Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Doesn't Walmart Have Enough to be Thankful For?

By: Adam Obernauer
adam@ufcw1500.org

A lot has been happening in the world of Walmart leading up to this Thanksgiving, and for the corporate giants, it ain’t looking good.   While Walmart CEO Mike Duke has announced that he’s stepping down, waves of strikes leading up to Black Friday have been the strongest yet.  In this past month alone, workers went on strike in Miami, Brooklyn Center, Tampa, Sacramento, Dallas, Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, and cities throughout Ohio. Walmart has been feeling the pressure and in an effort to correct the company’s image, has tried to show the world that their employees are not telling the truth. They are the good guys that “care” about the community.

A Walmart in Ohio asked employees
to donate food to other employees "in need
In a failed effort to show how much they “care,” Walmart planned a Thanksgiving food drive for their own employees.  The food drive came from the Canton, Ohio based Walmart and the irony became a media sensation. The story hit everywhere from the New York Times' comic strip mocking the company, to Stephen Colbert’s comedy skit, to high profile actors like Ashton Kutcher getting into media battles with the company.

So what does Walmart need to do to try to create the illusion that it’s trying to help the community? This Thanksgiving, Walmart is set to donate over $1 million to food banks and local charities across New York State alone. With these recent efforts, Walmart is in line to be the most darkly ironic business in the world.  Instead of raising the pay and benefits of their own workforce that can’t afford to buy food on Thanksgiving, they’re more willing to throw large sums of money to Anti-Hunger groups in the name of “charity”.

Walmart has long established itself as the "worst of the worst" and is the epitome of corporate greed.  From the sweatshops overseas, the fires in the Bangladesh factory killing thousands, to the bribery of the Mexican government, and the thousands of workers going out on strike demanding better pay, it leaves us to think, when is enough, enough? When will Walmart be held accountable for the destruction of local communities and the devastation in factories throughout the world? When will the irony be strong enough so people no longer accept Walmart’s donations and pathetic attempts at being an accepted and respected business?


We think that the time should have come long ago and hope that this Thanksgiving, people give thanks to the workers in these stores that have to suffer day in and day out to continue to make the Walden’s the richest family in the world.


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