For Immediate Release
Open Letter to New Wal-Mart CEO: A New Year, A New Wal-Mart?
to new Wal-Mart CEO Mike Duke, agreeing that the time is ripe for a new
Wal-Mart, and outlining further steps the world's largest retailer can
take to ensure its workers have a fair share in the company's success.
Dear Mr. Duke,
Starting the New Year with a new CEO is a perfect opportunity to
change Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. into a model employer. You've already made
a good start by recently settling more than 60 wage-and-hour lawsuits
and agreeing to pay as much as $640 million in back wages to workers.
We were encouraged when your top lawyer said that the legal claims
against Wal-Mart's business practices "are not representative of the
company we are today," and that "resolving this litigation is in the
best interest of our company, our shareholders and our associates." We
fully agree that operating in the interests of all stakeholders is the
responsible course, and expect that you take the next critical steps to
ensure Wal-Mart workers have a fair share in the company's success.
- Quickly and fairly settling with the nearly two million women
who have sued Wal-Mart over sex discrimination in pay and promotion.
- Keep the company's child labor law violations in the past.
high quality, affordable health care to your entire workforce, so
states will no longer carry the burden of covering billions in medical
costs for Wal-Mart employees.
- Ensuring workers are free to
choose a union to improve their wages, benefits, and working conditions
without the fear of intimidation or reprisal.
- Demonstrating that "everyday low prices" and respecting workers' rights are not mutually exclusive.
- Ending your opposition to the Employee Free Choice Act, commonsense legislation that will level the playing field for workers.
We want to take you at your word that the old days are gone and truly
look forward to seeing the "company you are today." The time is ripe
for a new Wal-Mart with an incoming President who has pledged to bring
change to this country, ensure a fairer economic system for workers and
business alike, reform health care, and restart our economic engine so
that it works for all Americans.
Here's to a New Year, a new Wal-Mart, and a new resolve for being part
of the positive change that's coming.
Chair, American Rights at Work
American Rights at Work is a nonprofit advocacy organization dedicated to promoting the freedom of workers to organize unions and bargain collectively with employers. Through action, research findings, and outreach inside and outside of the labor community, we expose injustice in the workplace and fight for the rights of America's workers.
As a leading advocate, American Rights at Work is a readily available resource on workers' rights and labor-related issues. We can also connect you with other advocates, policy experts, activists and figures within the labor movement.