New labor movement afoot in China:
Activists employing shame in effort to bring about change.
by Craig Simons
, Austin American Statesman
February 4th, 2007
Last month, China Labor Watch, a New York-based watchdog group, issued a report that said several Chinese suppliers to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. routinely fail to pay wages and provide health insurance as required by Chinese law. The survey of 16 Wal-Mart suppliers found that some pay as little as half the minimum daily wage, provide no health insurance or require mandatory overtime. One company provided only one bathroom for its 2,000 employees, the group said.
Wal-Mart Cuts Taxes By Paying Rent to Itself
by Jesse Drucker
, Wall Street Journal
As the world's biggest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. pays billions of dollars a year in rent for its stores. Luckily for Wal-Mart, in about 25 states it has been paying most of that rent to itself -- and then deducting that amount from its state taxes.
Wal-Mart "organics" skewered
by Al Lewis
, Denver Post
January 21st, 2007
Wal-Mart Organics: Do these two words belong together? A Wisconsin-based organic watchdog group says Wal-Mart is hanging signs that say "organic" near products that are not organic. After discovering the problem at dozens of stores in several states, the Cornucopia Institute has filed consumer fraud complaints with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Wisconsin's Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.
Ten Reasons Why the Wal-Mart Pundits Are Wrong
by John Cavanagh and Sarah Anderson
, The Nation
September 29th, 2006
"On September 11, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley used his veto power for the first time in seventeen years to block a measure that would have given Wal-Mart employees and workers at other "big box" stores at least $10 per hour plus benefits worth at least $3 per hour. The City Council had passed the bill by a 35-to-14 vote margin. Daley's brash act was a temporary victory for the chorus of conservative pundits and corporate flacks who have been singing Wal-Mart's virtues for the past year..."
Breaking the Chain: The antitrust case against Wal-Mart
by Barry C. Lynn
, Harper's Magazine
July 31st, 2006
"There is an undeniable beauty to laissez-faire theory, with its promise that by struggling against one another, by grasping and elbowing and shouting and shoving, we create efficiency and satisfaction and progress for all. This concept has shaped, at the most fundamental levels, how we understand and engineer our basic freedoms—economic, political, and moral. Until recently, however, most politicians and economists accepted that freedom within the marketplace had to be limited, at least to some degree, by rules designed to ensure general economic and social outcomes..."
A Cappuccino with the 2x4's?
by Michael Barbaro and Claudia H. Deutsch
, New York Times
October 25th, 2005
"Home Depot, in wake of worst housing market in decade, is displaying growing willingness to stray from single-minded focus on home renovations and repair by offering everyday products like seasonal decorations and cigarettes; experiment with everyday products--and $350 million program to overhaul look of 500 stores--exemplifies belief of chief executive Robert L Nardelli that Home Depot cannot only survive downturn in housing market, but can exploit situation by plowing money into chain..."
Fla. Wal-Mart workers unite — without union
by Associated Press
September 29th, 2005
TAMPA, Fla. - It's not a union, but some Wal-Mart workers say it might be the next best thing. Searching for a voice in their work lives, employees of some central Florida Wal-Mart stores have formed a workers group to collectively air complaints about what they claim is shoddy treatment by the retail giant.
Woman Sues Costco, Claiming Sex Bias in Promotions
by Steven Greenhouse
, New York Times
August 18th, 2004
An employee at the Costco Wholesale Corporation filed a national class-action lawsuit against the company yesterday, accusing it of discriminating against women in promotions to store manager.
Costco Saves; the Environment Benefits
July 1st, 2004
"Cornerboards were a time-consuming problem for Costco when it had to break down pallets of apples for shipment to its clubstores. Cornerboards were also a problem for suppliers like C.M Holginer Fruit Co. when they ere banding pallets for shipment to Costca. Both companies were extremely pleased when a plausible alternative was proposed by Lock 'N Pop (www.locknpop.com)..."