Tuesday, October 25, 2005

A Kinder, Gentler Wal-Mart?

This is interesting.

Lee Scott, CEO of Wal-Mart, announced a litany of changes aimed at making the behemoth retailer a "better citizen".

Prediciatbly, unions are calling it window dressing, or "not enough". Obviously, there is a public relations aspect to this (much like BP's rebranding as "Beyond Petroleum" - when, in fact, more of their revenue comes from oil than ever before!).

But there are hopeful signs here. This follows on the heels of a large vendor meeting, at which major Wal-Mart suppliers were told that they would be held accountable for the operating standards of their plants in China. Be prepared to be measured against US environmental and social standards for those plants, they were told.

Which is an incredible move, if you think about.

One out of every ten cargo ships plying the Pacific from China to the US is loaded with goods destined for Wal-Mart They have the power - and size - to make a huge difference here.

But, Lee, one question: Why the comment on increasing the minimum wage? You can set your own wages, bud. You don't need the Feds telling you how much to pay folks.


Blogger LargeBill said...

The comments about minimum wage was not about their own employees. Walmart employees start a little above minimum. No, they want minimum wage to be increased believing their customer base would have more spending cash. Problem with that idea is an increase in minimum wage would likely increase unemployment and drive inflation.

4:06 PM  
Blogger Call Me Jack said...

I agree with you - and I know that his min wage comments were not related to W/M employees.

Just taking a little swipe that their pay practices....

4:15 PM  
Blogger Mason said...

I LOATH WalMart.

9:39 PM  

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