For Immediate Release
Statement of Dan Schlademan at 2010 Walmart Shareholders Meeting
WASHINGTON - Thank you, Mr. Chairman and Good Morning. My name is Dan
Schlademan, of the United Food and Commercial Workers, representing the
Firefighters’ Pension System of Kansas City, Missouri, which is a large,
long-term shareholder in our company. I am here to present shareholder
proposal #7, which seeks greater disclosure and oversight of political
spending. The full proposal is on page 65 and 66 of our company’s proxy.
And, with your permission, Mr. Chairman, I will forego reading the
entire proposal and supporting statement. Rather, in the interests of
brevity, I will quickly sum up why this proposal merits support.
Data compiled by the independent watchdog group, Opensecrets.org,
shows that Walmart gave more than $2.6 million to political candidates
and organizations since 2008. It also shows that it has overwhelmingly
favored Republican candidates over the years, who received more than 73%
of Wal-Mart’s money since 1990.
As all of us no doubt recall, our Company received much criticism
and embarrassment in 2008, when it was reported that Walmart management
was apparently telling its hourly workers not to vote for our current
President Barack Obama. As a long-term shareholder of the company, we
believe reckless political spending and embarrassing controversies such
as this distract management from its core responsibilities: to build our
company’s brand and increase long-term shareholder value through legal
and responsible means.
We are deeply concerned about Walmart’s political activities and
believe that greater disclosure would lead to greater accountability.
The Company’s Board and its shareholders need comprehensive disclosure
to be able to fully evaluate the political use of corporate assets.
Moreover, over 75 companies and half of the S&P 100 are already in
compliance with this proposal. We think our Company’s shareholders will
very much benefit from this reform, and we urge our fellow shareholders
to support this proposal.
Thank you Mr. Chairman for your consideration and please let me know
if I can answer any questions from you, the Board or any of my fellow
WakeUpWalMart.com is about Americans joining together in common purpose to change Wal-Mart. There is only one force powerful enough to change the #1 Fortune 500 company in the world – the American people. WakeUpWalMart.com is about giving Americans the tools to empower themselves to change the world’s largest employer. We are Wal-Mart’s customers and we have the power to make Wal-Mart live up to its responsibility to its employees, our families, our communities and the nation.