The anti-Walmart protests today organized by the United Food and Commercial Workers union are the clearest evidence yet that the company’s campaign of appeasement of left-wing activist groups is failing. Indeed, it appears the policy has invited more defamation and harassment. We told you so.
NLPC documented the emergence of this policy in a Special Report titled Wal-Mart Embraces Controversial Causes: Bid to Appease Liberal Interest Groups Will Likely Fail, Hurt Business. Written by John Carlisle, it was published in 2006 and updated in 2008. Click here to download the 24-page pdf version.
The Report details Walmart’s journey from a company that embodied Sam Walton’s bedrock values to a powerful instrument for liberal policy, culminating in Walmart’s support for ObamaCare and cap & trade legislation.
Our warnings to the company have been ignored. I took our message directly to the Walmart annual meeting in 2011. Here is a part of my statement in support of our shareholder proposal on the company’s lobbying priorities:
Cap and Trade was never about global warming. Instead it’s about politicians to imposing a command economy on us, and raising taxes in order to enhance their own power.
Wal-Mart supported ObamaCare, too, which likewise was never about health care. And it is even more unpopular now with the American people than when it passed. How did Walmart, one the biggest engines of American capitalism, became a backer of these Socialist schemes?
It worked like this. Corrupt unions like the Service Employees International Union – the SEIU – and other anti-business activists targeted Wal-Mart for defamation. Instead of fighting back and defending the good name of the company, the CEO at the time, Lee Scott decided to cave in. Mike Duke has intensified these policies of appeasement.
Walmart even hired one of its critics, Leslie Dach, as a Vice President to guide this process. Today, Mr. Dach openly trashes Wal-Mart’s legacy in order to promote what he calls a “different corporate culture” that he has helped introduce.
I happen to believe that Sam Walton’s company has a pretty good legacy, and Leslie Dach should stop disrespecting it.
The assault on Walmart will not end until the company is unionized. Cozying up to the Obama administration or hiring left-wing political hacks will not make the protesta go away. Walmart can continue to cooperate in its own demise, or it can start to defend the economic rights of its customers, employees and shareholders.