mother Teresa of Global Retailing is now wailing that its generosity has been spurned by an impudent city council that says it’s not interested in corporate pretensions of “charity,” but in tangible fairness.
In the United States, Walmart is the largest employer but at what cost? The articles here discuss WalMart's anti-union practices; its detrimental impact on small businesses; and its poor record on workers' rights in the United States and abroad.
Peter Dreir: Walmart invites big-name celebrities not only to entertain the shareholders but also to lend legitimacy to the company, which for years has been the target of substantial criticism from human rights groups, environmentalists, women’s and immigrant rights activists, unions, small business organizations, and many others.
Steven Mikulan: Has the New York Times turned into a latter-day Daily Worker, or are labor conditions in America becoming so bad that even the national paper of record is demanding social justice?
Allison Mannos: Walmart’s expansion strategy for Los Angeles and other urban areas has been to avoid public oversight by choosing real estate that doesn’t require public review – and, where possible, to secure public subsidies, often with little public scrutiny.
Sara Flocks: Today in Sacramento, women leaders in the legislature came together with women workers and California NOW to declare protecting women’s health by passing AB 880 a top priority for women this year.
Julie Gutman Dickinson: even in the context of a long national decline in union membership among American workers, it is staggering that the country’s largest employer, and one of its stingiest, has remained union free.
Peter Dreier: The Waltons could end to the company’s longstanding practice of keeping its employees in poverty, with low wages, poor benefits, and unpredictable schedules that make parenting even harder than it already is.
Berry Craig: Called the “Ride for Respect,” the demonstration at Walmart corporate headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas, will be modeled on civil rights volunteers who rode buses into the South in the 1960s to protest Jim Crow racial injustice.
Tom Hayden: It is not enough to blame the corruption of Bangladesh factory owners, nor sufficient to suggest better training and factory codes from Walmart or the Gap. It is time to ban the US sale of garments made in Bangladesh until enforceable labor codes are imposed.
Steven Mikulan: Study after study has shown Walmart to be a cutthroat employer of last resort, most of whose business innovations seem to involve new ways to save the corporation money by slashing employee hours and benefits.
Caitlin Vega: Given the economy we face today, it’s time for the next generation to start making signs and marching to demand those same opportunities.
Charles D. Hayes: Many full-time employees of some of America’s largest employers need government assistance, including food stamps. Guess who picks up the tab?
Randy Shaw: Activists are in far better spirits than one year ago. Progressives see that the public is on their side, and, unlike in the aftermath of the 2008 elections, are staying engaged in the major policy struggles that elections are supposed to be all about.