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Activists Picket Walmart CEO Speech on Corporate Responsibility

Workers-rights groups greeted Mike Duke as he arrived for the talk

- Lauren McCauley, staff writer

Tuesday afternoon, union organizers and workers rights activists swarmed mid-town Manhattan to confront Walmart CEO, Michael Duke, who was in town to give a speech about global responsibility.

Workers rights activists picketed Walmart CEO Mike Duke as he arrived to give a talk on global corporate responsibility. (Photo: Sajjad Hussain / AFP) As Duke arrived at the Council on Foreign Relations to give his speech entitled “The Responsibility to Lead,” he was greeted by  "banners, musical instruments, chants and jeers," according to protest organizers 99pickets.org, a working group of Occupy Wall Street.

Walmart has been leading in a number of capacities recently. On 'Black Friday' their workers led a historic strike against the company, organizing demonstrations at nearly 1,000 stores across the country. The retail giant also led a group of western brands in turning a blind eye to egregious safety violations at a Bangladesh manufacturer, resulting in a deadly fire last month.

"The Walmart CEO is likely trying to raise his profile," writes Firedoglake, referencing another scandal—recently unearthed in the Boston Globe— in which the retailer reportedly "bribed officials in their fast-track expansion in Mexico."

A live stream of the protest shows people ringing cowbells, marching and chanting: "When workers wages are under attack? What do we do? Stand up, Fight Back."

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