Wal-Mart Free NYC Coalition



Thursday, May 19, 2005

Democracy For America

Democracy For America, "a political action committee dedicated to supporting fiscally responsible, socially progressive candidates at all levels of government—from school board to the presidency." has a web poll up which asks "Is it time to hold Wal-Mart accountable?" ie, should Democracy For America make Wal-Mart a priority issue. Vote here.

via Liza Featherstone's new article

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Letters

Two letters came in recently showing support for the Wal-Mart free NYC Coalition: one from Cardinal Egan, Archbishop of New York; and one from Congressman Charles Rangel.

April 25, 2005
Dear Ted:

Thank you for keeping me informed on the progress of your campaign
with Wal-Mart.

I am pleased that you are concerned to improve working conditions of
retail workers. It seems to me that oftem times these workers are among
the lowest paid with the most difficult work schedules. I suspect that many
times they work without benefits.

While respecting the needs of all workers is important, the situatiot of
lower paid workers must be of particular concern.

Allow me to thank you for all your efforts on behalf of working men and
women in New York.

Very truly yours in Christ,
Edward Cardinal Egan
Archbishop of New York


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

May 10, 2005

Dear Mr. Jacobsen:

I am writing this letter to thank you for your recent correspondence to me in which
you included information about the Wal-Mart Free NYC Coalition.

I want to thank you for your continued efforts to protect workers and their rights.
As you well know, I have for a long time supported the right of workers to organize and
work in an environment that gives them the respect and dignity they deserve. We must
continue to ensure that every person in the American workforce is humanly treated and
given the benefits he or she deserve. I salute your continued fight for this cause.

Please accept my best wishes in your future endeavors.

Sincererly,
Charles B. Rangel
Members of Congress


CBR/djb

Monday, May 16, 2005

Wal-Mart's Latest PR Blunder

In case you haven't heard, Wal-Mart recently was under fire for "approving a recent newspaper advertisement that equated a proposed Arizona zoning ordinance with Nazi book-burning." After offending everyone and their mothers, they've since apologized, but really, what were they thinking??? Visit Wake Up Wal-Mart to see the ad, and if you're curious, read about the actual book burning here.

Anyways, even if you could somehow ignore the incredibly offensive imagery, the caption is ridiculous, "Should we let government tell us what we can read?" No! Of course not! So why would you want to welcome a store that censors what you can read, listen to, or be prescribed?

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Wal-Mart Plays Loose With the Facts

Once upon a time, walmartfacts.com listed the percent of its employees that take advantage of their health insurance as 46%. Then, overnight, the Wal-Mart spin machine changed that number to 56% of the 86% of employees with health insurance (from all sources). Confused? You're not alone. Many newspapers reported (and continue to report) that 56% of Wal-Mart workers receive insurance through the company.
Now, it's "more than 500,000 associates, including many family members." With their 1.2 million employees (from WalMartfacts.com: "Fact: More than 1.2 million Associates work at Wal-Mart in the U.S.") in the US, that brings the percent who take advantage of their plan at just under 42%. Using their numbers, 56% of 86% is 48%, and with that 48% equaling 500,000 they are saying they have 1,040,000 employees, not 1.2 million. It goes to show that even they can't get their PR statistics straight!
Then there's their '75% of our employees work full-time claim,' which in its current form has become a "majority" of our workers work full-time. Why not just say they all work full time, everyone gets $30 an hour, and full medical and dental?

Personally, I think that this kind of spin hurts Wal-Mart. Such transparent attempts to obfucate their own numbers just shows the public that WM has something to hide.
If you're going to make up fake statistics, at least be consistent.

Edited for correctness May 12. Originally I had thought that Wal-Mart was claiming that 56% of their workers were covered by the company plan, then I re-read their factsheet.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

New York Sun - "The Hypocrisy of Wal-Mart Bashers"

This editorial really confused me. It started with a description of the Mother's Day event (with Carolyn Sapp and the big card), then quickly degenerated into Ms. Colon railing about how racist her "acquaintances" are.

Until last Saturday, I had never been to a Wal-Mart, and the comments I had heard from those who had been to the stores in New Jersey were quite disturbing. I'd never realized how bigoted those acquaintances of mine were until I heard them saying things like "It's a ghetto store full of ghetto people" or "It's for the project people because it's cheap, but we don't need any more stores like that on Staten Island."

I don't know who Ms. Colon hangs out with, but apparently they are the "Wal-Mart Bashers" that she's speaking of. I guess "The Hypocrisy of Some People that I Just Made up in my Head" didn't sound as good.

Somewhere in the middle of the column, Colon demonstrates her ignorance further:

At the City Hall rally, a giant Mother's Day card was displayed with the message
"Wal-Mart should stop discriminating against women." The council speaker, Gifford Miller, Democrat of Manhattan, was among the signers of the card, which was to be sent to Wal-Mart's CEO, Lee Scott.
Balderdash! Of Wal-Mart's job force, 60% are women. At the Linden store, that percentage seemed much higher.


Memo to Ms. Colon: That's what the lawsuit is about. Wal-Mart low wage employees are mostly women. As you look up the hierarchy, you'll see that the higher paid a position is, the more the scales are weighted in favor of men. 2/3 of the low paid employees are female, and only 1/3 of management. It didn't get that way by accident. I'm not familiar enough with the case to start rattling off numbers, but check out WalMartClass.com. They have all the facts.

"What the former Miss America, some City Council members, and union leaders are really telling us is "We want you to continue to pay higher prices so that we can keep the local Mom and Pop stores open and our union members happy."
And perhaps keep the "ghetto people" in the ghetto?"

There's the bombshell. Wal-Mart critics are all racists! This from the person who wrote True Test Of Courage Must Come From Islamic Community which contains such gems as:
While I am continually impressed by the dignity of President Bush, Mayor Giuliani and Governor Pataki for their pleas for restraint in targeting the Muslim community, I can understand why so many non-Muslims will lump the innocent with those guilty of the recent atrocities. There is a deep suspicion by those of different faiths that the Muslim community shares Osama Bin Laden’s hatred of the United States and would welcome a jihad against non-Islamics.

i.e. She's not saying that she thinks all Muslims, American and otherwise, are terrorists, but she understands why someone else would. Those racist acquaintances of hers sure get around.

So why is Ms. Colon such an ardent supporter of Wal-Mart? Could it be because her interests as a pro-lifer coincide with Wal-Mart's policy of refusing to stock the morning after pill? No, that's too cynical to be true. It must be because Colon is such a huge civil rights activist, and is appalled by the hypocricy of her imaginary "acquaintances."