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Walmart Research

The organization Walmart Watch, which recently teamed up with "Making Change at Walmart" posted this article about Occupy and the F29 actions against ALEC.

If we ever wanted to go after Walmart, perhaps with a boycott, this would be a good organization to get in touch with - from what I understand, these are employees and former employees who stand against this mega-corporation.

Additional research on this corporate monster will be posted below.


FritzColburn's picture
FritzColburn on 2012-04-3

An interesting note. Most stores come to town and they are welcomed. Wally World is the only store I can remember seeing that has had towns fight to keep them out.

Just sayin.

adminl's picture
adminl on 2012-04-23

Wal-Mart hushed up bribe network in Mexico

NEW YORK (AP) -- Wal-Mart Stores Inc. hushed up a vast bribery campaign that top executives of its Mexican subsidiary carried out to build stores across that country, according to a published report.

The New York Times reported Saturday that Wal-Mart failed to notify law enforcement officials even after its own investigators found evidence of millions of dollars in bribes. The newspaper said the company shut down its internal probe despite a report by its lead investigator that Mexican and U.S. laws likely were violated.

The bribery campaign was reported to have first come to the attention of senior executives at Wal-Mart in 2005, when a former executive of its largest foreign subsidiary, Wal-Mart de Mexico, provided extensive details of a bribery campaign it had orchestrated to win market dominance.

The Mexican executive, previously the lawyer in charge of obtaining construction permits, said in emails and follow-up conversations that Wal-Mart de Mexico paid bribes to obtain permits throughout the country in its rush to build stores nationwide, the Times reported.

Wal-Mart's growth in Mexico has been so rapid that one of every five Wal-Mart stores now is in that country. It is Mexico's largest private employer, with 209,000 employees there.

[continue reading]

adminl's picture
adminl on 2012-06-17

Walmart Sends Fake Reporter to Infiltrate and Spy on Workers

By Kenneth Quinnell | June 16, 2012 03:30 PM

In order to spy on employees discussing unionization via the Warehouse Workers United, Walmart sent a fake reporter to infiltrate meetings and report back to the company. Known for its terrible record on denying rights to working families, Walmart has engaged in a series of anti-union tactics, few as sketchy as sending Stephanie Harnett -- disguised as 'Zoe Mitchell' -- as a reporter who wanted to view organizing efforts under the false premise that she was interested in the plight of the workers. In reality, Harnett worked for Mercury Public Affairs, a public relations and lobbying firm that counts Walmart as one of its clients. Harnett has since been fired and both Mercury and Walmart claim they knew nothing about her actions and that she acted independently, although her actions are fully consistent with previous anti-union activity by Walmart.

[full article]

adminl's picture
adminl on 2012-07-6

Wal-Mart: 50 Years of Gutting America's Middle Class

Walmart's explosive growth has gutted two key pillars of the American middle class: small businesses and well-paid manufacturing jobs
by Stacy Mitchell | Published on Monday, July 2, 2012 by OtherWords


Movie poster detail from the documentary, 'Walmart: The High Cost of Low Price'.

Sam Walton opened the first Walmart store in Rogers, Arkansas, 50 years ago this month. Sprawled along a major thoroughfare outside the city's downtown, that inaugural store embodied many of the hallmarks that have since come to define the Walmart way of doing business. Walton scoured the country for the cheapest merchandise and deftly exploited a loophole in federal law to pay his mostly female workforce less than minimum wage.

That relentless focus on squeezing workers and suppliers for every advantage has paid off since July 1962. Walmart is now the second-largest corporation on the planet. It took in almost half-a-trillion dollars last year at more than 10,000 stores worldwide.

Walmart now captures one of every four dollars Americans spend on groceries. Its stores are so plentiful that it's easy to imagine that the retailer has long since reached the upper limit of its growth potential. It hasn't. Walmart has opened over 1,100 new supercenters since 2005 and expanded its U.S. sales by 35 percent. It aims to keep on growing that fast. With an eye to infiltrating urban areas, Walmart recently introduced smaller "neighborhood markets" and "express" stores.

Whatever we may have saved shopping at Walmart, we've more than paid for it in diminished opportunities and declining income.


 
While the big-box business model Sam Walton pioneered half a century ago has been great for Walmart, it hasn't been so great for the U.S. economy.

Walmart's explosive growth has gutted two key pillars of the American middle class: small businesses and well-paying manufacturing jobs.

Between 2001 and 2007, some 40,000 U.S. factories closed, eliminating millions of jobs. While Walmart's ceaseless search for lower costs wasn't the only factor that drove production overseas, it was a major one. During these six years, Walmart's imports from China tripled in value from $9 billion to $27 billion.

Small, family-owned retail businesses likewise closed in droves as Walmart grew. Between 1992 and 2007, the number of independent retailers fell by over 60,000, according to the U.S. Census.

Their demise triggered a cascade of losses elsewhere. As communities lost their local retailers, there was less demand for services like accounting and graphic design, less advertising revenue for local media outlets, and fewer accounts for local banks. As Walmart moved into communities, the volume of money circulating from business to business declined. More dollars flowed into Walmart's tills and out of the local economy.

In exchange for the many middle-income jobs Walmart eliminated, all we got in return were low-wage jobs for the workers who now toil in its stores. To get by, many Walmart employees have no choice but to rely on food stamps and other public assistance.

Walmart's history is the story of what has gone wrong in the American economy. Wages have stagnated. The middle class has shrunk. The ranks of the working poor have swelled. Whatever we may have saved shopping at Walmart, we've more than paid for it in diminished opportunities and declining income.

And the worse things get, the more alluring Walmart's siren call of low prices becomes. While the Ford Motor Co. once profited by creating a workforce that could afford to buy its cars, today Walmart profits by ensuring that Americans cannot afford to shop anywhere else. The average family of four now spends over $4,000 a year at Walmart.

Such market concentration is unprecedented in U.S. history, as is the concentration of wealth it has engendered. Sam Walton's heirs own about half of Walmart's stock and have a net worth equal to the combined assets of the bottom one-third of Americans — about 100 million people. This year alone, the Waltons will pocket $2.7 billion in dividends from their Walmart holdings.

They are among the few Americans who have reason to celebrate Walmart's 50th birthday. As for the rest of us, the milestone offers a good moment to reflect on the company's business model and where it might lead us if we allow Walmart's growth to continue full-steam for another 50 years.

# # #

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License

[source]

adminl's picture
adminl on 2012-07-6

The following are 20 facts about Wal-Mart that will absolutely shock you....

#1 The average U.S. family now spends more than $4000 a year at Wal-Mart.

#2 In 2010, Wal-Mart had revenues of 421 billion dollars.  That amount was greater than the GDP of 170 different countries including Norway, Venezuela and the United Arab Emirates.

#3 If Wal-Mart was a nation, it would have the 23rd largest GDP in the world.

#4 Wal-Mart now sells more groceries than anyone else in America does.  In the United States today, one out of every four grocery dollars is spent at Wal-Mart.

#5 Amazingly, 100 million customers shop at Wal-Mart every single week.

#6 Wal-Mart has opened more than 1,100 "supercenters" since 2005 alone.

#7 Today, Wal-Mart has more than 2 million employees.

#8 If Wal-Mart was an army, it would be the second largest military on the planet behind China.

#9 Wal-Mart is the largest employer in 25 different U.S. states.

#10 According to the Economic Policy Institute, trade between Wal-Mart and China resulted in the loss of 133,000 manufacturing jobs in the United States between 2001 and 2006.

#11 The CEO of Wal-Mart makes more in a single hour than a full-time Wal-Mart associate makes in an entire year.

#12 Tens of thousands of Wal-Mart employees and their children are enrolled in Medicaid and are dependent on the government for healthcare.

#13 Between 2001 and 2007, the value of products that Wal-Mart imported from China grew from $9 billion to $27 billion.

#14 Amazingly, 96 percent of all Americans now live within 20 miles of a Wal-Mart.

#15 The number of "independent retailers" in the United States declined by 60,000 between 1992 and 2007.

#16 According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Wal-Mart spent 7.8 million dollars on political lobbying during 2011.  That number does not even include campaign contributions.

#17 Today, Wal-Mart has five times the sales of the second largest U.S. retailer (Costco).

#18 The combined net worth of six members of the Walton family is roughly equal to the combined net worth of the poorest 30 percent of all Americans.

[full article]

adminl's picture
adminl on 2012-10-21

Walmart Warehouse Workers Forced To Sleep In Foreclosed Houses, Tents In The Woods

Posted: 10/19/2012 4:18 pm EDT Updated: 10/19/2012 10:09 pm EDT

New details emerged Thursday about the living conditions endured by workers at a Walmart support warehouse in Elwood, Ill. who went on strike last month to protest their poor working conditions and alleged retaliation by management.

In a new piece by The Guardian, warehouse worker Phillip Bailey explains how he sleeps in a Catholic hostel in Joliet, Ill., after a long day of loading and unloading hundreds of boxes bound for Walmart stores.

Another worker, Mike Compton, says he regularly sleeps in foreclosed homes, explaining, "I found one abandoned house that had working electricity still. And a fridge."

A third warehouse worker, Bailey said, was forced to live in the woods. "He just set up a tent in there for a few weeks." Temperatures in Northern Illinois during the winter average 22 degrees Farenheidt, making situations like these potentially deadly.

The dire conditions in which the workers live are compounded by the fact that their jobs working for the logistics company Roadlink Workforce Solutions, moving goods on their way to Walmarts nationwide, are physically taxing, perpetually part-time, and often pay near minimum wage. Compton told the Guardian that if he were to work every single week of the year, he might expect to make about $15,000. "It is not easy to get by," he added.

[continue reading]

adminl's picture
adminl on 2012-10-26

Why direct action is working for Walmart’s workers

by Jake Olzen | October 20, 2012

The nation’s largest retailer — Walmart — is in the throes of a bold movement for worker justice. The company has faced a number of separate strikes in less than a month and, rather than its typical retaliatory response of firing workers, Walmart is backing down and conceding to some demands.

Workers raised the stakes last week when more than 200 striking workers showed up at Walmart’s global headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas, as executives met for its annual financial analyst meeting on October 10. The retail associates — from 28 Walmart stores in 12 states, according to Democracy Now! — walked off their jobs the day before as labor organizers began running ads in Arkansas newspapers supporting Walmart workers.

Read the rest of this article »

adminl's picture
adminl on 2012-12-20

Wal-Mart Bribery Investigation Reveals Damning Evidence

by John Galt | Activist Post | Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Following on the heels of a former Wal-Mart executive exposing a widespread bribery campaign inside Mexico orchestrated to "gain market dominance," additional details have been provided in a recently released New York Times investigation.

The former executive had been in charge of obtaining permits for Wal-Mart's subsidiary Wal-Mart de Mexico. He led investigators to a paper trail which showed that the price to skirt zoning regulations to construct their outlets and do business was ultimately $24 million dollars; next to nothing compared to its now $380 billion annual revenue in that country.

[full article]

The original New York Times story is below...

The Bribery Aisle: How Wal-Mart Got Its Way in Mexico

Wal-Mart de Mexico was an aggressive and creative corrupter, offering large payoffs to get what the law otherwise prohibited, an examination by The New York Times found.

[full article]

adminl's picture
adminl on 2013-03-29

Customers Flee Wal-Mart Empty Shelves for Target, Costco

By Renee Dudley - Mar 26, 2013 1:10 PM PT

Margaret Hancock has long considered the local Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) superstore her one- stop shopping destination. No longer.

During recent visits, the retired accountant from Newark, Delaware, says she failed to find more than a dozen basic items, including certain types of face cream, cold medicine, bandages, mouthwash, hangers, lamps and fabrics.

The cosmetics section “looked like someone raided it,” said Hancock, 63.

Wal-Mart’s loss was a gain for Kohl’s Corp. (KSS), Safeway Inc. (SWY), Target Corp. (TGT) and Walgreen Co. (WAG) -- the chains Hancock hit for the items she couldn’t find at Wal-Mart.

“If it’s not on the shelf, I can’t buy it,” she said. “You hate to see a company self-destruct, but there are other places to go.”

It’s not as though the merchandise isn’t there. It’s piling up in aisles and in the back of stores because Wal-Mart doesn’t have enough bodies to restock the shelves, according to interviews with store workers. In the past five years, the world’s largest retailer added 455 U.S. Wal-Mart stores, a 13 percent increase, according to filings and the company’s website. In the same period, its total U.S. workforce, which includes Sam’s Club employees, dropped by about 20,000, or 1.4 percent. Wal-Mart employs about 1.4 million U.S. workers.

[continue reading]

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