WASHINGTON - May 22 - The following is a statement by Paul Blank, campaign director for WakeUpWalMart.com, on Target's announcement of possible "Wal-Mart-like" changes to its company health care plan:
Target's announcement that it may eliminate traditional health care plans for its workers confirms our worst fears of Wal-Mart's growing negative impact on America's workers.
While Target may think adopting a "Wal-Mart-like health care model" will save the company money, such a change could prove very costly. Not providing affordable health care is one of the main reasons Wal-Mart faces an unprecedented grassroots campaign, mounting public opposition, and a political backlash.
More than any other retailer in America, Target's public image is inextricably linked to its success. As Target well knows, its core customers, mainly middle-income and upper-middle income Americans, shop at Target not only for a better value, but because they believe Target is a better employer and company than Wal-Mart. For Target to become more like Wal-Mart, not only puts Target's better public image at risk, but directly threatens one of Targetís main competitive advantages against Wal-Mart.
We, like Targetís customers, believe Target wants to be a better company than Wal-Mart.
In that spirit, we would hope, rather than follow Wal-Martís failed health care model, Target will work with us to ensure Targetís good public image always matches up to reality. The truth is the American people and Targetís customers expect no less.