Wal-Mart Watch: Wal-Mart tries out the same spin on the unions strategizing to organize it and the class action law suit designed to hold it accountable: They're wrong, but they'll help make us better. Well, they got one out of two right: "'In Chicago, you have to be willing to step out of your so-called comfort zone and what you're used to doing,' said John Bisio, a spokesman for Wal-Mart. 'We recognize that there are experiences there that are different from other places. Organized labor is very strong there. We know we're going to be subject to great scrutiny, and we really want to adhere or conform to the spirit of how things are done in Chicago.' Mr. Bisio said that in Chicago, Wal-Mart would work with local leaders in choosing some of its employees and buy products and services from local and minority-owned businesses. He said he doubted the company would soften its opposition to labor unions, 'but that's not to say there won't be times when criticism or scrutiny might make you better focus on what you really need to do for your own people.'" Notice how demands for living wages, decent benefits, and a voice on the job are framed as if they were some kind of quaint local affectation, and not human rights for workers everywhere in this country and outside of it. Labor isn't an aesthetic wrinkle in the scenery of Chicago just looking to be made to feel important. Labor is a powerful social movement out to challenge and transform Wal-Mart's business model and the stratified economy it's wrought. And Wal-Mart knows it.


Post a Comment

<< Home