Corporate Elites Are Witnessing a Growing Wave of Resistance to the ‘Walmartization’ of Our Economy
Continued from previous page
We can keep building momentum on Tuesday, December 3, a day of international protests against toxic trade agreements and for a new era of trade that puts people and the planet before profits. The Flush the TPP campaign signed on to the December 3 day of action called by people in Indonesia and around the world. Protests will be held in cities from Hawaii to New York. And we will deliver a petition to the Office of the US Trade Representative in Washington, DC. telling them to stop their bullying. Sign that petition here.
The TPP is an example of a phenomenal corporate power grab that will accelerate the global race to the bottom in wages and worker safety as well as in protection of the environment and human rights and public health. It shows how all of our issues are interconnected and we need to act in solidarity. Walmart is one of the corporations that is really pushing the TPP so that it can move its factories into countries like Vietnam where the minimum wage is $0.36 per hour. Stopping the TPP would be a victory against Walmart and all transnational corporations. We can stop the TPP and are making tremendous progress.
Workers and Communities Unite Against Walmart
Why are the Black Friday mass protests against Walmart important? We can think of no other corporation that has caused as much damage to the working class, communities and the overall economy as Walmart. Poverty wages, destruction of local business and the obscene wealth divide are at the door of the largest retailer in the nation. The six Walton heirs have more wealth than the bottom 40 percent of Americans. Walmart is the largest private employer in the world and has extensive supply lines but its unethical business practices are driving the world economy in the wrong direction.
The Walton family wealth has come at a tremendous price for the rest of us. They’ve gained this wealth by squashing worker rights, lowering wages and draining our local tax dollars, and they show no signs of changing course. After the disastrous collapse of the factory in Bangladesh which killed over 1,000 workers, many companies signed on to a new accord to prevent it from happening again. Walmart, along with GAP, refuses to sign the accord.
Walmart’s low price guarantee has effectively made them into a monopoly that forces their suppliers to fire workers and move overseas to drive down costs. Walmart is such a behemoth that it has no competitor in the world. And despite massive profits, each Walmart employee requires around $2,000.00 per year in public assistance for health care and food stamps. That doesn’t include taxpayer investment in infrastructure for Walmart stores and corporate tax breaks. We are all forced to subsidize Walmart’s unethical business practices that undermine the economy. This year, Walmart went so far as to request food donations for their own poverty-wage employees’ Thanksgiving meals.
In addition, as Walmarts have popped up across the country, they have left a path of destruction to small businesses and have ravaged communities. Local businesses simply can’t compete with Walmart’s prices. And Walmart sucks local dollars out of state to the corporate headquarters in Arkansas. When Walmart comes to town you can expect poverty to increase, local businesses to fail, more public assistance for food stamps and healthcare as well as a constant drain on local taxes. There is a very high cost to Walmart’s’ low prices. Local politicians who do not stop Walmart from coming to their city are doing a public disservice.