Saturday, December 11, 2004

Sucking America Dry

In response to the announcement that a group of unions let by the A.F.L.-C.I.O. are going to institute a large advertising campaign to try and improve wage and benefits conditions at Wal-Mart.

A Wal-Mart spokeswoman,Christi Davis Gallagher, warned that higher wages could lead to higher prices. Duh!

"It appears the unions want to take millions of dollars in dues from their members and use them to rob average Americans of their right to pay less for the basics in life," Ms. Gallagher said. "You need to ask one question: Is it fair to ask American consumers to pay higher prices to subsidize a relatively small pocket of individuals just because they are making the most noise?"

The new effort, to be announced officially in several months, will also be unusual because most union campaigns involve just one union. Because Wal-Mart is so huge, labor leaders have concluded that several unions should work with the A.F.L.-C.I.O. on the effort.

Among those participating are the Service Employees International Union, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the United Food and Commercial Workers Union. Many union leaders have criticized the food and commercial workers for doing too little over the past decade to unionize Wal-Mart, but the union's new president, Joseph Hansen, has vowed to do more.

Ms. Gallagher of Wal-Mart said, "One thing that the unions seem to miss is that Wal-Mart's ability to offer the lowest prices around is driven by a passion to drive costs out of our business at all levels," including information technology.

She added, "While the unions want people to believe that we drive down our costs primarily through our wages or benefits, that is simply not the case."

Here's the response to Wal-Mart's to Ms. Gallagher:

Wal-Mart's low prices are due to low quality goods manufactured at the lowest cost possible. Wal-Mart's obsession with low prices threatens hundreds of thousands of American jobs. The list of American companies raped by Wal-Mart is a who's who of American enterprise.

Wal-Mart's low prices and resulting low wages are the major the reason many Wal-Mart employees turn to state aid for health care, costing tax payers millions per year. America's largest company spends more money on advertisings than on worker's benefits.

Wal-Mart is sucking the vitality out of American wages and main street America and, in turn' provides the least value and service possible for the every dollar spent. How can Costco and Target provide decent wages and benefits for the same work? Why is Wal-Mart an exception?

Low prices alone are not a good thing. Low prices need to be accompanied by a living, decent wage and working conditions or they doing nothing for the long term benefit of the consumer.

The whole story here:

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