The Standard Freeholder recently ran a picture of an ad stating that Wal-Mart had closed a store in Quebec where unionized employees were seeking a collective agreement. Unfortunately, unions are simply not a part of Wal-Mart’s one sided corporate plan.
People are finally beginning to understand the truth about Wal-Mart- the largest corporation in the world- and one whose outrageous profits are made by undervaluing human effort across the globe .
Here are a few interesting facts about Wal-Mart, and how it can undercut prices and eliminate its competition in most communities across North America.
Wal-Mart Corporation is comprised of five of the ten richest people in the world, all from the same family, the Waltons. Their personal wealth eclipses $100 BILLION dollars!
Last year the company CEO was paid $11.5 million, more than the annual salaries of 765 of his employees combined. The company's profits are over $7 BILLION annually.
This company proclaims that "We Buy American", but in 2001 it moved its world-wide purchasing headquarters to China and is the largest importer of Chinese goods in the US, purchasing over $10 BILLION of Chinese made products annually.
These products are made mostly by women and children working in the slave labour camps of China where Wal-Mart pays 20 cents on the dollar for merchandise. The cheap prices we enjoy in North America have been built on the backs of the impoverished, abused and disenfranchised.
Even in the US an average employee makes a mere $15,000 a year, or $7.22 per hour! The company claims that 70% of their employees are full time, but fails to mention that 28 hours constitutes a full work week. What family can live on 28 hours of work per week?
Health care benefits are only available after two years of service. With a turnover rate above 50% per year, many employees will never qualify.
The National Labour Relations Board(U.S) has issued over 40 formal complaints against the corporation in 25 different states in the past five years. Nearly 1 million women are involved in the largest class-action suit ever filed against a corporation. Although women make up over 65% of Wal-Mart’s work force, only 10% of them are managers. In Colorado, Wal-Mart had to pay $50 MILLION to settle one class-action case brought against it.
With 4,400 stores in North America Wal-Mart practices "predatory pricing." Wal-Mart comes into a community and sells its goods at below cost until they drive local businesses into bankruptcy. In Cornwall, Joggers, a Canadian company, recently announced it is going out of business. So where do you think people on Brookdale Avenue will buy their shoes and sweatsuits now?
Locally owned and operated businesses put virtually all of their money back into the community which helps keeps local economies vibrant. Wal-Mart sucks the money out of the local community, decreases wages and sends the profits back to Bentonville, Arkansas so that the Waltons can get richer.
For years in Cornwall our merchants have urged us to shop in Canadian stores owned or operated by local business people. That was good advice but we didn’t listen.
Maybe it’s worth paying a bit more today if we can re-invest in our community by refusing to send retail profits south of the border.