Wal-Mart Evolves Into Major Political Issue

Discussion in 'SHH Community Forum' started by GothicPowerMix1, Apr 24, 2006.

  1. GothicPowerMix1 Registered

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Messages:
    6,027
    Likes Received:
    0
    There is no candidate. There are no ballots. There won't be an Election Day. And yet it may be the hottest, highest-stakes political contest in America today.

    It's the campaign against Wal-Mart.
    A year-old effort to force the nation's No. 1 private employer to change its business practices has evolved into a Washington-style brawl: tens of millions of dollars spent by Republican and Democratic political consultants using polling, micro-targeting, ads, e-mails, direct mail, grass-roots organizing and strategic "war rooms" to ply their trade in the corporate world

    Their fight involves some of society's most vexing trends, including the rising cost of health care, the painful realities of globalization and the waning relevance of organized labor.
    "Our opponents have organized the likes of a political campaign against us," said Bob McAdam, vice president of corporate affairs at Wal-Mart. "It would be nonsense for us not to respond in a similar fashion."
    Wal-Mart's main opponents are the Service Employees International Union, which started Wal-Mart Watch, and the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, which funds a separate campaign called WakeUpWalMart.com
    After failing to organize employees of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. with traditional tactics, the unions decided to use modern campaign and communications methods to drag the company into the public square and try to shame them into change.
    Both groups have hammered the world's largest retailer about its wages, health insurance, treatment of workers and proclivity for buying non-U.S. goods. Wal-Mart has responded with counterattacks and a multimillion-dollar public campaign to polish its image.

    On both sides are some of the best political strategists money can buy.
    WakeUpWalMart.com is run by Paul Blank, political director for Howard Dean's 2004 Democratic presidential campaign, and Chris Kofinis, a former political professor who helped draft retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark into the same race.
    Their campaign has all the markings of the Dean and Clark insurgencies - a snappy Web site, volunteer action lists and an issues-based grass-roots campaign.
    Among those lined up against the company at Wal-Mart Watch are Jim Jordan, campaign manager for 2004 Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, and Terry Holt, a spokesman for the 2004 Bush-Cheney campaign.
    Odd bedfellows: A Republican working for unions against Wal-Mart.
    "Wal-Mart is giving capitalism a bad name," Holt explained. "It's lost touch with its small-town roots and has become a company that is depending on corporate welfare ... and an all-too-cozy relationship with China."
    Under fire, Wal-Mart turned to Reagan adviser Michael Deaver, Bush-Cheney political director Terry Nelson and several Democrats, among them civil rights leader Andrew Young and campaign strategist Leslie Dach.
    Talk about odd bedfellows: Democrats working for Wal-Mart against organized labor.
    "We were being attacked. We wanted to hire people who knew how to respond," said Wal-Mart's McAdam, formerly a GOP aide on Capitol Hill and political strategist for the tobacco industry.
    WakeUpWalMart.com claims 212,000 supporters who can be mobilized with a computer stroke to recruit members and participate in media events designed to shine a bad light on the Bentonville, Ark., company.
    The group also passes out UFCW-sponsored workers' rights material outside Wal-Mart stores.
    A goal of the UFCW is to show Wal-Mart's 1.3 million U.S. employees - many of whom have a low opinion of unions or fear retribution if they organize - that unionized labor can change their workplace and lives for the better.
    "For years, labor leaders were fighting Wal-Mart the old way, but times have changed," Kofinis said. "Instead of organizing workers, they're trying to organize the nation" against Wal-Mart.
    In its own way, this campaign over Wal-Mart is as important as the congressional races this year.
    Bringing Wal-Mart to heel with 21st-century tactics would signal a fresh approach for organized labor after a decades-long decline in membership.
    At stake for Wal-Mart is the future course of a company with $312.4 billion in sales in the fiscal year that ended Jan. 31. Its stock has fallen 20 percent over the past two years, and the company has had trouble sustaining its historically high rates of profit growth.
    Analysts say bad publicity from the union-backed campaigns may be hurting Wal-Mart, though unrelated business pressures are also a factor.
    Wal-Mart denies that the union-backed campaign has hurt its bottom line. But the company sees the effort as a threat.
    After Maryland's legislature passed a labor-backed bill requiring companies - Wal-Mart in particular - to spend more on workers' health insurance, the Arkansas company came out with improvements in its health care coverage.
    Amid criticism, Wal-Mart also has announced plans to:
    Help competing local companies stay in business.
    Expand its share of the Hispanic market.
    Sell more environmentally friendly products.
    Increase diversity in its work force.
    A multimillion-dollar advertising campaign featuring testimonials of happy customers and employees cast Wal-Mart as a good corporate citizen.
    Nelson was hired to wage a grass-roots campaign by recruiting Wal-Mart shoppers and local leaders sympathetic to the corporation's cause.
    In the union camp, both groups send opposition research on Wal-Mart to reporters, e-mail supporters and stage events such as rallies and documentary film screenings.
    They have had an impact.
    Maryland-style health care bills have been introduced in more than 30 states. Democratic candidates in Ohio, Arizona and Pennsylvania have spoken out against Wal-Mart, as have elected officials in Wisconsin, Georgia, Connecticut and several other states.

    Then there is Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.
    The potential 2008 presidential candidate served on Wal-Mart's board for six years when her husband was governor of Arkansas. Just two years ago, the New York senator called her time on the board "a great experience in every respect."
    But now she does not want anything to do with the company. Her re-election campaign returned a $5,000 contribution from Wal-Mart, citing "serious differences with current company practices."
    To this, Wal-Mart officials acknowledged that the company has become a political issue - at least for Democratic candidates who need labor's money and organizing might.
    "While not commenting specifically on Mrs. Clinton, apparently there are those who want to appeal to union leaders regardless of what office they're running for and whether they want to do what union leaders want done," McAdam said.
    Will the company be a major issue in upcoming campaigns?
    "I think there are those who want to make it so," the Wal-Mart executive said. "But I think the true test of whether that's true or not will play itself out in the midterm elections and the presidential elections to come."

    http://articles.news.aol.com/news/article.adp?id=20060423162109990003


    This is bound to become a Movie eventually :o
     
  2. hippie_hunter The King is Back!

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2003
    Messages:
    53,331
    Likes Received:
    0
    People bashing Wal-Mart need to stop, there are far worse companies out there. And Wal-Mart rocks.
     
  3. The Overlord Registered

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2002
    Messages:
    8,863
    Likes Received:
    188
    If Wal-Mart is so great, why don't you work for them?
     
  4. ShadowBoxing Registered

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2004
    Messages:
    30,643
    Likes Received:
    0
    Because they don't offer adaqaute health insurance in most states.
     
  5. NHawk19 insert witty comment

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2005
    Messages:
    5,771
    Likes Received:
    322
    I support Wal Mart's right to do business the way they have been but I think they are bad for the US. Too much out sourcing, not enough US made goods, the way they tear up local economies etc. make me want to shop elsewhere whenever possible. People need to wake up and realize what's going on and go back to buying American.
     
  6. hippie_hunter The King is Back!

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2003
    Messages:
    53,331
    Likes Received:
    0
    Because I don't want to work in retail and the pay sucks.

    But honestly if you work in retail like Wal-Mart doing nothing but guiding people around where something is, stocking, managing a register, and cleaning the place up, do you honestly expect to work more than minimum wage.
     
  7. The Overlord Registered

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2002
    Messages:
    8,863
    Likes Received:
    188
    So you admit its not great working for Wal-Mart. I went there once, Wal-Mart treats their employees like crap, so they in turn treat you like crap and most of their products are crap. Get treated like crap in order to buy crap, no thanks.
     
  8. Motown Marvel Crimson and Clover

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Messages:
    21,433
    Likes Received:
    279
    Meijer owns Wal-Mart.....bigger, better, cheaper....
     
  9. Immortalfire In the pale moonlight

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2001
    Messages:
    61,397
    Likes Received:
    2,409
    They spend more money on advertising, than they do on the welfare of their employees.
     
  10. Brian2887 Nerd.

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2002
    Messages:
    4,736
    Likes Received:
    0
    . . . You're basing a bias on the fact that you've been there once? I live in a smalltown. Not only is Wal-Mart the grocery and department store of choice, but it's turning into a hang-out for teenagers with nothing to do. Suffice it to say, I've been more than once.

    In al my visits, I've never been treated like crap, nor have I seen an employee treated like crap. They offer simple jobs, they give minimum wage, like a lot of companies. I don't see the problem in this business practice.

    The only complaint against Wal-Mart that seems justified is the fact that they seem to be building a monopoly. If that's the case, I imagine the government will eventually step in as they have been known to do.
     
  11. Lackey Registered

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2001
    Messages:
    26,800
    Likes Received:
    0

    Employees work there by choice, if they feel they're being treated like crap, then then can work someplace else.

    Customers go there by choice, if they feel the products are crap, then they can shop someplace else.
     
  12. Darthphere Kneel before 'Drox!

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2003
    Messages:
    83,625
    Likes Received:
    1

    Logic?:eek:
     
  13. The Overlord Registered

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2002
    Messages:
    8,863
    Likes Received:
    188
    Your forgetting that a lot of people are stupid.
     
  14. Darthphere Kneel before 'Drox!

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2003
    Messages:
    83,625
    Likes Received:
    1

    How is that Wal-Marts fault?
     
  15. The Overlord Registered

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2002
    Messages:
    8,863
    Likes Received:
    188
    Its not, personally I dislike Wal-Mart because they drive small businesses away, the crappy customer service is a bonus.
     
  16. punishermax Registered

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Messages:
    2,520
    Likes Received:
    0
    Same here. Wal-Mart is the best thing to happen where I live. I work at nights, and the only store open is Wal-Mart, I go there to get what I need, and usually get it cheaper there than some of the other retailers.
     
  17. Addendum Registered

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2004
    Messages:
    22,127
    Likes Received:
    0
    Stores like Walmart sell nothing but mass-produced ****. You may pay less for it, and the quality of the product is a joke.

    If I have to pay more to get a quality product, so be it.
     
  18. Lackey Registered

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2001
    Messages:
    26,800
    Likes Received:
    0

    yup, everyone knows the Pop Tarts are higher quality at Target :o:up:
     
  19. Corinthian™ <insert witty title>

    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Messages:
    14,773
    Likes Received:
    0
    what he means is that your mom is better when she's not a mass-prodded *****
     
  20. Lackey Registered

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2001
    Messages:
    26,800
    Likes Received:
    0

    as long as she gets paid and I get my cut, I'm happy :)
     
  21. Palpadious Registered

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2005
    Messages:
    562
    Likes Received:
    0
    You do know who owns Wal-Mart, dont you?


    [​IMG]
     
  22. Corinthian™ <insert witty title>

    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Messages:
    14,773
    Likes Received:
    0
    she doesn't and that's sad:down:(

    plus, she says you're adopted
     
  23. Carter Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2005
    Messages:
    13,805
    Likes Received:
    0
    Walmart is garbage and it's like a poor people magnet.
    I hate 'em
     
  24. Man-Thing Registered

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2003
    Messages:
    10,118
    Likes Received:
    0
    :up:

    Labor unions are horrible, and until you have worked in a union facility you can't really say otherwise.

    I love Wal-Mart, not because of what they sell, but how they sell it.

    BTW, the average wage at Wal-Mart is 8 bucks an hour, that's higher than minimum wage.
     
  25. Man-Thing Registered

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2003
    Messages:
    10,118
    Likes Received:
    0
    Oh cry me a river...

    It's not Wal-Mart's fault these companies are driven out of busisness, it's the buisnesses fault. And what's with this presumption that just because something is 'old' that it should stay?
    Alot of farmers say the same crap, and the masses swallow up their pity stories. "It's not just a farm, it's a way of life".... Please, give me a break, my tax dollars shouldn't support you just because your profession is self-deemed as a way of life. I hate government subsidies...

    Great, now I'm ticked off.:mad:
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice
monitoring_string = "afb8e5d7348ab9e99f73cba908f10802"